“I could NEVER go through what you have gone through.”

I’ll never forget one day when Brent was sick, we were back and forth in the hospital, doing chemo, radiation, learning to eat green, etc… life was just crazy and I hated every second of what we were going through… and I thought to myself and prayed to God, “Lord IF you take Brent I will NEVER be able to walk with you again how will I ever trust you!!”

Before you go experience something you CAN NOT say how you will feel or what you will be like or what you will do. Before you have kids you think you “know” exactly how you will parent because for sure your kids will NOT be like those naughty children you see in the grocery store. Then lo and behold you have children and eat your words! Hahaha I always tell my son Jaiden, “how do you know you don’t like it? You haven’t even tried it yet!”

I have heard these words over and over again in these past 20 months and honestly, I know I was that person that thought I knew what I would do in any given situation, and yet…..somehow by Gods grace I have walked deeper, I have clung tighter, I have trusted more and I have longed to see Jesus and be where we have been created to be.

Don’t misinterpret my words. I have had an extremely difficult time grieving. Sometimes, I feel like I can’t even move forward because It still, yes still hurts SO bad. I think people want to make me feel better so they say things like,” oh you’re young you can get remarried.” OR you’re still having a tough time?” Etc. Which is fine. I’m not angry (anymore) at those comments because I fully understand where people are coming from. I don’t use Brent’s death as a crutch to say woe is me, or try to explain things away BUT honestly that’s exactly what it is. Sometimes it just naturally comes out without me even recognizing. My husband had brain cancer, died and left me with 2 children…yes sometimes I just can’t handle this overwhelming sense of what’s called LIFE.

GRIEF IS A LIFETIME JOURNEY!! I will NEVER be the same, think the same, feel the same, NEVER. And those who are in the comfort of this life will never be able to understand this concept. Behind closed doors I struggle DAILY to keep my head above water… I hesitate to say this because I don’t want people to feel sorry for me… instead I really want people to understand that HARD TIMES ARE PREPARING US FOR HEAVEN!! I heard a message about how back in the old days parents would prepare their children for war, tough times, how to plant seeds and make their own food, and now a days we think God hates us if we can’t get reception in the mall!!!!!! (ps that’s totally me! Anytime something goes wrong, well God must hate me!)

The Bible says, “If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?” –Jer. 12:5

Basically, our life was not meant to be easy or to be delivered from hardships and no it doesn’t mean God is against us!!! It may FEEL like that, but we have stand on what is truth!! Quite the opposite. God loved us so much that HE sent His only son so that when we do leave this earth (which one day we all will) we can have real true life everlasting!!! Honestly, I know this sounds weird, and I used to hear people say things like what I’m about to say, and used to not grasp what they were saying because it felt so wrong, but there are moments where I almost feel special/blessed that God would give me such a tremendous trial/burden to carry. Why? Because HE has great things prepared for those who love HIM and keep their faith!! My faith is small (ask my family) I’m always doubting, especially when it comes to the future, but the Bible says even if I have a tiny bit of Faith HE can move mountains.

2 Corinthians 13:5 says to examine yourself if you are in the faith truly you don’t know what you would do unless you are given the situation. Stand strong friends. Keep the Faith finish your course.

My mother in law always tells me, “moving forward is not forgetting.” And life, grieving, etc. looks different for every single person on this earth. Some daily grieve, some comes in waves. Some remarry others never do. Some turn from Jesus, others turn TO Jesus. Some choose to stay angry others accept their lot….either way deep, deep down in there we know God loves us and we just have to keep walking.

Grief doesn’t look a certain way.
There are days where I have taken 6 steps forward, then the next 2 steps back, then 1 step forward and 8 steps back, Every step I know and feel Jesus carrying me through. People, family, friends may have their ideas with how I am dealing with losing Brent, being alone and raising 2 boys alone, BUT I GENUINLY TELL YOU RIGHT NOW THAT I WILL KEEP MY FAITH IN JESUS CHRSIT BECAUSE HE IS WHAT SATISFIES THE LONGING VOID IN MY HEART/SOUL. AND HE WILL SUSTAIN ME THANK GOD FOR HIS GRACE. AND HE WILL KEEP JAIDEN AND MICAH.

