At roughly 7:00pm we get a phone call from my wife’s brother to tell us that their older sister, Brenda, hasn’t been seen or heard from since early that morning. Phoned in sick to work. Cell phone off. Nothing.
(We also get a phone call roughly 1/2 hour later from a good friend who is our kids’ youth pastor that he, the children’s pastor, and the lead pastor of our church have all be let go. This just compounds the feelings of confusion and sadness over the next year.)
Then we wait….. and wait….. and wait.
The next week is spent in panic. Searching. Praying. Hoping for Brenda’s safe return. Trying to discern what it all means.
And then a week later, we find out that Brenda’s body had been found — a suicide brought on by a chemical imbalance that lead to anxiety and depression.
Questioning. Searching. More praying. Second-guessing. Reading. Talking. Praying again.
A year later we have gone through a whole series of firsts that we never in a million years would have expected, or wanted — Easter; Summer at the cottage; Thanksgiving; Christmas; Birthdays; Weddings — all without Brenda.
It’s been a tough year. But today marks the end of that year. God has seen us through these dark days. There are more to come, I’m sure. More remembering. More grieving. More wishing. More praying.
We’ve not forgotten. We won’t forget. And we will rejoice in the hope that we have in Christ, knowing that Brenda has gone ahead.