Five Years

They say that pain is a prison. It (pain) can trap and suffocate you and it doesn’t matter which direction you look, each wall in that prison cell look the same and each wall has the words “NO HOPE” written on the four corners inside your world.

Today marks FIVE years of my wonderful, amazing husband Brent Yim’s passing from this life to ETERNAL LIFE. I remember most of that day. Some who were there may remember it differently than I do but I remember laying right next to him on that awful hospital bed in our very own bedroom and his breathing got more and more intense but less and less until finally that last bit of air from his lungs came out. It was surreal. As if I was living someone else's nightmare. I yelled to my mom to give him CPR and began to hit my father-in-law for turning off the breathing machine then made him turn it back on. I don’t know why I did any of those things I guess maybe there was a little bit of “hope” left in me that it would bring him back to me……… bring him back to our boys and to his family.

But it didn’t.

Death had crept in and taken…..and it stung. It stung more than words could ever try to explain and so began that last five years without him. Truly my BEST FRIEND, father to our babies, my provider, my protector, my pastor, my entire life……… was just taken.

I often wonder what life would look like today if Brent were still here. I dream about having that family I once had and maybe even have had a fuller house. With more children and laughter and wonder if the boys would be who they are now without a Dad or would they be different? I picture Brent coaching our boy’s soccer team and wishing it wasn't just always me at the games or school functions or karate practice or the only one correcting my kids. I wish I had Brent to bounce my ideas off with or just have someone ask me, “how was your day today.” I miss feeling secure in that I have back up if I need. Micah, my youngest, told me yesterday, “Mom, when I see other kids and their dads it makes me sad. I wish I could have my dad.” Not to make it all depressing because life has come back to us to a certain degree, but I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you it’s been really hard.

Some may wonder if I’ve “moved forward” whatever the heck that means, I want to ask, “Sooooooooo, what is it that you think I’ve been doing for 5 years?” What is moving forward in YOUR eyes? Is it me getting married again? Is it not ever talking about Brent again? How does moving forward look to YOU because to me it’s learning to to re-live all over again and sometimes that takes a while to learn and adjust to. I’m living. Grief is a process for sure and I may be a little bit slower at accepting it all (I’m a little slow at a lot of things haha) but I don’t just burst into tears anymore when I say his name, even with the sad unforgettable memories I have with him.

I’m not a super human. I have made really stupid decisions in my grief especially when the dark clouds of depression surrounded me like a flipping thunderstorm that wouldn’t go away, I have had feelings of bitterness and anger….. the thoughts of losing my husband, my church, friendships and even material possessions are at times too overwhelming for me to just walk around as if I’m completely ok and normal, I’m actually a little crazier than before, which is scary LOL but I also have made some really courageous steps in life.

I have learned to FIGHT against the feelings I’ve never experienced before and I haven’t become a slave to them but rather walked myself through them and I STILL have to. I have learned to be more gracious towards others and my eyes and heart see in a different light than ever before.

I have first and foremost been a mommy. Not sure how I actually could have survived without my little lambs. I have sucked it up and am working full time (yeah yeah I understand that’s what people do, but give me a break…. it’s not what I PERSONALLY am used to. Plus no one likes waking up at the butt crack of dawn ;-) I’ve been a stay at home mom and wife for years!!!) I am going back to school full time because I have finally realized and accepted the fact that it’s just me and just my provision for myself, Jaiden and Micah.

We run around like any other “normal” family and my kids have soccer games and do homework and get grounded just like most kids :-) BUT this single parenting thing, although I’ve got most of it under control, isn’t what any of us wanted or wants. We are living a semi-normal life and GOD HAS BEEN THERE WITH US EVERY SINGLE STEP OF THE WAY. AND HE TRULY HAS BEEN GOOD IN WAYS I WOULD NEVER IMAGINE. I am so incredibly thankful for the people in our lives who allow us the opportunity to laugh with and live with so that we can feel a little bit of wholeness.

At some point I have escaped that prison cell and the room has gotten a bit brighter and the walls have the words “hope” written on them. NOT because anything this world gives me, as a matter of fact I think those prison walls try to trap me more now than the first years of his death but because I know GOD IS MY HOPE and eternal life is my ultimate place of destination, I daily remind myself of HIS promises that say heaven will be greater than pain we can experience on this earth.