I do however want to say this. I am in AWE of the body of Christ. Seriously, the blessings that people bring forth, the love the sharing in our grief, the financial help, the desire to be there for the boys and I and Brent’s family. The response is truly a treasure and I AM GRATEFUL AND THANKFUL truly, truly am.

In the car one day Brent said, “besides God healing me what would you ask God to do?” I replied, “bless in return ALL those that have been there for us, whether here on earth or in heaven, that God would reward all those who have sacrificed time, money and energy towards our family.”

For all of you I am eternally grateful. Even for you reading, I would probably get annoyed by someone always venting their whole life on media! Hahahahahaha

We will be in glory one day, but for now we stay steadfast and immovable.

Guest Blog from Pastor Brent's Mom

Happy Birthday

On December 10, 1979, I laid my eyes upon you for the first time. You were our beautiful little baby boy, Brent Alexander Yim. You made your grand entrance into the world still fully covered by the amniotic sac, and you would remind your sisters for the rest of your 32 years, that you were special because you were a “veil baby” (and of course, left-handed). Alyia was delighted to have a baby brother, and as a two-year-old, she quickly and lovingly gave you a nickname that would stick for a lifetime, Brentsy Wentsy. Four years later, when your little sister Lindsay was born, you took on the role of big brother with great pride. She was your little princess and you were her hero. I always said you two were like twins, kindred spirits, born four years apart. This was our perfect little family, and I couldn’t have been any more blessed.

You brought great joy throughout your life, but you also challenged me and kept me on my toes (or should I say my knees). You were very bright, naturally athletic, compassionate, loving and caring. You were a “peace maker”, and seldom argued with your sisters. You had a wonderful sense of humor and your antics kept us all laughing. I knew you had a special heart for the Lord at such a young age. I remember each time I would tell you the story of Easter and of the crucifixion of Christ, you would fall into my arms and sob. There seemed to be a special, tender heart that God would one-day use.

I will admit your rebellious years gave me some sleepless nights, but I always knew you would return to the way in which you were raised.

When you turned 21, I must confess I began to wonder where I had failed as a mom. I began to pray earnestly for my prodigal son. The Lord heard those prayers, and on Easter Sunday 2001, after a series of divinely orchestrated events, you came home to announce that you had rededicated your life to Christ. I have never seen anyone as “sold out” for the Lord as you became. I have never personally witnessed a transformed life, like that which I witnessed with you. You were a “new” Brent. Your favorite verse became, “I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. The life I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20

You could not get enough of God’s Word. You immersed yourself into your Bible, day and night. You decided to go to Bible College and you excelled because you had found your passion. You prayed for the Lord to do an accelerated work in you. He did. You were an example of what God can do with a willing vessel. You taught me more about what it means to be fully submitted to the will of God than I had ever known before. Your “big prayers” made me uneasy. You asked God to use you HOWEVER He chose, and He did.

In March 2011, after walking with the Lord and serving Him faithfully for 10 years, you became sick and were eventually diagnosed with a brain tumor. In the last year of your life I watched you suffer emotionally and physically, beyond what anyone should ever suffer. I never would have thought that God would chose to cause you such pain and suffering, but even through that storm, you gave God all the glory, never complained and continued to trust Him fully. In our conversations, you told me to never question His ways, never ask why, and that whatever He chose to do, HE WAS GOD, and His ways were perfect. I watched you leave this world, take your last breath, and enter into eternal life with your Savior and King.

Through this trial, I have learned how to cling more and more to Jesus. I have learned that His ways are not my ways. I have learned that the only true peace I will find is in the Lord and through His Word. I have learned far more than I ever wanted to learn about pain and suffering, but I have gone deeper with the Lord than I could have imagined. The Lord promises that there is pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning, and that He will turn these ashes into beauty. I chose to believe this.

