3 years… The Dusty Shelf and the Silver Lining Through the Clouds

For those of you reading this blog, you may be saying to yourself, “It’s already been 3 years that Brent has gone to heaven…that has gone by fast..”

That's because your lives have carried on, although you think about Brent, you have all gone back to your so called “normal” life. BUT for myself and for the boys, it has been a minute by minute walk, through months and now years. It has NOT gone by fast, as a matter of fact I cringe inside knowing it’s ONLY been 3 years….I literally have to NOT think about the time because it gives me anxiety and an anxious heart.

Having been married at the age of 19 (together since18) married 9 years, I had this entire life! And it only seemed to be getting better and better.

Shattered, TRULY and completely shattered, desires and dreams have been put on a shelf, where it seems unreachable at times, dusty and even broken. I don’t even look up at the shelf because I don’t like what I see. I hate everything that is on that shelf because I know I will never touch it or use it, uncertain if the dust can be wiped off or even the broken glass put back together. And even if I could put it back together the broken pieces are visible. It has been a crazy, rough storm. Not only dealing with the loss, having to deal with people and their opinions, has been very difficult for me, being a single mom, worried about protection and finances and wondering where I/we fit in, our new normal has been a challenge. Many, many tears have been shed and wiped. Trying to help my oldest son through his delayed grief has been a unthinkable heartache as a mother. On top of your daily life chores and responsibilities.

YET……………….

I would be doing you all a disservice if I wasn’t truthful about all the good that God has done for our family. The eye of the storm HAS passed and as the clouds have begun to disappear, I can see a glimpse of sun shining through. I’m not going to lie, sometimes I want to put my sunglasses on and not look at that sunshine peeking through because I’m comfortable in my misery, or I’m afraid if I allow people to see me happy, people will think I’ve forgotten about Brent.

But I force myself and as I choose to MOVE FORWARD NOT MOVE ON, God, not happiness not man, but God is showing me that HE has, good things in store for my boys and I. He wants to bring beauty from our ashes BUT I have to let Him. I remember sitting in my grief class and two thoughts came to mind, the first was, wow, some people have it worse, It made me THAKFUL to have had Brent as my husband and almost a sense of relief came to me knowing I WILL see him again.

The second thought was seeing some people who were never able to get past the eye of the storm and everyday is that day, I prayed, “GOD PLEASE DON’T LET ME BE THAT PERSON THAT STAYS IN THE SAME PLACE OF SADNESS AND DEPRESSION.” It sounds like a no brainer right? But when you’re grieving so hard it’s not as easy to just get up and move forward, as a matter of fact it’s EXTREMLY difficult. You almost can’t help but just automatically be sad the moment you wake up.

It's not like I want to be sad constantly, truly I don’t, but it’s also hard when you can’t help the deep down void. And I now have a compassion on those instead of a judgmental heart and mind. I get it ! Truly I understand the person that just can’t move forward because every day I struggle with that, A LOT! Really wanting to BUT finding that the pain is sooo deep.

How do you ever move forward? Well, it’s by Gods grace, and HE has lavished it on me. And it’s by allowing yourself to be reminded that you will always love that person and for me, Brent will always be a part of MY life and of course the lives of my babies. So I humbly open my arms to the beauty that my heavenly Father has for us. Whatever that is. To get married again or not, to go to school and get a degree OR NOT, to move, etc. I can say with a pure heart, I want a life full of God's blessings. I always have such a hard time wondering what people will think about me BUT in the words of my wonderful father-in-law, “who cares what people think, and those that love you will want God's will for you and those that have something negative to say, well you don’t need them anyway!! Hahaha”

The truth is………… Brent is never coming home, he is in glory and the boys and I are still here. We will naturally never forget our lives with him, but we have to keep pressing on. The people around us NEED to be patient…and for the most part everyone has.

I never even thought I could be where I am NOW emotionally and mentally because I’ve been a hot messy mess. We could not have done this without either side of our families. There have been so many sacrifices for us and I’m sure I don’t even know all of them. My AMAZING mother-in-law, in her deep sadness, has always been there for me. No matter my emotions, or confusion she has been consistent in loving on me and her grandbabies. And for the record Brent's family IS my family and they are all truly amazing, wonderful people and I couldn’t thank God enough to have a family away from my own. My mom who has left work time and time again to take multiple flights just to be here and cook clean and give me a break has been unquestionably made me so forever grateful. Dad, father in law, brothers sisters etc…….

Some days I take 15 steps back and one step forward. The next I can take 15 steps forward and one step back. We, our family, have been FOREVER changed. I don’t like to speak on behalf of Brent’s family but I will say this, they have grieved hard, but grace is all over them and our love and bond, through rocky emotions at times (mainly on my part) have grown. The way I view people or life is most definitely not the way I used to that’s for sure. I think I blog mostly because I want people to understand certain things, for the uncompassionate to be passionate, for the hurting, to allow the pain to be put to rest in it’s perfect season and time.

“For I consider that the present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed in us.” –Romans 8:18

Heaven is waiting for us!! That is my hope and it should be yours too.

Jaiden and Micah are just too wonderful to talk about. They have so much joy, but they also have their emotions too. Jaiden especially. God has great plans for them.

I can truly say that I want to honor Brent's life BY LIVING. I know he would want that, and he actually told me that very concept.

The other day, for the first time, I became envious, envious of the family unit. Watching FAMILIES go home together, dads coach their sons soccer teams, families having more kids, or going on family vacations etc. Up unitl this point I have NOT been envious, and it started to rise up in my heart. I hated the feeling = but I also couldn’t help wish Brent was here so that my little family could have that also. To have the same opportunities that the “normal” American family has. I am committing those thoughts to the Lord and when they arise in my heart and mind I am reminded of the very words Brent spoke to me, “IF this is how God chooses to use my life, then to HIM BE THE GLORY.” So the boys and I are a little family and I can only pray God uses us to bring Him glory and that JOY surrounding us would be a fragrance of what Jesus can do with 3 broken hearts. Turn suffering into laughter and Joy and Peace. Paul, in the Bible, talks about LEARNING to be content, and so as the days go by I am training myself to be thankful and learning to be content with things I have.

I struggle a lot with the visions of the way Brent died and how our bodies are a shell and how the soul leaves this earth onto another. I get nightmares, panic attacks, I am overcome with fear in every area of life. SIMPLE TASKS ARE SO SO OVERWHELMING AND DIFFICULT TO ACCOMPLISH only because my brain is so consumed with all that has happened these past few years. BUT I am getting better and I know will continue to. God has good things in store for us, to give us a future and a hope, plans of good and not of evil (Jeremiah. 29:11) so I cling to that hope and press forward. Words cannot express life without Brent. But I am thankful I got to be his wife. I now look forward, even through the hard days, to what God has for us in the next 3 years.