I could never imagine living without knowing that when I die I have something to look forward to. I read about the birds, the sparrow and how God looks down and sees that sparrow and somehow he always has food and shelter and safety. If God cares about the birds of the air, how much more does He care for us. How much more does he look down and see every tear and every smile and every need. Life isn't a walk in the park. Nor was it intended to be. But life can be joyful when you begin to bury the things that you can’t help, let go of the things that bring you down and distract you and embrace what is in front of you. To have FULLNESS to live.

Eventually the clouds lifted and I can see the sun peeking through. I don’t know what lies ahead and sometimes fear creeps in on the what-if possibilities but they don’t scare me like they used to. Seasons change. God has given a supernatural strength that can’t be shaken and that giant hole in my heart is becoming more full again with new memories of my life with just me and my two crazy wonderful boys.

Jaiden and Micah are both doing well. I mean, you know, when they are not spitting on each other, arguing with me or being little sassy pants …they are great. I’m pretty sure they are both as sarcastic as their daddy and both have a love and passion inside them like their dad. BUUUUTTTT you can pray for my sanity raising two boys hahaha it’s like trying to read a recipe for a food you’ve never tasted before upside down!!! Like how the heck do you do it. The other day they asked the good ole question no parent wants to ever answer. And I just laughed it was so uncomfortable, but I did it and they probably think I’m so weird and I’m pretty sure I traumatized them to ever want to get married.

Today, 5 years later, this is where we are. The 3 little sparrows Brent left behind. We miss him and hold him so close to our hearts. My life is so full because I was married to him and for those 10 years I am eternally blessed and grateful. I pray for those of you reading this you would be appreciative of those around you and hold them a little closer today. That you would ask yourself if you were to die today where is it that you would be. Do you have peace or joy? I know too well how easy it is to let life circumstances bring you low, but when you get up and keep fighting you come out GREAT. And to be GREAT isn’t so bad :-) Thank You for following this journey with us.

When God is greater than our hearts…

It’s been months since my last blog. I’ll be honest, I haven’t been writing because I haven’t been in the greatest place to write. I don’t really know what to write.

I haven’t known how to express my current feelings and emotions and realities. My life is different, and at times I’m not really sure how to handle the reality of what seems like forever here on earth of just getting by and living a life that is not my heart's desires. I have gone to God's Word where it says that God will give us the desires of our hearts, and many moments where my faith has failed me because I don’t believe. I don’t believe we get what we want when we want it. I don’t believe we live a life that is suitable to our every desires. Sure, I know God blesses us because He wants us to enjoy life, but I would be lying if I said it’s been all swell and that it’s “supposed” to be swell. (Swell is such a fun word to say. I said it in an English accent)

I am human. I am not perfect. BUT I love Jesus with my whole heart and I have continued on. I have pressed forward in weariness, in struggles, in battles, in blessings and in self afflicted dumbness. :-) (if that’s even a word hahaha) I’m learning a lot and growing a lot, but also in that learning and growing are mistakes to recognize. The questions and the whys. The bitterness and the pain. The stubbornness and pride. So on.

A few nights ago I read 1 John 3:20, “If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts.” God is greater than it all. HE is the giver of life even when life seems to have no breath. He is eternal love and gives peace because He Himself is peace. When there is chaos HE IS WHO WE HAVE TO RUN TO. The moment I read this I was reminded that nothing at all can ever separate us from the LOVE of God, HE is above it all and we can rest a

ssured that HE will always be there to guide us and sometimes carry us when our knees are feeble. Can I be real for a moment? For a while I regretted grieving openly on media because there are so many haters, hahaha lovers too :-) But being a widow is super frustrating, especially being Brent Yim’s wife, and in the light, it’s like every move you make is being watched, whether good or bad. I’ve literally just been winging it, you know... LIFE I’m winging it at life. BUT I'm actually ok with all people's opinions now because I’m learning to do what I FEEL/know IS BEST EVEN IF IT ISN’T!!! Don’t we all do this? Wing it at life? lol except for all you OCD perfectionist. Roll my eyes behind my head. <3 Seasons change and my season is to keep going and to RAISE MY PERFECT BEAUTIFUL BOYS THAT ARE MY ENTIRE WORLD. My job is to keep my eyes above and be faithful at what’s in front of me. And I’m beyond happy to do that truly. The hard times have forced me to be stronger. To work harder and to set goals that I never did before.