Brent, I am eternally grateful for the years the Lord gave me with you. I am exceedingly proud and honored that I was chosen by God to be your mom. I miss you beyond what any words can express. I weep daily for the moments that I will never be able to share with you, and the conversations I desire yet to have with you. But I do count the blessings you left behind. I love your bride, as though she were my own daughter, and I am thankful, and so in love, with that part of you that was left behind in your boys, Jaiden and Micah.

As the words from the book we once read together go . . .
I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, and as long as I’m living . . . My baby you’ll be.

Happy Birthday, Brentsy!
Love, Mom

The Wrestling Match

“24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. 28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel,[a] because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”- Genesis 32:22-32

Lately, I literally feel like Jacob, wrestling the Living God! I have all these questions, persistence, anger, sadness, frustrations, etc. Knowing deep down inside my heart that HE knows me so well, and He knows the answers to all of the above. Part of me just wants to beat on His chest for the answers, and let out my frustrations on HIM, and part of me, like Jacob will cling only to HIM and want to hear the very heartbeat in HIS chest. To lay in His arms where they would catch me as I just collapse and fall, with a waving flag of giving up. Knowing I can’t do it anymore. I cried out tonight, “God please HELP ME! Please give me rest from my mourning, please give me peace that has been ripped from my soul, please oh God give me the strength to carry this torch and run my own race. To make sure I give my boys the answers to eternal security……..clinging to YOU God I will only give up if and when you catch me.” And I am not exaggerating; it is a cry that is louder than I can put into words.

It has been exhausting to say the least. I have wanted to just throw in the towel…not because I don’t want to persevere, but because my physical being can not carry on this mourning, and missing Brent anymore. I miss Brent more and more everyday. I love him so much that sometimes I tell myself he’s coming back from a long mission trip. The other night Micah said, “Mommy wouldn’t it be so cool if daddy just walked in the door right now?” I said, “It would be better than cool.” My soul wants to leap out of me at times. I literally still can not believe it. I can’t wrap my brain around any of this.

One thing I do know, I am 17 months closer to seeing Brent, I am more in love with Jesus even though it’s the maddest I’ve ever been at Him. I look forward to heaven more now than I ever have before and I can only pray the people around me would know ETERNAL LIFE is forever. We will all be in eternity at some point and I know that I WILL SEE BRENT AGAIN ONE DAY and until then I will carry this torch and run this race that is set before me….. by God’s grace I will give the boys a heavenly perspective and pray that they would have eternal security and I could be that tool for them.

Tonight I am desperately missing Brent. I want to kiss him, laugh with him and I even want to fight with him!!! I want to hear him laugh, see him study for church, watch him tickle our boys, go on a camping trip, see his empty water bottles everywhere. I want to look in his eyes and hear his wisdom. There is no one that knows me the way he does and I just want him to think I’m cute when I’m really being super annoying…lol I miss how he would shower and do his hair before going to the gym,…..everything.

God is exactly what I need…and I pray HE would satisfy me as much as Brent did. “ I am broken, but I am running towards you God.”- Rend

Moments…

16 Months Later

There are moments, like today, when I step outside, and the smell of the air gives me the opportunity to close my eyes, breathe, and thank God. Thank HIM. I get to appreciate all that God has created and ALL that we get to partake in on this earth. HIS creation and the very fact that we have air that fills our lungs, the fact that we are able to experience beauty and love and enjoyment all from God's hands and breath that HE breathed into place.

AND THEN….
There are moments where I step outside and question God. I question His very being, and the reason He even created us. I question why I’m still alive and why I have to live on the dreary earth. I have nothing in and of myself to give others and can’t imagine taking one more breath. And when I do... I often wonder if it will be my last and I don’t fret if it were.

Where I watch the people around me and wonder if those around even have an ounce of happiness inside their souls. Inside their hearts and more importantly if they have the very Hope that would sustain us to get through one more day. I would dare challenge the person that would say to me, “oh, Andrea get over yourself and get over the bad things that have happened to you.” I would ask, “What fulfills you? What gives you joy? What gets you up in the morning? Does this world and the things in it fulfill you so much that it is your only source of happiness?”

