Helen Strickland Shares Last Texts From Husband Craig a Year After His Death

Helen Strickland shared her final texts with her late husband, Craig Strickland, on the first anniversary of his death.

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The country star and his friend Chase Morland went missing on December 27, 2015, during a hunting trip near Kaw Lake, Oklahoma. Their boat capsized due to winter storm Goliath. Morland’s body was found the following day, along with the Stricklands’ black Labrador, Sam. Craig’s body was discovered on January 4, 2016. He was 29.

Helen shared a screenshot of the couple’s messages in an Instagram post on Wednesday January 4, one year to the day he was found. The texts show she sent a photo of herself cuddling with a black cat, and the Backroad Anthem singer told her she looked “precious.” He said he was running errands but was heading back to get Sam.

A year ago today, the search for my husband @backroadcraig concluded. I remember receiving these last texts from him before talking for the last time on the phone-I’m so thankful God gave me the blessing of getting to say and hear the words “I love you” to/from him just moments before he and Chase got in their 10ft flat bottom boat. It was truly such a blessing the day we found Craig. We were finally able to find some kind of peace knowing he was with his Heavenly Father. God showed us then, and continues to show us, that He takes care of his children. While the pain is great that we carry, our Lord will carry the burden if we choose to let Him. A year later, I can testify to God’s goodness and the gift of love that He pours out to those in pain. Sometimes His gifts of love aren’t what we want or expect-for example, our savior Jesus Christ coming as a baby-but in the end, God’s way is always better than what we want for ourselves. God is good, and His ways are perfect- I trust that. Losing Craig was not what any of us desired; but as @strickark told me – when we get sad, we can think of all the ways God will bless others through Craig’s story. What a wonderful and humbling reminder that God has chosen Craig’s family to help others. At the closing of this year, I am thankful for God’s gift of life. And one day, I will be so excited to sit with Craig and our Father in heaven, as we tell Craig about all the opportunities his family had to share the love of Christ with hurting people all over the world because of his testimony. What a gift of love that will be❤ *Please visit the Craig Strickland Foundation homepage to donate to scholarships established in honor of Craig; and be looking for the launch of my new website, which will be the home for my blog/vlog, as well as the place to contact/hire me for speaking engagements. www.craigstricklandfoundation.org

A post shared by Helen Wisner Strickland (@helenelizabethstrickland) on

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“A year ago today, the search for my husband @backroadcraig concluded,” she captioned the post. “I remember receiving these last texts from him before talking for the last time on the phone-I’m so thankful God gave me the blessing of getting to say and hear the words ‘I love you’ to/from him just moments before he and Chase got in their 10ft flat bottom boat. It was truly such a blessing the day we found Craig. We were finally able to find some kind of peace knowing he was with his Heavenly Father.”

Craig and Helen Strickland
Craig and Helen Strickland Courtesy of Craig Strickland/Instagram

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The former Miss Arkansas leaned on her faith to get her through the past year. “God showed us then, and continues to show us, that He takes care of his children. While the pain is great that we carry, our Lord will carry the burden if we choose to let Him. A year later, I can testify to God’s goodness and the gift of love that He pours out to those in pain,” she wrote. “At the closing of this year, I am thankful for God’s gift of life. And one day, I will be so excited to sit with Craig and our Father in heaven, as we tell Craig about all the opportunities his family had to share the love of Christ with hurting people all over the world because of his testimony.”

She ended her post by encouraging people to donate to scholarships set up in Craig’s honor at www.craigstricklandfoundation.org.

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