Breaking the Silence
Two months ago my life changed forever.
I had just finished up a language session with my dear Tanzanian friend, Mama Niko, and went to check my phone before walking home. Missed calls and facetime chats. I was able to answer one call, only to hear the words “He’s gone” before the poor service abruptly ended our call.
My little brother had taken his life after years of struggle with mental illness. He was tired. The fight was over. But how, how could this be true?
Mama Niko held me in her arms as I cried, still in disbelief. She then walked me home and played with our kids as I talked with Chandler and tried to call my mom back. We quickly began to make plans to go back to the States, as we knew we needed to be with family to grieve through this tragic time.
After days of trying to secure flights, finally, God provided the best fit and we made our long journey to North Carolina. I were met with the deepest kind of pain and sorrow my heart has ever experienced.
Logan was an amazing little brother. He was only 3 days away from his 25th birthday. He was so smart, so funny and loved to run. But mental illness plagued the last few years of his precious life. I think it was hard for him to think things would ever get better, because according to his diagnosis, they wouldn’t. Maybe that was more than he could take.
As I’ve tried processing through all of this over the past 2 months, I continue to be filled with sorrow. Tears are a daily part of life now. I often sit and wonder what it must have been like for him. I’ll never know, but I know it was unimaginable. I find myself sitting outside a lot or going for walks, listening to the Piano Guys, brilliant music that Logan loved. During those time I remember him and of course wish for more time.
I find hope knowing he trusted Jesus as a young boy and hope in the beautiful poems we have since found which give incredible insight into what his walk with God was like in past years. But still there are more questions than I have answers for and that’s hard. I’m learning that there are some things that are just not able to be understood in this lifetime. However, God is still good. He is still at work. He can use, even this, for good. I have to cling to these things, even when my emotions are telling me the very opposite.
Originally we were planning on coming back to the States to have baby #4 in October (Due in mid-December), but obviously, our plans changed and we came home early. We have since gotten settled into our home-away-from-home in Virginia. Our church, Bedrock Community Church, was incredible and quickly got our home ready for us! For that we are so grateful. God, in His kindness, provided us with a 5 bedroom farmhouse overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is an absolute perfect picture of peace in a season we need it most. We even have the pleasure of watching deer each day as they make their way around our house hunting for food.
For now, we are taking time to grieve and process through Logan’s death. We are also trying to process through our first term in Tanzania and all the crazy emotions that come with re-entering America after almost 2 years away. I’m also learning my new role as home school mom to Selah. We are finally getting into a good rhythm with her schooling, which is a very good thing. To be honest, we feel a little fragile, but God is caring for us through our time with Him, our church, our friends and our family.
We appreciate your prayers as we navigate through this new season in life. Our plan is to return to Tanzania in early March. Asking the Lord to provide healing and rest during our stay in the States.
Starr Arnold says
I have been praying for you and your family in these days!! SO INCREDIBLY HARD and my heart breaks with you! I will continue to pray for the Lord to carry in this time of mourning! He is Faithful and knows your pain. Hugs to you all!
Uncle Pete & Aunt Angie says
We love you sweetie.
Stephen Narwold says
Wow, guys, I’m so sorry! I’m glad to see your post reflect a reliance on God and the firm belief that He is Lord, but I know that emotions and thoughts are never as clear-cut as any written report. We will pray for you as you grieve, and as you prepare for the arrival of #4.
Libby Williams says
Jamie, I am continuing to hold you up in prayer. Your love for Jesus and His shepherding of your heart, during the grieving process, comes through your beautiful words. You are loved by Him with an everlasting love and underneath you are His everlasting arms. (truly) I love you sweet one and am asking the God of all comfort to continually pour out mercy, grace, and peace upon you.
You are so precious to me and to so many. I will always cherish the times I had together with you and your precious family. I do not take it lightly nor for granted that I was privileged to have you, Chandler, Selah, Meriam and Gideon in our home. It was a huge blessing to me.
My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches. He who keeps you neither slumbers nor sleeps. He is for you and not against you. Precious Lord, please pour out your love upon this dear family. They belong to You and You are equipping them daily for this life. Gentle Shepherd, come and lead them through this journey. Hold Jamie, Linda, Austin, Josh and Aaron close to Your heart. Bring Jeff to Yourself. Save him from the chains that bind him. Holy Spirit, deliver him into Your kingdom. Give these precious friends assurance that Logan is with You Lord. You have Logan safe and secure in heaven. He is free from the chains that bound him tightly on this earth.
Bring healing to those who are left behind. Pour out the oil of joy for the spirit of heaviness on these my friends. I trust You alone Lord for their healing, Thank YOU for the blessing they are to my life.
I love YOU Lord and I love you Jamie, Chandler, Selah, Meriam, and Gideon!
Esther Brisson says
Jamie – I am so sorry to hear this news. Such a grieving time for you…and for your mom. I’m praying for you…I’m thankful you are in a place where you have support and love coming from the body of Christ. I’m so grateful for a God that understands these times and brings healing to our hurts…and draws us to Him above all else. Praying for you.
Aunt Angie says
My sweet Jamie. My heart is breaking for you and your family. It has been a very sad time for everyone. Just keep praying and remembering your sweet brother. I to am finding much solace and happiness in reading all of his beautiful poems. Such a talented young man. Those poems are so special. A forever memory. Love you dearly.
I am praying for all of you!
barb anyan says
truly my heart breaks for you and your family. Thankful for this post though to know how more effectively to pray for all of you. May the Lord continue to wrap you all in His loving arms and give you comfort as only He can.