Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Precious Details

Every time I would think about our plans for last Saturday, January 31st, I would ask God to write and fill in the details. Drew and I talked conceptually about what we wanted for the day but never got a chance to plan out all the tiny details. This is pretty trusting for a detailed person like me. Because I asked God to be so present, I asked him also for eyes to see Him in the details. There were many precious moments that I just wanted to take a deep breath and be sure they were etched in my mind. A silhouette sent from Heaven so to speak, a painting of eternal things. There were several times I wanted to close my eyes and forge every detail in my mind...frozen in time.

My parents, my sister Lyn, and my niece Anna Grace all spent the night with us Friday. When they got here, we were finishing up preparing the meal for our Firemen. Asa and Anna Grace were mixing the brownies. Mason and Lyn were baking the bread. Barrett helped everyone. About the time the Poppy Seed Chicken was ready to go in the oven, I realized that I did not have a pan. My parents ran to the store for disposable pans. It was truly a whole family effort.

Precious Detail

From about 10am on Saturday, we were surrounded by people who came to let us know they cared and remembered. God paced it out so that we were visiting with friends all the way until the 4pm hour when we did the service and then until 10pm that night.

...A Precious Detail

Around 11:30am we went as a family to the fire station to deliver the meal we had prepared. We just wanted to take a meal to say thank you to the Firemen in honor of Brock. We had it prearranged. The day before, the lady with the county called to let me know that two of the men that responded to our 911 call were working this January 31st. This added a dimension I wasn't sure that I was ready for but felt confident that God clearly was in this intimate detail.

In my nightmares about that day, I remember the EMT's. They were not saying a word; their faces were not very encouraging. I wasn't sure I would recognize any of them, as the horror was all a blur in slow motion. We arrived and just the two men came out to talk with us. They said they remembered our call and referred to it as a "terrible day". They explained, almost apologetically, that they worked as fast as they could could tell the rescuer in them still wanted the outcome to be different. We thanked them for what they did. As Drew tried to remind them what heroes they were, they deflected the praise and said, "Sir, your wife was the hero. She did an incredible job before we got there and then remained calm enough to work with us when we arrived." He explained that this is not usually the case as the parents become frozen or hysterical. Our pediatrician had already told me he was surprised that I was able to start CPR as usually the parent cannot do it. I would not describe myself as calm that day as my entire being was wailing, moaning, and very chaotic. Hearing him say that confirms the Lord was right there with me. He never left me. He never took His hand off the situation. He was there and in total control.

We then gave these heroes a Brockie-Band. Drew explained their significance. While he was talking, each man caringly took it out of the bag and slipped it on his wrist. What a sweet gesture! We took a picture with them in front of the Fire Truck. Drew prayed for them and blessed the food. When we got to the car, the boys claimed that they remembered them. Oh, how Drew and I grieve for loss of our boys' innocence on that day! We cried the rest of the way home.

...A Precious Detail

By 3:30pm, a consistent stream of people were walking up our long driveway with smiles and casseroles...such a sweet sight! By 4pm, a large crowd had gathered in the foyer and den to begin the memorial service. We had a remembrance candle on our foyer table. We lit this candle at Christmas in remembrance of Brock. We passed out little white candles (Christmas Eve type) for everyone to light from the Brock Candle. They then walked out the door onto our front lawn. Josh Stewart, the student Music Minister at our church played the guitar and led worship. He and his wife, Lacey, used to keep our kids when we would go out of town. Before they had a son of their own, I think sometimes people at church thought Brock was Lacey's. He was often found on her hip. He would always find her on Wednesday nights at the fellowship dinner, run to her, and squeel "Wacey!!"

When preparing for the day, I kept telling Drew that I wanted to light candles. While it seemed strange to light them in daylight, I kept trying to think of us lighting them after dinner but knew that many could not stay for dinner. That morning in my quiet time, I had prayed for God to make this day His. For Him to fill in all the details and all the words. Just then I picked up a book that my friend Susan gave me. It is called Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren Winner. She is a Christian converted from Orthodox Judaism. I looked at the contents and saw a chapter on Candle Lighting. After reading I was sure we would light the candles during the service. I was reminded that we were lighting a candle to represent Brock's moving from death here into life in eternity. As Christians, we light to remember the light of Christ that we have within us to shine to the world. Finally, we light to represent Christ's resurrection and triumph over death so that we will one day be with Jesus (and Brock) in Heaven. Drew shared theses thoughts as we began the service.

...A Precious Detail

Josh stood on the front porch and played while we tearfully sang Lord Most High, Agnus Dei, Blessed Be The Name, and Brock's favorites, Jesus Loves Me and God our Father. One friend told me that she strongly sensed the praise physically and literally rising as the large group sang.

