Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Blooming and Seeing...

Following is a passage from Streams in the Desert...

November 9

Men will dwell again in his shade. He will flourish like the grain. He will blossom like a vine. --Hosea 14:7


The day ended with heavy showers, and the plants in my garden were beaten down by the pelting storm. I looked at one plant I had previously admired for its beauty and had loved for its delicate fragrance. After being exposed to the merciless storm, its flowers had dropped, all its petals were closed, and it appeared that its glory was gone. I thought to myself, "I suppose I will have to wait till next year to see those beautiful flowers again."


Yet the night passed, the sun shone again, and the morning brought strength to my favorite plant. The light looked at its flowers and the flowers looked at the light. There was contact and communion, and power passed into the flowers. They lifted their heads, opened their petals, regained their glory, and seemed more beautiful than before. I wondered how this took place - these feeble flowers coming into contact with something much stronger, and gaining strength!


I cannot explain exactly how we are able to receive the power to serve and to endure through communion with God, but I know it is a fact. Are you in danger of being crushed by a heavy and difficult trial? Then seek communion with Christ and you will receive strength and the power to be victorious, for God has promised, "I will strengthen you." --L.B. Cowman

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. -- Isaiah 41:10

As I thought about this passage, I was reminded how Sara and I were "ready for the storms." In a previous posting, I referenced the song called "Bring the Rain" by Mercy Me. Throughout the past year, the storms continued to rage, the rain continued to fall...but the sun always came out.

I also thought about how our yard looked when we moved into our house. The previous owners had moved out about a month prior, while San Antonio was in the midst of one of the worst droughts on record. Needless to say, our lawn and everything in the yard was completely DEAD upon our arrival.

After the first rain of the season, the yard still looked DEAD...and wet. However, as I looked out the window the following day, I was surprised to see a beautiful blooming plant with 100s of small purple flowers.

As I lay in bed last night, I thought about how Sara looked while she was in ICU on the ventilator. As her prognosis worsened, she was no longer receiving supplemental nutrition. When the brain stem compression occurred, her body immediately began to rid itself of all fluids. Her body was drying out as she was on the brink of death...similar to what the plants in our backyard were experiencing during the drought.

It took the rain and then the SUN, in order for the plants to be restored. The flowers bloomed and the sage was restored to its "full glory."

It took the raging storms and subsequently Sara seeing the SON in order to for her to be restored to her "full glory!"

As time goes by and things get a little easier, I think about the saying, "time heals all wounds." I am not sure I agree with that. I would say that "time makes wounds more bearable."

As the sun has come out after the raging storms, little Chloe is my "plant" that continues to bloom and blossom...and I am so thankful for her in my life. She truly helps to make the "wounds more bearable."


Next topic...SEEING.

Here is a letter that I received in the mail last week.

Dear Brady,


The San Antonio Eye Bank wishes to extend its appreciation to you for making the decision to donate the "Gift of Sight". Through the miracle of cornea transplantation, your wife's cornea donation has given sight to two people. Your compassion and desire to help others made this special gift possible.


Donating to help someone in need is a selfless act. To do so during a time of grief and mourning is truly humanitarian giving of the highest order. If it were not for donor families like you, we would not be able to restore sight to the thousands who wait in darkness for a cornea transplant.

Sincerely,

James Flores
San Antonio Eye Bank


My hope and prayer is that the two recipients of Sara's corneas will be able to "see the light" as Sara did, through her eyes...as if each day is a gift from God and that His love is all we need!

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." --John 8:12

45 comments:

Brooke said...

I follow your blog, but I don't know you. Your story touched my heart in a way I can't explain. Chloe is so lucky to have you. The analogy of this post had me in tears. We pray for you nightly. Brooke Walker

Kelli said...

Dear Brady and Chloe,
What beautiful and honest words from your heart!!! Sara's light lives on!!! “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Prayers!!!

Tammy said...

Thank you for you encouraging words...you are an amazing person!!! God bless you!!

Ryan and Jaime said...

Absolutely beautiful words Brady. We think of you and pray for you daily!

D M Dunn said...

Thanks,Brady. That was beautiful.

Beth said...

Awesome thoughts!

Diana...aka...MeMe said...

How Beautiful.

christina said...

still with you brother. After our Cana died, someone told me about a blooming plant that only blooms when in great distress. I wish i could remember exactly what plant because i would plant them everywhere to remind me of how God grows our spiritual muscles...when we submit in times of great trial...and how our suffering in obedience brings glory! what a beautiful post. i'm so humbled to be someone who "stumbled" upon your story and lives and who GETS to see and share in the glory of the purpose of Sara's life and death. praise God!

christina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sweet Annabelle said...

