Tuesday was a hard, hard day.

Sitting in an auditorium filled with the sounds of weeping teens and parents. The worst nightmare of every parent of a teen — a funeral for a teenager.

My dear friend lost her daughter to a traffic accident caused by a teen driver who had been drinking. How many times had she and her husband told their daughter never to get into a car if the driver had consumed any amount of alcohol? Probably as many times as you and I have told our own teens.

As the photographs of this beautiful girl filled the projection screens I thought I might go mad if it weren’t for the fact that I knew she had placed her faith in Jesus Christ and she was now dancing with Jesus.

My grief was for her family and especially my friend, her mother. Have you ever hugged a friend and heard an anguished cry so deep that you knew she was breaking inside? I ache for her to my core. I pray for her and her husband constantly, I read Scripture over them and pray for God’s grace and peace.

My teenagers found it very difficult to go to the funeral home, but my husband and I knew it was something they needed to experience. After we got home my daughter came to me and said, “Please tell Mr. Powell that when I said ‘Yes, Sir,’ I meant it.” She shared with me that Mr. Powell told her something very important that she was committed to because it made such a strong impression on her.

I would appreciate it if you told your teenager, and all the teenagers you have influence over, that Mr. Powell has a message for them, too.

This father, who was in the process of grieving the loss of his 17-year-old daughter, hugged each of my children, looked each of them in the eye and gave them a very clear message, “Never get in the car with someone who has been drinking. Never.”

I pray that this message every parent utters will hold more meaning when it comes from the mouth of a father who never again will look his daughter in the eye … this side of heaven.