After Drew shared a few more comments, he opened the floor up for a "Say So". This is a
Young Life-thing to do. It is based on the verse, "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so...(Psalm 107:2). We recognized that God has used Brock's life and death to work in the lives of many. We wanted to provide an opportunity for people to share what God has done in their life through Brock's death. It was overwhelming to hear the way the Lord had strengthened people's faith, trust and reliance on Him through our loss. It was encouraging that they also had run to Jesus instead of away from Him.

A precious moment came when Mason, our 10-year old, spoke of how when he and his brothers, Asa and Barrett, were at our neighbors, the Massey's, and we came in to tell them that Brock did not make it, he said through precious tears that he did not know how we were going to live. He said, "And then we came home, and God sent all you people! You have helped us live." The lawn was watered with tears at that point. Several others sweetly shared and then our boys' neighbor friend John spoke. He cried as he said that he knows Brock is not here but that when he comes to our home, he can still hear him laugh and see his smile. My mom finished the time as she told of how the Lord had reminded her how precious the body of Christ is as they have loved on my family in Cordele and loved on us in Atlanta. When she finished, she hugged my neck and whispered in my ear, "I would take this away from you if I could." I told her, I knew she would but she can't. I have always said that my parents got a double whammy - they grieve for Brock & they grieve for me, their daughter.

...A Precious Detail

We came back into the house for a ton of delicious food and fellowship. It has been so sweet to see how God has redeemed our house this year. On our way home from the hospital when Brock died, Drew emphatically said, "I'm selling the house tomorrow." He couldn't imagine walking past Brock's bedroom, haunted by the memories and the quiet. But God has shown us something different this year as our home has been full of life from life-giving people! We realized very early on that even his room is holy ground. It is the place where Brock met Jesus face to face. It is the place where Brock's darkness became light. It has been a sanctuary for me as I have met the Lord there every Thursday at 4pm. It is sacred. So we invited people into Brock's room. We set up a video and asked people to share a Brockie memory. With our boys being young, especially Barrett, it has been a burden of mine to preserve the stories that tell of Brock's personality. They will never forget him in their heart; however, I realize many of the stories they remember will be the ones we tell them. All night long, people sat in the rocking chair and recorded their memories. What a gift!

...A Precious Detail

The day was just perfect because God orchestrated it, with all His precious details. He made an incredibly hard day bearable with the fragrance of friends and memories. As we turned out the lights in the kitchen, I commented to Drew that, as perfect as the day was, I still would trade it all just to hold Brock.

The painful memories are being replaced with sweet ones, but we miss him so physically and so deeply. With pillows wet from tears, we held each other in our bed as the clock struck midnight. The Lord carried us through yet another day to close out this year.


Anonymous said...

Hi Nita and Drew. I wanted to let you know that we have been thinking of your family this whole week. You may not have realized this, but we moved from Atlanta back to NY in June to be near family. Of course we have thought about your family over the year. We were so touched by your memorial service and your wonderful tribute to your little boy. The strength you displayed was amazing and I know you get much of your strength from your strong faith in God. I felt like God tapped me on the shoulder this past Saturday. I woke up and was instantly thinking of your family. It was strange, and I remembered that it had probably been a year since Brock went to heaven, but I wasn't sure of the exact date. I decided to google you and came across your wonderful blog "Live Hard, Love Hard and Run to Jesus." What an amazing tribute to your little boy and once again I admire you for your strength and your faith. Your family continues to be an inspiration to so many and we wanted to let you know that it doesn't go unnoticed.

Anonymous said...

I just want to let you know that you were in our thoughts and prayers on Saturday. We said a prayer for Brock too, so that he can continue to be a light in peoples hearts. I love that we get these updates - it heartens us to know that God is directing the healing.

Faith Girl said...

I was very glad that I came Saturday. When I got my Brockie-Band, I felt like I always knew Brock. You guys are just the neatest family I know. Thank you for letting us come Saturday.

Kathryn ♥♥

Paige Stanfield said...

I'm praying for you right now.

Danita Pergerson said...

Wow! what a testimony!! I have prayed for you all often since my friend Toni told me about Brock. It is precious and wonderful how you so profoundly describe all that God has done and is doing through Brock's death. I stumbled upon the "tear" verse many years ago, but never knew there was actually a bottle...and how fitting that it is full...and yes, He will wipe away every tear! I know that Brock is taking all of this in as he sits by the Father...and I would imagine that he is saying, "You GO God!!" as he watches it play out! Your story is precious...I've shared it with many..and just shared your latest post with the girls in my office..they were touched to the core. Thank you for being willing to share...Keep on journaling...our Father may want you to write the story one day! We love you in Christ!! and Brockie too! Danita Pergerson, Raleigh NC

Victoria said...

Thank you for remining me how much God impacts the smallest details in our lives - I often forget that.