Monday, July 31, 2006

I don't know how to not be sad. I can fake it pretty well, as most of us can, but I don't know how to not be depressed. Keeping busy helps, diversions help, spending money seems to help, at least temporarily, but only temporarily.

Brent and I are living out why it is difficult for couples who have lost a child to stay together. It's easier to be angry with each other. We have kept the anger somewhat under control in that we just don't talk. Sometimes the discouragment we feel is directed toward the other in a subtle comment. You know subtle. It's in our society everywhere - half truth jokes, half hearted attempts at kindness.

Is it because we're tired of trying? Tired of crying? Is it because we've said all that can be said? Is it because we just don't want to move on? These questions among many others we must figure out.

I think we're afraid. I know I am. Yet I know who to turn to. I know the Savior is there waiting for the dawning of our dull and impatient minds to remember that God is with us. He's holding my hand every step of the way. He's shown His graces over and over. I have to keep looking for them. We know He directed us here to Tulsa. He prepared and walked with us in N. Africa. We know these things yet we doubt. We hold on to our fears. We hold on to "this is just not the way it should be." I don't know how to let go. It seems so wrong. Everything is wrong about life without him. I know in my mother's heart I will always miss him and I feel that a part of me died with him.

We continue on. We must. I don't want to continue on in a cloudy haze, going through the motions of life in a paralyzed state. I don't want bitterness and anger and regret to be my choice. I've always thought of myself as an encourager and I want to be that again. I know I can't do it on my own.

As He always does when I take time to look, Jesus gave me a scripture to hold on to for today and when the sad moments threaten to overwhelm. Isaiah 30. The heading in my Message Bible is "God Takes the Time to do Everything Right" God, the Master, The Holy of Israel, has this solemn counsel: Your salvation requires you to turn back to me and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves. Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on Me... God's not finished. He's waiting around to be gracious to you. He's gathering strength to show mercy to you. God takes the time to do everything right - everything. Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones. Oh yes, people of Zion, citizens of Jerusalem, your time of tears is over. Cry for help and you'll find it's grace and more grace. The moment He hears, He'll answer. Just as the Master kept you alive during the hard times, He'll keep your Teacher alive and present among you. Your Teacher will be right there, local and on the job, urging you on whenever you wander left or right. This is the right road. Walk down this road.

Right now I have time to read and relax as I wait for what He has for me here in Tulsa. Brent and Whitney are gone right now and Lauren and I are free! It's a rare time for us. I am prayerful that we savor the moments and stay present for each other. Thank you Father so much for this time! Take the anxiety away and replace it with trust in You, once again.



At 1:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome home! As I read your entry my heart was reminded of a very similar pain. I too have felt the pain of "loss" with respect to a child so desperately wanted. Following the loss of our 4th baby, the Lord gave me the same scripture. It is the reason we named our daughter "Jenna" as it means ...God Is Gracious! May God extend His graciousness to you and Brent as ONLY He can! My prayers are with you ALWAYS and FOREVER!

Much Love,
Lori Burkert

At 2:03 PM, Blogger joenjeanne said...

Deanna, I can not pretend to know what you have gone through and what you are still feeling. Honestly, I hope I never have to know. I thank God that you know who to turn to in those moments that seem unbearable. He does have a plan but the human emotions that go with His plan just seem unbearable at times.

Today marks the one year anniversary of the simple surgical procedure that started Shelby's ordeal last year. A little girl that means SO MUCH to so many people. Yesterday my 5 year old son also had to have a tonsilectomy and believe me it was impossible not to think of Shelby while he was in surgery. He's doing wonderful today though. I praise God for that.

Please know that people you don't even know from all over the country are still praying for you during these low times. God's people love your family and are praying for you daily. God Bless You.

Jeanne' Updegrove
Fort Wayne, IN

At 3:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I can't even begin to imagine the pain and heartache you are still feeling, but I know that you will get to the end of this dark tunnel with your faith in Christ. And I know it feels "safe" in regards to how you are acting with Brent, and vice versa. Our husbands and wives are always the ones we can "dump" on, knowing that somehow they understand and continue to love and forgive us. I know you will both get through this and the pain and depression will diminish all in His good timing! Know that we are praying for you and yours, and that God's arms are always open for you to climb into.

May God bless you and your family and continue to comfort and guide you.

Linda Anderson

At 3:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My prayers are still with you and your family.

Laura O.

At 4:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Deanna, I am very thankful that you and your family had safe travels in N. Africa and back home again to Tulsa. You and your family will always be in my prayers. I think of you often.

At 4:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are such a strong, transparent and loving and kind friend to all of us who read this blog in honor of BJ and all that he stood for. God is definitely preparing you and your family for mighty things ahead, with all you have been through in the last year. I am honored anytime you post, and happen to read it and pray for you. Especially since we are both mothers of AWESTAR kids. (Mary is my daughter.)
I know you and Brett will come out of this okay. You have God. But going through it must be horrible.........(I think I would still be in the closet screaming, or catatonic.)
I read the book, "90 minutes is heaven" last weekend, and it was pretty good. It talked a little about depression and how this guy got out of it. But, I will surely be lifting you up during the next few months as the anniversary of everything comes near. We love you like a family, but there is no substitute for family that you have spent your whole life with. There will always be a void in your family, but God is bigger and soverign than ANYTHING we go through on earth. We are going to be praying you through this. You just relax and be yourself and know your intercessors are at work.
God is GOOD.
Patti Leestma
P.S. The girls are coming tomorrow. I can't believe you are up for company! You treat them like your own and hug on them if you need to, or put them to work doing lawn work, or bathrooms, or cooking. They will be blessed to be in your company.

At 9:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praying for you in Indiana!

At 9:55 PM, Blogger natenamy said...


