my friend brie passed away this week. i still can’t believe it—it seems like a dream. like it didn’t really happen. like i’ll see her update her facebook with more christmas pictures of her precious girls soon. and then maybe a new blog post, with a scripture or a song that touched her life recently. or more pictures of how christmas vacation actually went down.
my old roomate who grew up with brie, angie, sent me a text late tuesday night that brie and her family had been hit by another vehicle on their way home to amarillo, from dalhart. at that point, brie wasn’t breathing on her own, and they were careflighting her to amarillo because she was 7 months pregnant with her son, curran. it was a tragedy for sure, but hopeful still.
the situation quickly escalated when she had no brain activity and life support was only continuing to support her son. the doctors brought him quickly and smoothly into the world…at 3 pounds. in the wee hours of the morning, brie’s life ended and curran’s fight for life began.
there’s a hard mix of emotions when a believer dies. it doesn’t take away from the hurt that you feel, or the sadness of her family having to carry on without her—curran never even knowing her. but on the other hand…and most importantly brie is in heaven with her King. none of this was a surprise to Him, and while it’s confusing to us, He called her home at exactly the right time. He had gone forth and prepared a place for her to live for eternity, and there is absolutley no doubt in my mind that she danced and worshiped our Creator as he sang over her, “well done, good and faithful servant.”
i met brie back in 1999 when i started attending first baptist church in lubbock, texas. the next year she became my first small group leader when i really got plugged in and stopped being a slacker. one of the very first impressions i had of brie, was that she was, by nature, a nurturer. she cared about people so deeply, and when she said she was going to pray for you, you knew that she meant it.
i went on my first mission trip with that church in the spring of 2001. brie and i were on the same work site, repairing a church. i was so nervous because i didn’t know a lot of people but she made me feel so welcome, and would sit with me on the bus and at meal time. at this time, she was engaged to eric, and her wedding was quickly approaching. she would talk with me about how God had calmed some anxiety she had and just took every opportunity to minister and speak the gospel.
someone wrote on brie’s facebook, a memory from brie and eric’s wedding. they had the song played, “better is one day,” and ever since that wedding that song has always reminded me of her. the facebook user commented that she remembered brie singing along to that song with eric. i remember that too.
better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere.
i know in the depths of my heart that she believed this lyric to the absolute core. she breathed this living truth. it was evident in how she was raising her daughters. someone commented at the wake, that brie would just “hammer” the gospel into her eldest, mail. but that he was glad she did, because mali understood that her mom was in a better place and was happy she was with Jesus. amazing.
angie shared with me, in a more recent conversation, that when the family was looking for pictures of brie, they found a journal with letters to eric, mail (her 7 year old) and eleri (her 23 month old). it was like she knew it was coming. i have had 2 other friends have similar experiences where they wrote or received a letter to loved ones right before an unexpected passing. i am so happy for those girls, that they have something so meaningful and tangible from their mother, who loved them so much.
i finally cried last night. not just a few tears but just full fledged wailing. i know brie is with our sweet Jesus. it doesn’t lessen the pain and the heartache of those left behind, but i think i’m learning that filling up with truth helps bring peace during trials, not peace from trials. God gives a generous amount of rest through His promises and through His grace. brie was such a gift to this world….never perfect, but she lived her life with one clear and single purpose, to proclaim God’s love.
miss you, friend.
(here’s a pic of brie and her two girls, mali and eleri. :) this makes me smile big!)
i also want to say a quick thank you to all who have been sending me texts and scriptures and emails. this is evidence of God’s grace, and that He does not want us to live in isolation, especially during hard times, like losing a friend. even from the most unexpected people…thank you from the bottom of my heart.
there’s so much power in Jesus’ name. and i believe, because of Him, there can be a fraction of that power in His believer’s names, too. brie’s name and story has been floating all around the news and interwebs, and all people can talk about was her faith. may that be celebrated and glorified by God alone, and may He draw His children and His creation closer to Him today through the story of His daughter.
like most accidents there are two parties involved. it was released that the gomez family was hit by colorado state senator suzanne williams. here’s an article on cnn.com with more information. please pray for mrs. williams, too.