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.

8 Months…. Learning To Stop…

It has been a really long time since I have written anything. The last few months have been a time of trying to adjust to our life now. It took a lot out of us to get through the holidays. I do not even pretend when I am asked how the holidays were for us. I simply tell the truth. They were horrible. We were not prepared, which I don’t think you ever could be. However, we did make it through and have moved into a new year.

Yesterday, marked 8 months since Chandler passed away. In so many ways, it seems like yesterday but in others it seems like it has been a lifetime since we lost him. I miss him as much today as I did the day he passed away.

I have stepped out and I am truly trying to do what the Lord wants me to do. I spoke for the first time in January to a wonderful group of women about my loss and how the Lord has worked in my life. I was able to share the things that He has taught me. He continues to teach me every day. I am so grateful that I have never felt alone in this. He has stood beside me and never for one moment left me. And, He has it purposed for me to share my story. Share the blessings that have come from this tragic event in my life.

I am working full time. A lot of times it takes every, single thing I have to make it Monday through Friday with my job. I have been absolutely exhausted from the amount it takes from me to be able to get through the work week. I have secluded myself on the weekends to refuel just to get through the next week. However, I have been getting out a little more on the weekends. Just taking things one step at a time. I often tell Greg that I could stay in my house forever. Never leave. But, as we all know, that is not how life works.

One of the greatest things I am thankful for is that I had the opportunity to stay at home for quite some time after Chandler passed away. I, now think that the time I had here at home was crucial to where I am now. I hunkered down, spending so much time with the Lord allowing Him to speak to me, teach me, begin the process of healing which I am quite certain that healing will be with me the rest of my life. This wound is deep. But, in the process, I have learned that we must slow down. The hurry has to end. The rush to get twice more done than we can possibly do must stop. Why?

Because we are missing so much. I have been reading a book called 1,000 Gifts by Ann VosKamp. The book is basically about slowing down and seeing all the gifts that God has placed before us that when we hurry by, we miss them. It has really spoken to me because I feel like I have missed so much.

J.R.R. Tolkien quotes, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” I have learned that this is absolute truth. Ann quotes in her book, “Time is life.” How true that has become for me.

I have noticed that in grief some people race ahead. They are constantly going, going, going until they collapse each night. They will do anything to keep from having to deal with their loss. They repeat the same thing over and over again. But, at some point, they will have no other choice but to stop.

Grief has placed me in the complete opposite place. Grief has knocked me down and crippled me. I had no other option but to stop. Working Monday through Friday. The evenings were completely stopped. The weekends stopped. While I stopped, I have learned a few things:

1)  I have been rushing for so long that I don’t even remember a time that I wasn’t rushing. It was way before my children were even born. It intensified after my children were born. It sped up again when I had children, a job, and duties at church and to my family. When I stopped, I had to ask myself, “How much have I missed rushing around?”

  • How many moments, lessons have I missed from God that I needed to see?
  • How many moments with Greg have I missed?
  • How many moments with my children?

These are moments I will never be able to get back. I have learned, I don’t want to miss one more thing. The price that we pay is too high. I have many regrets of moments missed with Chandler. I can even name some that I know that I missed. It breaks my heart. Why did I allow so much rushing and hurry into my life?

2)  I have learned by slowing down that it is very hard for me to live in the present and nearly impossible to look at the future. The thought of thinking about my future absolutely terrifies me. To live in the present is to acknowledge that Chandler isn’t in it. To acknowledge the future is acknowledging that Chandler isn’t in it. His physical presence, gone. My hopes and dreams for him, gone. I will have my memories of him to take with me into the future. But, right now, I struggle with this. I don’t want to acknowledge it.  And, I have learned that I need to live in the moment. I need to get through the next minute. By living this way, I am not missing the things that I once did.

From the time our babies are placed in our arms, we always assume and live as if there will ever be a time that they aren’t in our future. And, then, when the time came where I had to realize that Chandler wouldn’t be in my future, I broke. What do I do with that? God says to me that I will live in the moment. Then, one day I will live in the next 5 minutes.

I know that I have to live in the moment right now. To be completely here in the present. Why? Because, right here, right now is where God is. I don’t have to walk in the present all alone. He will walk beside me just as He has since I gave my life to Him many years ago.

I want to be where He is. I have to be. I don’t want to miss one more revelation from Him. One more lesson. I want to know absolutely everything He wants to teach me. I want to savor and relish the sweet time that He has given me for the purpose that He has given me. As Scripture says, “I want to taste and see that the Lord is good.”

I know that it’s not just me struggling with the rush. I have a precious friend that is battling Stage 4 cancer right now who has a husband, and three precious little ones. She is relishing and savoring every moment she has with them because she doesn’t know when it will be the last. She has slowed down, stopped. I see her sitting in the presence of God. I can see it all over her face when I look at her.

Isn’t that where it’s at? Sitting in the presence of the one and only true God? Hearing what He has to say to us? Relishing the moments He has placed before us in the very moment we are to see them? I stood outside last week and watched the snow silently fall down. When I have slowed down enough to know that snow falling down is silent? And, the end result? In the silence, we look up and we see a beautiful white blanket covering everything around us.

I would love to know how many of you are tired. How many of you feel like you can’t move one more step? I would absolutely love if we could talk about this here on the blog. How have you found ways to slow down? Stop? Just sit in the presence of the Lord? Share them with us. We can help each other. How many of you need us, the Christ followers, to join you in prayer to help you slow down? Share what you can. Let us come together and pray for you.

The rest is there, my friends. The rush can be stopped. It comes from stopping, thanking God, and living in the moment of right now.

Let’s talk. Let’s help each other. Let’s pray for each other.

In Christ, Brandi

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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.