I just want you to know that I will be remembering you in my prayers in a very special way this week. In a time and a culture where communication just doesn't seem to be that important anymore, I can't imagine how tough communicating must be under the circumstances. Our humanness makes it easier just not to talk, hoping that that will ease the pain! Thankfully the door for communication is always open to Him and He has an uncanny way of providing for all of our needs when we most need Him to. Both you and Brent have been wonderful witnesses of that in my life. Oh, how I miss you! Please know that I love you and that I will promise to pray especially for this.

While you are here in Indiana, Nate and I would love to have you all over for dinner if you have time. I know you will be busy, but let me know if something works out!

We love you all and miss you stacks.

Amy *for Nate too

At 10:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I love you, and am sorry I missed your call today.
August is here and the pain feels fresh.
We miss you all deeply.
John & Jeannie

At 11:26 PM, Blogger Praying in Pink said...

I read this morning in John 11 about the death of Lazarus and how (quoting everyone's favorite memory verse) "Jesus wept."

In the very next verse, Scripture says that the Jews spoke about how Jesus loved Lazarus, and I know He did. Of course He did.

But I ALSO think Jesus wept because He loved Mary and Martha. They hurt, so He hurt also, even though He knew that resurrection joy was already on its way.

I love you, my dear sister, and I weep alongside you even as we both look toward that joy which will come through this time of suffering. You, Brent, Lauren, and Whitney have the wonderful and terrible opportunity to know Him more and more in the fellowship of His suffering and the power of His resurrection.

May He continually surround You with His peace as you die--and are lifted up--every day.

still praying in pink,
with extra-tender love,


At 11:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was good to read your words today. As you know my grandbaby Jayden went into St. Vincent on Aug. 9- 2005. He passed on Sept. 14- 2005. My little girl kaylee will be two Aug.9th. I was not going to have her a party this year, but i dont think that would be fair to her,so we are having it here at home this Sunday. I miss Jayden just as much today as i did the first day he was gone. I feel anger everyday. I have to tell myself he is not suffering anymore. I miss you guys but I read your site everyday.
Love, Tammy

At 12:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love you I love you I love you!
I can't tell you how excited I am about seeing you!!
Much prayers and love!

At 1:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


i cant wait!! tomorrow i will see you! oh gosh..its been a while. i cant wait to just talk to you. that will be splendiferous.

i love you loads. i miss you more. see you tomorrow!


ps--patti said it..but really, if you need us to clean the bathrooms, we can do it! =)

At 2:30 AM, Blogger Scott Reed said...

Thank you for being so open and honest with your feelings. I will pray for you and your family in a special way today. This story is far more reaching than you can imagine. God bless you!

At 7:28 AM, Blogger brobrad said...


I pray that the Lord will fill your life with Himself today and that you feel Him in a real way. I knew there would be another valley after NA, and as Jeannie says - it's August so that makes it only more of a challenge. Know that I continue to pray for you all.

I would ask that everyone be praying for our Brother-in-Law Jack and sister Lisa; Jack has been diagnosed w/ prostate cancer and will commence radiation treatment in the near future.

Tammy, how well we remember your trials and Jayden's fight, seperated much of the time from BJ by only glass. I pray that you find His presence in each day and sense His comfort in the darkest hours.

Jeannie, I hope the trip out west w/ the teens was great, I have no doubt that it was. Miss you guys.

With love,


At 8:11 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

Deanna, as a mom, I can not imagine the everyday pain you feel. Please know that you are in the thoughts and prayers of thousands everyday! Lean on that and lean on God! We all love you!

At 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am at a loss of words (which my husband would find remarkable by the way!)but I wanted you to know I am praying for you, praying that God will give the ability to trust even through the darkest moments, that he will give you patience, through those times, and that he will give you an ability to reach out to your family in love even when you're not feeling it.

God's peace.

At 11:37 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Words can't express how moved we are to be praying for you. I can't even begin to imagine what your going through, but I do know that Jesus is always there for us.

Without being rude towards any of the men who read or blog, as mothers we can feel your pain, there's nothing quite like the love of a mother for her child, no matter how old they are.
I pray that the Lord continues to guide you all through this and that the doors of communication are opened with you and Brent.

In His Love

At 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I love you so much!!!! And words cannot even begin to describe how much I miss you. You were truly Mom on the trip, in every sense of the word. You listened, gave advice when needed, prayed for us, and gave us a hug when we needed it most. What I would give just to sit with you a while and visit. You will NEVER know how much you impacted my life in the few shrt weeks we were together. Please know that I love and am praying for each of you daily.
All my love,
April C.

At 12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Deanna, Don't ever doubt that you ARE an encourager by your transparency about your heartache and struggles. As the song says, "He giveth more grace when the burdens are greater...through multiplied trials His multiplied peace." Keep remembering that promise, and even when you and Brent are dealing with anger, frustration, silence, or confusion, don't push away. Just give each other a hug. Hugs can do wonders, even without words. Praying for you both even more fervently, and sending an e-hug your way. :-)

At 10:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have not read or written in a while.
I have so much to catch up on reading.
My mother passed away and in her last hours I talked to her about so many people, including BJ. She knew BJ and so in awe of him. I asked her to tell BJ Hello and tell him how so many people have been moved by his life. I am sure BJ knows anyway.
Be sure and tell BJ, Jack and Taylor are on a missionn trip and they will carry out the dream the 3 young men shared. As I talked, she listened and it is one of the few times she responded. Muttering "Okay" and "Ummmah"
I am praying for you family. Perhaps part of you has died with BJ but so much of BJ lives on through you Deanna. I pray for you peace and strength Deanna and may our Lord lift you and hold you strong.
In Jesus name I pray.
With much Love
your sister in Christ
Indpls., IN

At 7:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praying for you family.
Strength and peace be with you.

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