Thanks for this

tracy said...

What a beautiful post Brady. Sara has indeed been restored to her full glory. We continue to pray that God will be glorified through the storms that you and your family are enduring. I hope that someday you will have the opportunity to meet the people that received the gift of sight from Sara and that you will be able to share with them how your beautiful wife's eyes were focused on the kingdom of God.

Melissa's Thoughts said...

Your faith is such a inspiration to a fellow believer. You and Chole are in our prayers and we know that the Light that comes from God shines through you two each day.

Kate said...

thank you for sharing this Brady.

jenn said...

you are such a gifted writer. you have a way of explaining things and make the picture so much bigger and brighter..praying for you still:)

Momma X 4 said...

You are an amazing man and father. I love your positive attitude and strength you have. Chloe is one lucky little girl. Still praying for you in Oklahoma. Even though you're not a "veteran" - Happy Veteran's Day! :)
Michelle

Angela said...

Brady,

I went to High School with you and graduated with Jay. Though I did not know her, I want you to know that I too have been touched (and changed) by Sara's life story. Your Faith and "Job-like reaction" to the storms is awesome and such a testament to Christ's strength in you.

I am an eye doctor now and I want you to know that Sara's cornea's will truely be a life changing gift to two individuals who otherwise would have had very poor/ or no sight. The really great thing about Sara's corneal grafts is that the individuals that receive them will have the chance to witness God's beauty and miracles for a life time. I am praying with you that the folks that receive the grafts will know Christ as a result and will make Him known.

Stay strong Brady, Blessings to you and Chloe!!

Angela (St. John) Cline

Alex and Jill said...

Beautiful.

shondashoo said...

Quoted by you "As time goes by and things get a little easier, I think about the saying, "time heals all wounds." I am not sure I agree with that. I would say that "time makes wounds more bearable." <---I have to say I could not agree with you more.

They say "what don't break you down only makes you stronger" as hard as that may be to swallow sometimes, it's the truth. You have taken something that could have broke you down to nothing and turned it into one of life's blessings and for that I thank you! You give so many people courage...keep up the good work!

Always,

Shonda

Donna said...

Such a powerful post. Thank you so much for sharing your life with us.

Victoria said...

I love to read your stories. It helps me along my path. Thank you.

The Lugo's said...

Such an amazing thing you are doing Brady. You have touched the lives of so many people,mine included.Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for helping me be a better follower of the Lord.

Still in my prayers...
Krystina

malibukat said...

Your posts are uplifting. How exciting to think of the many ways that Sara lives on-
thru the gift of her eyes
Chloe
the way she touched so many lives
thru you telling us about her
Thankyou

Stephanie Anne said...

Dear Brady,
Thank you for such a wonderful post.
As I read the letter from the eye bank I began to cry. I tried to read it aloud to Rachel but was unable to do so. I had to give myself a few minutes to regain my composure. However, I finished reading it to her and I am speechless.
I worked in the operating room for 5 years and I was involved in an organ harvest. To know that one person was losing their own life saddened me deeply. However, I was comforted by the thought that at least one person was going to be able to live on because of the donors selflessness.
I, myself am an organ donor and I truly hope that I have at least one thing that can be used to help someone else live a better life.
Thank you for being such a strong, compassionate, selfless person and a wonderful husband and daddy.
God Bless!
Stephanie Anne

FSD said...

The letter from the SA Eye Bank gave me chills. I know it must have meant the world to you to receive that and to know two MORE lives have been touched by your amazing wife, Sara.

Great analogy about rain causing things to blossom after a time of drought. I'm thankful that you're doing well. Keep doing a great job with your sweet baby girl and continue to keep your eyes on Him.

Continued blessings...

Lisa said...

You are so uplifting! I love the way you are looking ahead and understanding all that is good and wonderful around you. Your precious Chloe is so lucky to have you as her daddy.
Be well,
Lisa :)

DeLayne said...

Brady ~ Thanks for protecting our country! You are doing a great job with Chloe. Prays to you both.

Vipers 5 said...

Brady, Your story is so moving, so sweet, yet sad at the same time. We are in Korea, and many people knew your wife Sara, and loved her dearly. I can allready see her in your little girl thru the pictures. I pray for you and Chloe every day, as do many who don't know you personally. I hope you know how much you're loved and thought of everyday. Never give up, my neice lost her mother to a cancerous brain tumor at 2, and she is an unbelievably beautiful reminder of her Mother's and Father's love everyday. God bless you and give you all the strength you need to take care of yourself and that sweet little Chloe. You are a wonderful and inspiring Father.
Thinking of you and praying for you,
Rider and Susan

Kathy said...

