There’s redemption in this life. In the small everyday moments, God shines through and I absolutely love that.
Last Thursday at chapel, my mind was preoccupied with Bretter, the holiday season, joy and work. Then it came time for the closing song and we sang Trading my Sorrows. At BV, this is a dancing song and I quickly volunteered to help lead — not because I’m super outgoing and like attention…quite the opposite actually — I jumped on stage because this is one of the last meaningful memories I have with Brett. Toward the end of last semester he gave a great message on love and then led this song at the end.
Instead of this song being forever tied to sadness because he can no longer sing or dance to it, God redeemed it for me and let me create a new happy memory carrying on Brett’s joy.
A few days ago, I read this quote by Dietrich Bonhoeffer and it pretty much explains what I’ve been thinking and feeling since losing Bretter.
“There is nothing that can replace the absence of someone dear to us, and one should not even attempt to do so. One must simply hold out and endure it. At first that sounds very hard, but at the same time it is also a great comfort. For to the extent the emptiness truly remains unfilled one remains connected to the other person through it. It is wrong to say that God fills this emptiness. God in no way fills it but much more leaves it precisely unfilled and thus helps us preserve — even in pain– the authentic relationship. Further more, the more beautiful and full the remembrances, the more difficult the separation. But gratitude transforms the torment of memory into silent joy. One bears what was lovely in the past not as a thorn but as a precious gift deep within, a hidden treasure of which one can always be certain.”
So, now all of those little things that remind me of Bretter can be used to honor his memory instead of make me bitter. And y’all can enjoy this video because it encapsulates part of who Bretter was. His joy, his J-town swag, his faith, the constant smile, his height, and his love for others.