Pilot - Photographer - Scuba Diver
As I write on this difficult subject, I realize it has been nearly seven months, 19 days since the loss of Brianna. In those early months, not a day went by where we didn’t shed tears, the loss was so acute. Now, the business of being involved in two ministries, both of which could require full time attention, keeps my mind engrossed; however, sights, sounds and memorabilia trigger those tears just as easy as those early days. It has been an unimaginable journey. Those of you who are parents, who have never lost a child, can only imagine this experience.
In today’s blog, I’d like to relate the challenges I’ve encountered, now more than half a year without
Brianna, some perceptions at this juncture and how I’ve dealt with the loss.
I entitled this writing because of the many facets of grief and the array of emotions a parent continues to deal
with in the loss of a child. Though others have informed us who have lost children years ago, that time will
lessen the pain, yet we can’t ourselves now imagine years going by without our daughter with us. In recent
weeks, my mind reflects on the loss and various emotions which resurface—sorrow, regret, feeling violated,
anger, looking to blame, stripped of what was dearest, resentment and the like—all have been arrows from
the enemy to tarnish my experience. These come on like a surge of electricity at times. If I don’t call out for
divine help, my mind becomes imbalanced for it is unsafe to ponder and even foster such toxic emotions.
Yes, though they are natural, they can ruin the rest of your day if allowed to fester.
Recently, I was pondering Isaiah 53 and the Holy Spirit gave me this thought: Try to picture what the Father was enduring as He viewed His Son receiving such cruel, abusive treatment during that monkey trial by the religious leaders and then by the Roman governor. Then picture the torture, not just physically, but psychologically, He endured while suffering the wrath of God for you on the cross those last six long hours on the cross. Can you imagine them doing that to your child and you cannot interfere, you cannot rush in to save her? The human emotion of horror struck me and I fell on my face weeping. Even writing about it now, makes me tremble! Oh how grateful our loving kind Father is in allowing Christ to suffer for us. How thankful I’m that my daughter will not have to go through the horrors of the coming time of trouble. O what relief! When I realized the excruiting, psychological agony the Son of God experienced just for me than multiplied by all humanity in bearing all our sin which separated Him from His Father, those ‘toxic emotions’ just drained away.
This knowledge has been an anchor to me in the loss. God understands our experience, for He experienced far more in human flesh, than we can ever imagine. Yes, many questions arise as I reflect on that terrible day, and they cease not to haunt me at times. But, I’ve come to put those things aside for truly the day of answers will come. A passage of Scripture has brought balance and comfort to my thinking: “The thief cometh not, but to kill, steal and destroy; I am come that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10). We know who was behind her death and one day God will avenge her blood on that old serpent and the millions of other souls he has destroyed. Praise God, Truth will prevail at last, for Mercy and Justice embraced at the cross.
The Monday after Brianna’s death, a friend of mine who at the time I had known only a couple months, drove up from So. Cal, more than nine hours to spend time consoling us. He shared something with me that I’ve never forgotten. He told me that “we are not to let the devil snatch our loved ones without him paying the price for it. The devil’s kingdom must be damaged. What happened to her can bring some trophies to God’s Kingdom.” He encouraged us to video tape both the memorial service and graveside, which we have done and made it available for the world to see. It is for this purpose we have set up the website and foundation, so others can be reached, touched and impacted for the Kingdom of heaven. Only in eternity will we know how far reaching her legacy will go.
I’m convinced that God is using this loss to bring more trophies for His glory than Brianna could have reached if she had lived. As I’ve stated everywhere the Lord has given opportunity for me to share her story, this benchmark reality, “God never leads His children otherwise they would choose to be lead if they could see the end from the beginning and discern the glory of the purpose they are fulfilling as coworkers with Him.” –DA 224-5. We only can see this now by faith, but One day, we will comprehend this statement and agree with Divinity that He has permitted this for a far greater glory for us all.
Just today, my wife found this card which Brianna had given me for my 46th birthday. It was hard to reread, with those watery tears overflowing their banks. Though we had some challenges as a father-daughter relationship, especially in her teen years, affection for each other was strong, as reflected in a line taken from the card: "I realized that if you did not care, I would not be who I am, where I am." Oh how her mother and I long for that Day, we will be reunited with Brianna. Soon the long night of sorrow will end and the glorious morning arrive.
May you join with us in hastening His coming, until next time, keep looking up.
The Reverbations of Emotions that stem from Grief