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Brandi’s Story

What more precious way to introduce you to Brandi than by using her own words....

"Mom of beautiful Chaselyn and handsome Jacob.
Wife of wonderful husband Stanton.
Daughter of lovely parents.
Sister of siblings I've grown to love (yes it took some growing on my part to learn to love them).
Doctor of Philosophy in Statistics.
Student of life.
Friend of many great people.
Child of God."

Latest Journal Update

Irreversible healing

Today is the two year mark and we have had a nice day. The kids had fun playing and I got a ton of errands completed.  Tonight we put on our Team BASG shirts and talked about some of the best lessons we've learned over the past few years while getting ready for the Cotton Bowl tomorrow.

I started writing tonight on my thoughts about today and quickly realized that I didn't have near enough time.  Instead I would like to share a post I wanted to do on Brandi’s birthday in 2013 but never did. 

At that time I was a part time adjunct lecturer at Baylor and full time stay at home parent.  It was the same job Brandi had as her dream job when she got sick and the job that would lead me to my own. 

I was teaching Thermodynamics and had assigned some outside reading from a book called The 5 Equations That Changed the World. This book tells the history and life stories of the men who formulated the Second Law of Thermodynamics.  Tragedy in the life of the main scientist, Rudolf Clausius, helped lead him to a much deeper understanding of the universe that would then lead him to a deeper understanding of his own place in it.  It helps the students better understand the big picture of what they are learning and think much deeper than just getting the right answer on their calculator. 

One of my goals in teaching is to help students connect specific things they learn to real life and consider how their faith and worldview affect all aspects of this life. I had offered them bonus for a one page response to the reading, and I shared my own on the last day of class which was also Brandi's birthday. It seemed fitting to share with them how I connected my trial and work within my own worldview and I would like to share it below with all of you.

"Clausius showed and modeled for us something we all know to be true, that this world and most parts of it are irreversible.  Yes we learned about friction, expansion, and heat transfer, but the human part?  That’s just as irreversible as pouring a glass of water on the ground.  Some things we just can’t get back once they’re gone.  Things like hurtful words we say to each other and time spent either intentionally with purpose or frittered away on the trivial.  The oaths we take must be either fulfilled or broken.  We make choices with lifelong consequences.  Our bodies wear out and die, and what I’ve learned this year is that after one of those bodies wears out, for the ones still here, that grief is also irreversible in that it takes you places you’ve never been but then never lets you go back.

Grief is strange.  It’s unpredictable.  For me, grief hits hardest when remembering things for the first time this year.  A sense of loss and something missing is palpable and gut wrenching, but through pain and tears is a healing that transitions those same memories from crushing waves of emotion into quiet solemn contemplation into sweet treasures that bring a smile to your face because you know they can never be forgotten.

When the crashing waves hit, you hurt and you just want it to be over, but after they emotion leaves, there’s a part of you that want’s the hurt to stay with you.  You think that somehow the pain going away is dishonoring to the one you love.  You realize that your pain helped you feel closer to them and you miss them so much that any amount of pain is better than feeling infinitely far from them.  But even when you want to hurt, you can’t control it.  The healing has happened and that healing is irreversible. 
As this grief hits each aspect of your life and different parts of you start to look to new things while other parts remained still untouched, you move forward taking each day as it comes for what it is.  There is this strange transition where you take stock of who you’ve been and who you are deciding to be in the future; where you commit yourself to what’s most important to you; where you decide where your hope is going to be.

For Brandi and me, it’s knowing that as amazing as our marriage was, more than husband and wife and best friends, we are a brother and sister in Christ that He put together for a season to help sanctify us to be more like him; to create two amazing little people that He has had a plan for from the foundation of the world; to be stewards of our time and combined talents to glorify him in plenty and in want.  Our hope is in knowing that Jesus, the creator and sustainer of the universe, ransomed us for Himself, that we are sealed by Him forever not because of anything we have ever done or will do, but because of what He preordained to do Himself for us from the beginning; that when I at last get my turn to have my body wear out that we will have forever to praise him together and have greater and more abundant adventures than we could have had in 1,000 lifetimes together here.

It’s a beautiful picture of the gospel.  We are dead in our sin with no hope of coming to God, but when God replaces our heart of stone with a heart of flesh, we are alive in him but still with nothing else we can do to come to Him.  We are as instantly justified as much as we will ever be.  God’s saving grace is a Boolian function and it is irreversible.  The pain and grief of our spiritual death is gone and can never come back.  Christ’s victory over the grave and Hell makes the “irreversibility of death” a temporary nuance in the history of eternity.    So, when I want to hurt and feel close to Brandi and I can’t, that’s just another reminder that this world is not our real home and that the best is yet to come."

Thank you for continuing to follow and love on us with your prayers.  I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year.