Yes, if you are a believer, we have been given another day to walk this earth to beam the light of Christ and with one hundred percent I will do that until the day God calls me home, but I would be lying if I said, “yes, I am fulfilled and happy and love living on this earth.” Don’t get me wrong, I have been beyond blessed. I have already experienced things in life that many never will in a lifetime. And yes it has brought so much joy and smiles to my face BUT now, knowing what I do NOW, at this very moment, I would most definitely repeat the song that says, “THIS WORLD HAS NOTHING FOR ME... yet I will follow God. He is the source of Life and no one else or anything else will do and I will take HOLD OF GOD. Capture me with grace, I will follow you.”

Kind David, having everything he could possible want, after all he was the king, said in Psalm 17:5 that he would be satisfied when he was more like God. “I will be satisfied when I awake in your likeness.”

This blog is not for me to feel sorry for myself, it is to share the sole fact that literally nothing in this world can and never satisfy us that way that God can. It is not the physical “things” that will bring us joy, even when we get a bit of a smile out of it, it is the full-on inner deep soul that THIRSTS AND HUNGERS FOR FULFILLMENT. It is the things that ECHO THROUGHOUT ETERNITY THAT SATISFY MY SOUL. When my faith has been tested to the point of physical exhaustion and when I have nothing else to give, it is what God has for me to do for HIS eternal purposes that bring a deep satisfaction that I wouldn’t be able to explain unless you also have experienced it.

16 months……

It has been 16 months since my best friend; love of my life, father of my children and Pastor has gone home to be with Jesus. There has NOT been a day that I do not cry and most often weep from depths I didn’t even know were there and wonder if it could get even deeper. The smell of Brent cheeks, the tone of his laugh, the way he held his water bottle talking to whoever it was he was talking to, the way he pushed the boys on the swing, the way he looked at me has not left my mind or heart, but there are days where I think I’m forgetting what some of those things were like and I panic. I panic and search for a video or message or picture to remind me of it all and remind me of it all over again!!!

It has been difficult to say the lease BUT I am learning to hear God's voice in ways I never have before. I am learning that grief doesn’t take one day, or half a year to get through, it will be a lifetime and I will always grieve my Brent. I am learning that one persons grief and story is not at all the same as the way another may grieve the loss of their loved one. There are harder days than others and I daily thank God for Jaiden and Micah who have kept me on my feet and sometimes keep me more insane than when I started : )

I was Suddenly thrown into this unfamiliar world without a road map or a guide. Opinions surrounded me and voices expressed continual approval or disapproval, but all I could hear was the sound of my own heart leading me in the path I knew was right.

I have learned early on in my widowhood that everyone else seemed to know what was best for me except for myself hahaha. I am learning to obviously take the wisdom that some give, but I ultimately seek God's opinions. It has been difficult not having the same group of friends because I am no longer a couple, yet do not consider myself single, but also have 2 kids and trying to fit in where you’re not really sure where you fit in. To be a Pastor's wife, to having no idea where in the world I fit in ministry. (Although God has given me and continues to give me opportunities to share at churches and retreats. I get to share my story and the message of hope in suffering) To single parenting. To feeling like a giant burden depending on people for help...

One day, I was changing a light bulb outside and I was determined to change it BUT I couldn’t unscrew the dumb thing, so I finally asked my neighbor if she would send her husband and when he came it was fixed in an instant. My friend’s husbands are always helping me. Just this week I drove over to good ol Tyler (my friend Pamela’s husband) to change my car battery. I am grateful and thankful for the people in my life that desire to help. It takes the ”burden” feeling off my shoulders. I worry often about the future. Desiring to raise my boys so badly yet having to also provide. I pray that as God promises He will take care of the widow, that He would continue to provide for the boys and I… trusting Him to do it His way is a little trust-testing for me to say the least : )

It is hard when I just want to call Brent and ask him “what should I do with this or that?” And have to figure things out on my “own.” I am learning to seek God's council and wisdom and at times it is a very lonely place to be. To have to witness everyone else’s lives precede in “normal” life is for sure hard for me. Not at all because I envy but because I desire to have that future with my own husband and family and know that I never ever will have that life I once longed for and thought I had.