Jaiden and Micah...

My boys are truly amazing and doing really well. Jaiden holds a lot in about Brent BUT is the sweetest, kindest, smartest soul on earth and Micah talks way too much and is super witty but is so cuddly and cute still and asks when God will give him a new daddy :-( so sad uh? It’s sad when they have to explain to kids at school that their daddy died or that they have to watch other kids with their families. BUT it’s their story and journey and God will teach them to be strong men one day because of all they have had to learn. They are the best and I can’t thank God enough for my babies.

Where am I... I have come to a place where I am genuinely happy for Brent. I miss him all the time! I do cry still but not as much and some days are harder than others. The holidays this year were very very difficult without him. Lonely in a way, but now because I know Brent doesn’t give a rip because he's in heaven lol. I want God to bless our family again! I Pray that I can get remarried. (never would I have ever thought I would say those words) Someone I can share life with on earth who can accept all of Brent too and my boys. But if God doesn’t have that for us then I guess I’ll just keep shopping at Target with no one to tell me not to spend money! hahahahaha I loved being a wife and a stay home mom!!!! I hope all you ladies appreciate that and don’t take that for granted! It’s truly the greatest gift in my opinion! God created us to be relational beings and we all long for that deep inside. I am truly thankful for the years I had, but the reality is that my amazing wonderful husband is no longer here and I have to keep living and have to keep marching forward and I intend to do just that. It may be sloppy, but whatever, I’m cool with sloppy. Maybe it will be really perfect and I’m cool with that too :-)

Life is TOOOOOO short. There are so many people out there hurting. Maybe your own family members, or neighbors or co workers. Life isn’t about sitting around feeling sorry yourself, although I do believe there is a season where you can’t help it. I desire to get up and do whatever depends on me to be joyful and helpful to others. To give when I can, to laugh with those who laugh and to cry with those who cry. Love the people around you. Cut the drama. And build on the relationships you have. It’s worth it :-) Just a little late night thoughts. Thankful for God and His love.

This weary soul……

I heard a story about a wife who wanted a baby so bad, but for years was unable to get pregnant. Her husband would ask if he was enough for her, and of course a child, a family was her greatest desire. Of course she loved her husband, but she desperately wanted a baby. She wanted a baby so bad that she ended up in depression. Her depression was so chronic that a priest asked her one day if she was drunk. Her response was that not of a drunk person, but of a depressed, weary soul who desired so badly to have a family. Her name was Hannah.

Another story I read about was a man named Elijah. A wicked queen was after his life. She hated him so much that she sent her military to search for him and kill him. He fled to the wilderness where he begged God to take his life, laid down in the hot desert sun to die. He was weary, depressed and just wanted it all to end. What I love about this story is that an angel provided water for him and said, "listen buddy, you better eat and drink because what you’re about to face is a VERY LONG JOURNEY and you’ll need your strength." That simple act of just getting up and facing the long journey seems impossible BUT is the answer to keep fighting for your very weary soul.

Life can be weary. Our souls can enter a state of deep void EVEN with the hope of heaven. AND NO ONE CAN DIG YOU OUT. The desert ahead seems too treacherous that staying put in hot sun to die seems better than to try to make it out alive. No one wants to be thirsty, tired and hot. But that is exactly what may need to happen in order to have a chance of survival.

take this fainted heart

take these ocean tears

wash me in your love

even when my strength is gone
even when i have no song
even when it’s hard to find the words
even when it hurts like hell
even when the morning comes
even when the fight seems lost
even when my time on earth is done
even when it makes no sense to sing


I went grocery shopping the other day where I ran into a woman who works at Starbucks. She is middle-aged, No husband, no kids. She looked tired. and sad. BUT I started to get a little panicky and started thinking, “Oh my gosh! That is going to be me. My boys will leave, I’ll be all alone!!!! I’m going to have cats, I hate cats, I’m going to start getting hair on my chin, and I won’t even pluck them because I’m all alone anyway! I got this anxious feeling of loneliness and started praying that God would please not let me be alone the rest of my life OR that the world would just end! hahaha

The fear of of quiet loneliness left me in a state of sadness and feeling sorry for myself. WHY ME? WHY DID MY HUSBAND HAVE TO DIE! Why why why why why?!!!!! THEN, I chose not to think about the what ifs. I chose not think about what I didn't have but what I do have and what I did have. I had a beautiful wonderful amazing husband who adored and love the boys and I. I have my monkeys and I have my faith. I have my health and I have my family. And one day that void that depressed anxious feeling will be vanished in a second! And I won’t even care about anything not even if I get chin hair! lol

Listen people. One day at a time. Laugh and live and ENJOY THE LIFE YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN!!!!! Not everyone has the same life and path. Some may never experience pain and that’s ok some may experience great pain and that's ok too. We all have this long desert to cross so gear up and make the very best of it.