I almost feel like this is one of my devotionals every day by checking on you and Chloe. I have prayed for you and Chloe. I pray God gives you wisdom in raising this precious little girl.
Kathy Wells

Leslie said...

Brady,

I pray for you often. God will see you and Chloe and the rest of your family through this. My family has also experienced a tragic loss. My heart aches for y'all please know that God is still using Sara to reach so many for His glory and you are the reason why.

Leslie
Atlanta

Deanna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deanna said...

You are an inspiration to many, and give hope to all. Thank you for your continued blogs and know that we continue to pray for you, Chloe, and your families.

May God continue to bless you during this hard time.

D. Williams

Here at home said...

Because of what the Savior went through for each of us, He knows and shares our pain and sorrow. We all must pass through the refiners fire. Those who endure it as the Savior did His sacrifice, will gain eternal life. You are a great example of the Savior's love. Thank you.

Peppermint Patty said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts as the days go by. I am so glad that Sara was able to give the gift of sight to two people. How wonderful!

I know Brady that you said you wished you could've donated Sara's heart...Sara's heart lives on through Chloe's life. Don't ever forget that! <3

Lisa said...

I am catching up on a couple of months worth of posts. I really needed to hear what you shared. God brought me to this entry when I needed the most. My prayers are with you and Chloe.

lindsaymeyer said...

It is amazing how perceptive you've become through a totally trying time. Treasure those baby moments with Chloe! You're doing a great job as a dad!

Kel said...

Brady once again ya leave me with such a joy ...a joy to have been able to follow you and Sara and Chloe through those storms. That song has special meaning in my life as well. I can honestly say that reading your blogs has totally made me refocus alot of issues that came with getting sober... that I can truly just believe who uses all things for His good.. and I strive to have the unwavering faith yall have shown. I spent this weekend at the Women of Faith conference.. heard some hard stories and got to worship with thousands of women. I am totally seeing life from a new perspective..as is my 22 yr daughter who is an army wife stationed with her husband in Germany. She read your blogs from the beginning after a few nudges and wrote her own blog about God speaks...even through a blog...and she asked in the end after reading your story Is this was born again is? (you can find it if you go to my page and look @ German Barr's blogs... so thank you and may God continue to ease the pain ..I have not lost a spouse but did lose a daughter.. so my heart knows what you meant by that!

Dixie said...

Brady,
I was told about your blog by my daughter who graduated high school with Erica Russell(I think her husband was a pilot with you). Anyway, my prayers are with you and your little Chloe, how proud Sara must be! You are an inspiration to us all and your faith is so inspiring. Please continue your updates as I will continue my prayers for you and Chloe. Yours, Dixie Crites

Sharon said...

You are AMAZING!

April said...

Brady,

Before following your blog it was deficult for me to look at life in general like the way it should be viewed. I pray for you and Chloe and hope that you keep up this blog for it is your faith that calms my fears and touches my heart. Although I don't know directly what you are going through it is as if I have known you, Chloe and Sara forever! I am touched by your continued faith in god and the desire to reach out to others. I truely thank you.

God Bless... P.S. Chloe is adorable and very lucky to have you and your family!
-April Houston, TX

bass family said...

Thank you for keeping up with the blog. You have so much to give and I'm just thankful you're willing to do it.

pww said...

I just found your blog from another blog that I follow occasionally. I will be praying for you that you will continue to feel God's peace, strength, courage and wisdom.

There is another blog that you might find encouraging. It is: http://sweetcarolinebaby.blogspot.com/. This young mother lost her husband in a tragic accident about 11 months ago. She had just found out she was expecting there 2nd child when she lost her husband.

Erin said...

God Bless you and Chloe. You are an inspiration to everyone around you and to those of us who don't know you. I admire your faith and strength. Erin - Auburn, AL

The Martins said...

Hi Brady- I have been following your blog- a friend had told me about. My husband is in the AF and is a B-1 WSO. I am an RN and administer chemotherapy. Just wanted to let you know-as you already do- Chloe is really miracle! Chemo. is some bad stuff.
My daughter was born without her left hand and I wasn't exposed to any meds during my pregnancy. Everything happens for a reason and it is all part of God's great plan. I find inspiration from your posts. Your wife was an amazing woman, wish I could've met her.
Your family is in our prayers!
The Martins

Heather Higg said...

You met my husband today in the ICU. He told me you said thank you for following your blog. Just thought I would say.. you are more than welcome. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your life by following your updates.

Ashley Shepherd said...

KEEP BEING OBEDIENT! You are truly giving GOD GLORY through your Life and through this Blog, that is why we are on this earth. Thank you for your heart and words.