I was working as the Children's Director at Mars Hill Bible Church when I hired Brenda as our Nursery Coordinator. Little did I realize that Brenda would not only be a co-worker, but a lifelong friend and sister in the Lord.
Over the years, we've experienced many of life's joys together. Brenda and her husband Tim watched me get married. I was there when she went on bedrest and then had baby Abigail. She was there when I had a baby, and then she had a baby, and then I had a baby and another baby. :) (You get the drift ~ smile)
Brenda was a part of our "original" Bible Study, and we've enjoyed many, many hours praying together, in the Word, and enjoying fun, friend times together.
Our husbands are also good friends, and our families have journeyed together through unemployment/job changes, many "taco nights", church changes, moving of houses, marriage "bumps", health concerns and so much more. Brenda and I have extended much grace to one another, and watched God take two very different women and shape their hearts into a beautiful, lifelong friendship.
Earlier this spring, Brenda received the shocking news that her sister (Brenda's very best friend) died very unexpectedly at home. As you can imagine, the loss for Brenda and her family was enormous. Our Bible Study girls rallied together to pray, bring meals, and help in any way we could. It was an extremly painful time for Brenda and her family.
Over the past few months, I've cried many tears with Brenda as she started living her "new normal" ~ life without her sister/best friend. The journey through grief is never easy, is it?
I've had the opportunity to share what I learned through my own loss when my fiance was tragically killed. But most importantly, I've had the privilege to journey closely with my good friend as the Lord very slowly has been bringing comfort to her broken heart.
This past 4th of July was especially difficult, and I was thankful our families could spend time together, as well as her mom. (Here is a picture I took at the fireworks of Brenda's family and her mom).
Monday morning I was home working on my computer, putting the finishing touches on my message, "Navigating through Life's Interruptions". When the phone rang, I was not prepared for the news I would receive. Earlier that morning, Brenda's mom Nancy had unexpectedly passed away in her sleep.
Talk about a Life Interrupted.
I have been wrestling big time with the Lord over this one. "Really, Lord?? Really?? Brenda just lost her sister this Spring....how can You take her mom?? Lord, how is she going to make it through the holidays?? Oh Lord, Brenda and Nancy were so close. This just seems like too much for her to bear......" I have wept openly before the Lord, and feel so "helpless" as a friend.
If I was the author, this is not how I would write the story.
But, of course, I am not....He is ~ and I must remember God does know what He is doing ~ and that in the midst of this shock, pain, grief, and tragedy, He is there.
Friends, may I please ask that you would pray for Brenda and her family during this very difficult time??
May the Lord provide much comfort and peace, make His presence so known to them all, and may He reveal His goodness and His grace in the midst of this sad, sad time.
God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.