Still I will praise you God.

Taste a little of my tear soup……. and stop staring.

A few days ago we were standing in a line at Wal-Mart, just the boys and I. I saw Micah, without blinking starring at a man that stood behind us while quietly stretching his head to my ear and whispered, “mommy what’s wrong with that man?”

As I turned back I could see the rest of the people in line starring at this man. He clearly had a disease, still not sure what he has, but his body couldn’t stay still. His arms were constantly moving, his feet couldn’t stay put, even in line, his face kept looking back and he was completely unable to NOT move, I mean literally he was everywhere and had no control of himself.

For the few moments that I did stare, I noticed how very, very hard he DID try to stay put. I noticed he put his hands in his pockets of his jeans, and when his arms would jitter out, he would grab his wallet and pretend to be grabbing a credit card. When his body got tired of that he would hold on to the side of the candy bar shelf and so on. He struggled. He KNEW everyone around him could see his disease and no matter how hard he tried to seem normal, or make his body stop moving, he couldn’t hide what his body couldn’t control. At one point, he actually dropped his credit card that he grabbed from his wallet. Not ONE person around us bend down to help this man, they all just stared! By the time I reached over to help him he had already picked it up and put it back in his pocket. My heart was just so sad BUT I couldn’t help but think of one thing…..


I saw myself in this man. I felt the stares, I felt the whispers of people asking, “When is she going to be ok.” “Why is it taking so long for her to heal?” “Where is her joy?” I felt the stares of people looking to see what my next move is and if it’s what they think is good or not. I felt how people were uncomfortable. I felt myself trying so hard to be normal, yet unable to control the fact that I feel lost, I haven’t figured out where I fit in, I feel VERY, VERY TIRED and everyone is just whispering. Now, I could be just letting the lies of satan brainwash me but then…..

I started to think of how I used to think before Brent died. Of people grieving. My heart is ugly. And there are whispers and you know what? IT’S OK. Because you’re truly just trying to understand. Just like Micah really wanted to know what was wrong with that man. It really is hard to understand a grieving person. Sometimes we just don’t want to be around them because they all of a sudden have a ton of problems, seem lost, cry all the time, and plain and simple we don’t want to feel joy ripped from us. We don’t like the feeling.

I read a book a few nights ago called, “Tear Soup.” It’s about this woman who is dealing with a loved one that died. She decides to make soup and realizes that soup (grief) takes a loooonnnnngggg time to make and different ingredients need to go into the soup. At one point in the book, some of her friends and family would pass by her house , BUT they wouldn’t go in because the soup would be cooking and the smell of the tears were too strong so they would just pass by and leave. But she did have one friend that would come over often and she would have soup WITH her. The smell of her grief soup wasn’t too strong for her, she would sit and help her figure out the next ingredient for her soup and deal with all that she was going through. This grieving woman had now made a new friend, where the old ones didn’t seem to come around anymore, the new ones were always knocking on her door.

That might seem ridiculous to you but I was crying reading it. You know, what’s done is done. It was in God's perfect will and plan to allow Brent the privilege of going to heaven. But the reality of trying to live as a single mamma, doing EVERYTHING, including carrying the burdens of finances and discipline etc. and missing your very best friend and father of your children, is very, very tiring and sometimes just doing the next thing seems too difficult.

Making dinner seems like a huge chore. I condemn myself at times, seeing moms doing this Pinterest thing, or whatever and I’m over here just trying to drink my coffee. LOL

I need my faith to be refreshed. I feel as though I’m looking so much at my circumstances that I’m forgetting about the big wonderful amazing and loving God I serve. WHY ARE MY EYES OFF HIM??? Maybe because I don’t want His will if it means doing something I don’t like?