Strong Arms...

Isaiah 41:10
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

People often wonder how I am because of the emails and texts and facebook messages so this blog is my semi-vent and semi-here is how I am doing.

God has truly upheld me. In all honesty, I wake up and remind myself that heaven is going to be so much greater than what we know here on earth, that it gives me the ability to get through my day knowing I can be a vessel for others that don’t have that same hope. Like I said before, looking from the outside in, because peoples lives move on, it may seem like I’m moving forward and doing great. I am only doing what I can to get through my day one step in front of the other and to train and teach my boys in God's ways. Sometimes, I just pretend Brent is on a long mission trip and he is trusting me to hold down the fort. To make sure Jaiden and Micah have eternal security, to continue to let God use me even though Brent is not present. I know I will see him again, I desperately miss him every single second of everyday…that is no exaggeration, but God is upholding me.

I worry about Jaiden at times, his void of daddy is so great and only he carries it. Micah makes stories up about Brent that never happened, but I let him believe that he and daddy went on the cars ride at Disneyland together!! My family and Brent’s family have been HUGE blessings and have literally at times carried me through my grief. My mother-in-law, in the midst of her pain, has been an ear and a hand. I love both my mothers so very much. And of course fathers, brothers, sisters and so on……

Brent taught me how to live.
Brent taught me how to die.

I don’t just want to live… I want to live a life that will for eternity echo!!!!! I want to trust God even when I don’t understand His ways. I am so thankful He understands my questions and frustrations!!!! I have been tested but His word says that I will come forth as GOLD.

Paul understood that his sufferings were for the furtherance of the gospel, that’s why he was able to consider it all joy. It wasn’t that his situations in life was easy peasy, it was because he trusted that everything under heaven and earth belonged to God, that HIS ways are perfect far above our ways and past finding out. I am still suffering a lot. What you may not know or even realize is that not only do I suffer losing Brent but also having to witness and experience his body leaving has kept me up most nights. Images that won’t leave my head. Dreams of Brent’s last day’s… trying so hard to give it no attention, but it plagues me. Praying that one day those things would be replaced with all the good and happy memories.

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled nor let it be fearful.” John 14:27

Stop Watch

As life goes on, as it should, I can't help but lay here and think about life as a stop watch.

Life has stopped. At moments the time starts up again...then stops.

Watching the world that literally feels like its flying by, as the stopwatch keeps going for the world around. But almost every night, such as tonight, it stops exactly at the evening Brent graduated to heaven.

I would like to say I lay here peaceful, but quite the opposite as I remember every single breath that Brent took in and let out....until that very last breath where I felt his last heartbeat on my hand and his very last exhale of breath I felt near my cheek.

I realize the world revolves, and not around one person, that when in pain selfishness can set in, because of the grief and shock and tramatizing events that took place in these past two years. Tonight I was overcome in sorrow because of how much I love my husband. That's all I want to say. Is that I love him.

I feel like I want the whole world to know about my love for him and his to me. There is no one on this earth that knows me the way Brent does and to not experience life with him is, at times unbearable. So, right now, I made a CHOICE to THANK GOD, genuinely, honestly, thank God for every single moment, every single memory, and every single good thing that has come from Brent's life and our suffering.

I THANK GOD for salvation that gives us a FUTURE AND A HOPE! I THANK GOD for his church and the body in the church, I THANK GOD that as life goes on we have the choice to sit in our selfishness or to seek an opportunity to somehow bring glory to the heavens. An act of worship, (or a vent on Facebook for that matter (yes I know I vent a lot, but Brent's not here to talk to so facebook is kinda like my ear).

I genuinely THANK GOD that in three hours I get to teach my boys about heaven and God and creation and all the wonderful things He has already predestined for them.

In the darkest of times HE gives us an outlet and it's "HIS BEAUTY FROM OUR ASHES." And tonight I was really thankful that Brent gets to be in the presence of our Savior.

I know Brent's deepest desire was to meet our Maker and for that I am grateful.

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