Finding Joy Through My Tears

This blog is to share my journey with God through the heartache and pain of losing my son, Chandler. An outlet for me of sorts. Follow me on my road of grief to healing through the Lord.


on October 8, 2013


So, I have had two decent, good days in a row. That is something that I haven’t experienced since the morning of June 22, 2013. The morning that I woke up and everything was good. My family was in tact. Until, that phone call that absolutely changed my entire life.

I have been struggling since then with a fear that I have never known. I have literally had to look up to God and ask Him, “How am I supposed to live? How can I possibly get through this pain? Why Chandler? Why did this happen to us?”

Fear has snuck in like something silent in the night and has absolutely taken over my life. I was talking to one of my besties (I like that word!) on Friday and she looked me dead in the eye and said, “Brandi, fear is not of the Lord. And, if it’s not of the Lord, then who is it from?” That is an age old question and answer that I have known all my life but in this case it’s like I have completely forgotten my roots. I have forgotten what I know to be true.

I have even embedded in my mind somehow that I cannot sit and cry all the time because that shows weakness. That shows that I am headed down the path to destruction and I am going to be destroyed by Chandler’s death. But, I can’t be destroyed. I have a husband and two wonderful girls that need me. My emotions are out of control. I can’t seem to get a hold on this. As you can already see I am an order kind of girl. I am not used to not being in control of my own situations and feelings. This is new territory for this girl. 

I knew that God was wanting me to hear something from Him. I just couldn’t listen. I was ignoring Him. And, that same bestie told me that she had heard the best talk show on Focus on the Family from a guy that had lost his daughter and I should pull it up online and listen to it. I truly wasn’t going to… (Sorry DM!) But, I came in and didn’t have anything else to do so I pulled it up and started listening to it. It was a guy named Grove Norwood.

He talked of forgiveness. He talked of allowing God to use ALL things for good. And, then he said this… He said he was standing on the lake where he was alone with God, lamenting and complaining to Him about losing his precious girl. He said with fists swinging in the air that there was absolutely nothing good that could come from this. He then started walking back to his home and he stopped. He looked up to the heavens and he said this, “God, do a greater good, not little, make it so big that I could actually look back one day and say all of this was worthwhile. If you can please do that for me, please allow me to live to see it.” WOW! I sat stunned.

That has stirred in my heart for a couple of weeks now. Then, last night, I was listening to a sermon that Rick Warren was teaching on being Transformed by Trouble. He lost his son in the spring of this year. He broke down Romans 8:28 in his sermon and again I was floored by what the Lord had to say to me through this pastor. Look at how he broke this verse down:

We know = We don’t guess, we know. That gives us confidence in difficult times.

that God causes = A grand designer – God planned us, he planned who our parents would be, who are children would be, he planned every, single thing about us.

everything = the good, the bad, our mistakes, sins and hurts

to work together = God causes everything to work together for our good

for those who love the Lord and who are called according to His purpose = those who know the Lord, accepted Him as their Lord and Savior and who follow Him.

Now, look at this verse as a whole and you will see it in a whole new perspective:

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” ~Romans 8:28

I was still sitting there last night thinking what in the world could be good about any of this? Well, today he answered my question. 

I received a call from Tennessee Donor Services this afternoon. I had talked with them a couple of weeks ago and it is time for us to write letters to the recipients of Chandler’s organs. I asked her to please check and see if all 5 of them were ok. I did not want to send a letter to cause any hurt to any family. Well, she called me back today and said she had some excellent news. All 5 of the recipients were doing absolutely amazing. No trouble. Nothing. She said that is rare that no one has had any issues at all.

Well, God has worked that out for the good. Praise the Lord, I am rejoicing with these families tonight and I am so thankful that parents have their 16 year old son with a brand new heart, that is a wonderful heart I might add, at home with them tonight. I am thankful that parents have their 2 year old with a new liver that they can hold. I am thankful that 2 little children have their Mom home with them tonight after she received the other part of Chandler’s liver. I am thankful that a man that received Chandler’s Kidney and Pancreas can see his children grow up and that they still have their Dad. I am also thankful for the 60 year old man that received Chandler’s other kidney. I am thankful that his family has now been given more time with him. Praise God. That is something good. I know that Chandler is looking down from heaven and he is so pleased that he could help these families. He was that way. It was his choice not mine to be an organ donor. That’s who he was.

I also thought of the lives that have been changed since his tragic death. Kids who are coming to know the Lord. Drastic movements in the kingdom for the glory of God. God turned that into good.

Even though my heart is as broken  as it was the day I said goodbye to Chandler, I will continue to get up and pursue joy. I will look for what God is doing and how he is turning this horrible tragedy into good. He will. Because I love Him, Chandler loved Him. I know that Chandler would want me pursuing joy with everything in me. So, that is what I will do.

I say to you tonight God, please continue to do BIG things. Please let me see it clearer than I have ever seen it before. And, God, allow me to look back one day and say that this pain was worthwhile. And, Father, let me live to see it. You are so wonderful to me Father. You have never left me nor forsaken me. Father, please continue to walk with me through the pain and the shadow of death. I love You. Make it big, Lord. I ask in Jesus’ name, Amen 


One response to “Bittersweet…..

  1. Nicole Manes says:

    Brandi, i just love you and i know without a shadow of a doubt you are a very strong Christian woman. This is was very heart touching ♥

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Brandi Trent

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Finding Joy Through My Tears

This blog is to share my journey with God through the heartache and pain of losing my son, Chandler. An outlet for me of sorts. Follow me on my road of grief to healing through the Lord.

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