Maybe because faith requires a lot of letting go and letting Him. BUT deep down inside, the desire to feel joy again is so strong. The desire to live by faith even when EVERYONE around me may think something different. I desire to have more of Jesus, more faith, more joy, more of Him……….and that only comes by choosing to just give-up and let go.

Let go of the whispers, let go of what everyone else is doing and do what is in your heart, let go of all those things and just live according to the joy and promises set before us. There will be hard days, but to not let those hard days bring your spirit down, instead just go with it. Don’t fight against it, all things are out of our control anyway. Do your part in spending time with Jesus and letting go.

“I know you can do all things. No plan of yours can be thwarted. You ask, 'Who is this that obscures My counsel without knowledge? ' Surly I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. You said, 'listen now, and I will speak, I will question you, and you shall answer me.' My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.” -Job 42:2-5

Am I Doing Something Wrong?

I didn’t want Brent to die.

I didn’t want my kids to grow up not ever knowing their daddy with the exceptions of stories told to them by myself or others that knew him. I didn’t ask for the ENDLESS nights months that have turned into years of suffering, beating on my wall, screaming in my car, alone, lying on my carpet, after the boys went to bed to just cry and cry until I went numb. I didn’t want to know and experience that panic attacks are real, many many many many many sleepless nights, that turned into years of sleepless nights, break downs in grocery stores, or passing by the church he pastored only to get severe stomach aches just to look at the driveway of the church.

I never wanted to raise 2 boys alone, on top of trying to keep it all together and normal so that I can raise them, so that they can have a semi- normal life. I never wanted to carry the financial burden of supporting the 3 of us. And I never wanted to feel this hole so deep in my heart that I have to battle depression in a way that is a constant fight with what I know to be true, to what I feel. I never wanted to deal with the pressure of people. Good OR bad. I just want things to be normal.




Yes there are many people that can’t comprehend, or wonder.
Yes, there are many people that are SOOO supportive and loving and kind and get it and want only the best! (please don’t ever say you know what you would or wouldn’t do if you were a widow because chances are you would surprise yourself.)

But I just can’t seem to get past the feeling that I’m doing it all wrong. That I can’t cry in front of my children. That I can’t pray for God's perfect and beautiful will to happen whatever that may look like. (Thinking about getting married again gives me anxiety BUT being alone the rest of my life gives me anxiety too! hahahaha I may have an anxiety problem lol. Thinking about paying bills gives me anxiety, but working again full time gives me anxiety too!! hahahahaha)

Over the past 4 years I have had a great privilege and opportunity to meet and speak to many widows. Some younger than I, some the same age, others much older. We all go through the same things, and questions, and pain……… but one thing I’m trying to remember is that every person is different and every journey is different.

Although, I have NOT done these past four years perfectly. I can say that at the end of the day I have genuinely cried out to Jesus Christ for all the perfect answers AND FOR HIS STRENGTH.
I have kept fighting for my faith when I didn’t know if I even had any left in me.
I kept praying when I didn’t know how to pray or had no faith to pray anymore.
I clung when I turned away from His provisions and depended on my own.

I LOVE JESUS and although I’m frustrated, hurt, TIRED and beaten down I TRUST HIM to take my life, HOWEVER that may look, apart from my own “knowing what’s best for me” and just want Him to bring blessings but also learning to accept the “non blessings”. I desire to see how He will provide for the three of us, how He will turn my mourning into dancing, I’m waiting patiently to see the end of the story for Jaiden and Micah and to see how they will grow up to be, Lord willing, men who stand in the gap just like their dad did and I’m willing to let Him, even if it hurts, is weird, or not what I ever imagined BECAUSE like He told Job, He is the one to decide all things. Period.

Part of me died when Brent died. I have been told, “I just want to see you happy.” Truth is happy makes me angry. BUT I know that God fills our hearts with laughter and so I want it because it’s His desire. Burdens can weigh down so heavily. Pray for them to be lifted.

Andrea Yim

Upcoming Events

Andrea will be speaking:

  • February 3rd-5th: Calvary Chapel South Bay Women's Retreat
  • March 31st -April 1st: Calvary Chapel High Country Women's Retreat

From Facebook

When Brent first went to be with Jesus, I didn't think I could even survive my next breath. His mom would often tell me,...

Posted by Andrea Yim on Friday, April 1, 2016