Well, we’ve been back in Tanzania for a month and a half now. Like anyone, at any place, at any time, there are good things, hard things, frustrating things and sad things. Coming back has been a mixture of all of the above. We’ve seen God take our Swahili and, only by His grace, make it better than when we left. We’ve reunited with friends and neighbors and that time has been filled with joy. We’ve entered back into the challenges of using public transportation, now as a family of 6. We have felt the forgotten feeling of pure exhaustion of the everyday tasks that just seem harder here. And I have felt the pangs of sadness of losing my brother that never really seem to leave.
Coming back to the place where I learned of his tragic death has been very hard for me. The memories flood back and my heart breaks all over again. Also, knowing next month marks one year already comes with sadness, too.
This morning as I was exercising I listened to a playlist I made with songs that make me think of my brother. Songs that really spoke me to after his death. Thankfully I didn’t see many people while I walked, otherwise they would have wondered what was wrong with me. As I sobbed, I thought of heaven and the hope that we have as believers. The pain in my heart made me long for heaven all the more. But then faces began to flash before me. Faces of friends, neighbors and even family who are not yet ready for heaven. I was reminded that I cannot give up.
I think of Logan in the presence of God, whole and restored, I am filled with a bittersweet joy. And I am confident that he would tell me to keep pressing forward in making Jesus known. I must press forward through the sorrow and the pain. There is the hope of heaven and it will be better than I could ever imagine, BUT there are still so many I want to go with me.
A few weeks ago my mom sent me a beautiful poem that Logan had written years ago and it has deeply touched me heart. Here is a snippet that has especially encouraged me:
Yet among the entourage of calamity
One shining hope beacons to all humanity
The love of the Lord above all disgrace
The love our God that is so great to embrace
So no matter the troubles or woes of life
Things like poverty must be seen as mere mortal strife
Our eternal blessings hold so much more worth
A value that overcomes all material dearth
Help one another to your very best extent
For no giving time is ever overspent
I am thankful that even in his death, Logan is still speaking to me through words that he penned years back. Thank you Jesus for a glimpse into his heart from when he was still well. Thank you for the encouragement to keep my eyes on the plow, as there is still work to be done.
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Aunt Angie says
Sweet Jamie. I am trying to understand the pain you are going through. Just remember he is happy, safe and whole again. He will always have a special place in all our hearts. His poems are magnificent. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t read one of them. He was such a talented young man. Loss of a sibling is something you won’t ever forget, you have to get through each day one at a time. He is looking down at you each day with a smile. Knowing you are doing what you are meant to do. Love you and miss you.
Oh, Jamie I know how your heart must be breaking! Even though we know that Logan is whole again in heaven it is hard to imagine not seeing him again here on this earth. My heart aches for your pain! What an amazing, beautiful poem he wrote! We love you and pray for you every day! It is wonderful seeing your kiddos in those pictures playing and happy!! Love you, sweetie!!💞
Jay and Elaine Dagenhart says
I have struggled with the death of sister and a close friend who both took their own life. Both knew the forgiveness of the Lord but struggled to forgive themselves. I know I will see them both in Glory one day but the sadness that many other family and friends who d not yet know Christ pushes me as it paused you. Thanks for sharing your heart. We miss you guys and love you all.
Jay and Elaine
Jamie. Reading this made me wish I could hug you my friend. My heart hurts for you and your family. I pray that you continue to receive messages from Logan from time to time as they seem to help you press on. You were always and still are so inspiring to me.
Sending love and hugs,
leisha mace says
Before I even finished reading your beautiful words my eyes were leaking and my heart was breaking…it was full of sadness, love, memories and yes hope. To this day, when I go to make “Christian” eggs I will pick up the phone to call Joseph. I wish I could tell you that eventually, the pain will go away but I can’t. I will say that over time you come to accept it more and that one day, instead of remembering his death on that dreaded date, you will find yourself filled with love and even smiles as you remember the little things. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I will see my brother again and that’s what gets me through the dark times and like my sister, I know the world was a better place because of him. Sending my love
Jamie, I understand the everpresent grief that rears its ugly head at the most unexpected times. Even when we know he is in a better place, we are only human and we miss our so loved brother. I was so mad with God until I became very glad that my brother was permitted to pass without enduring what could have been a long painful death. Now I can only be thankful to God that Joseph was taken quivkly. I continue to miss him daily but know the world and certainly I am better for having known him. It is hard but God helps us through.