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My new life

I don’t often come on here and speak about my new life. The one I am currently living without my Chris. It becomes so painful at times remembering that he is no longer living his life here on earth with me, but I am comforted knowing he is living his heavenly life. He is home. I speak so much on my own strength and perseverance through this hard season, I don’t know if I would call it a season actually. Maybe this is more of a time In my life that will take some time to really figure out, how to really get through all the bits and pieces of what losing him and losing him to suicide nonetheless did to me, the long road that it has been but I have hardly have talked about this new life I am living. Without him, and it has not been easy.

As most of you know, some of you do not. Chris and I moved really fast in our relationship. We moved in together three whole months of being together. We were head over heels in love, we could never get enough of each other. It was apparent to everyone around us, even to us. I loved his big strong arms, his goofy quirky personality and the way he was so selfless with everyone he loved. Even if it meant giving up things for himself, he would do that without hesitation for someone he loved. He was selfless and kind, he was caring.

Our relationship was not easy, being with someone who struggled with a past of addiction, someone who relapsed twice while we were together, someone who was so damaged from his years while being in his addiction, he just was not the same person even though he tried every single day. I saw glimpses of this other Chris, the one who wanted so badly to just feel like a normal human, someone who did not feel like he walked around with this mental illness and the awful effects that his time spent in addiction did to him. Even when our relationship was not easy, we always came back around to the same feeling, the same comittment we had for one another. How much we deeply loved one another and I would still to this day fight for us and for him. I never turned my back, I never walked away, I probably took more than I should have but I loved that man with every part of my soul and he knew that.

January 22, 2020 I got a text while at work and Chris was away for work for 3 weeks but he would come back for the weekends. I got a text from him saying,

Chris: “I want to marry you, just decided”

Me: “Don’t mess with me like that.”

Chris: ” I’m not, I’m serious

Me: ” You already know how I feel about this..”

Chris: ” Lets just got to Vegas”

Chris: ” I’m serious, Let’s get married, I don’t care if we go to the courthouse. I wanna spend my life with you.”

Reading those messages again and again break my freaking heart. He knew how much I wanted to marry him, at first he didn’t think he would ever want that nor did he think he wanted another child since we both had one of our own. That changed quickly in our relationship and suddenly we kept talking about how we wanted another one of us running around, how much we wanted to see our two boys be big brothers to another little one. We had dreams for our life, we had plans, we had a deep love that even when things got extremely hard, life came rushing at us like a speed of light I KNEW, WE knew without a doubt our souls were connected. I loved him, hard.

When Chris died and I found him, it was hard and still is hard to process. Even still, I think now, in this part of the healing I am just now trying to find my way through the trauma part of it all. Expected, this I know. But, a whole new life took form for me. An entire new bre was just being prepped for her journey through unknown territory and very difficult waters. Nothing God knew I wouldn’t be able to handle though. He knew this would break me but just enough to rebuild me. Now, I see life through a different lens with a new set of eyes, eyes that catch every single special moment, eyes that SEE the world as is, eyes that notice the little things and live in a moment just for it to pass. Moments pass us by like trains on a highway, they come and go, they are there and they aren’t. Life happens, things in life not only catch us by surprise but things that are almost always expected to break us and then when they don’t break us I imagine God is sitting there clapping right along side of us saying, “See this is what I made you for. I made you for so much more and you did not let the enemy win this battle.” Some battles have been lost, Chris’s battle with depression and his struggle with feelings where he felt he lacked worth, that might of seemed to of win but it didn’t. He is home with the Lord, he is truly home and at peace. At first, I just kept saying how I would never be able to think about another man let alone look at another man in interest. God has his own ways of guiding us through grief and opening doors that you never thought would open and sometimes they open to teach us something and then they just close. Never onto the next, but a what can I learn from this? Where can this help me grow type of door opening? Am I right? Can any of you relate or tell me a time where you felt like a door opening was a lesson to be aware of?

My new life was just that, new. It was scary, it was lonely sometimes, and not in a way where I wanted to fill the void or fill the emptiness because truthfully I would have rather been alone than without Chris by my side. The person I spent the last two years sleeping next to every single night, the person I was building a new foundation with, a new life together, our routines, our home, our hobbies, our kids, our love, our inside jokes, our dreams and aspirations, our ability to still act so in love and head over heels for one another. I feel like now, I am still navigating a new life. I am not scared for this new life, do I miss me old one? A lot of the time I do, there are things I miss daily about my old life and it honestly felt as if I was just awaiting the days to be over, I was just barley making it day by day, I just wanted to be close to him. I just wanted him back so badly and I was so eager to hear from him in my dreams somehow.

My new life is filled with more wonder, more love, more compassion, more adventure, more appreciation for just life, more desires and dreams, more courage and grace, more perseverance and patience, more moments that I take and grab onto so that I can live inside each and every single one. But it is also filled with, anger, frustration, sadness, questions, confusion, days where I feel utterly depressed, days where I just wish with all my heart I could run into his arms and just hug him and I know I can’t and it kills me, days where I don’t know why I feel that heavy weight but it is there and I just have to feel it in order for it to pass. This new life is filled with a purpose and joy, it is filled with many new relationships, it is filled with all of the Lord and this new life is completely structured IN him and BY him. He did this, he made me new, he guided me, was there for me, loved me recklessly and knew I would make it out of this with a new understanding of life. The Lord KNEW I would use this to change a life or two or three. He knew what I was going to do. That is continuing to be shown to me and I am more aware and awake now to see his vision for me.

When I think of my new life and my old, I won’t lie and say I don’t miss it. I miss everything about our daily routine together, the way we loved even on those hard days. I miss Chris every single second of everyday. I miss the way he laughed, the way he cooked dinner and played music and we just became present. I miss the way we would get in bed and spend 30 minutes picking a movie just to go downstairs and eat some ice cream or some kind of sugary goodness then go back to bed and snuggle. I miss waking up to his warm arms and his middle of the night kisses consuming me. I miss waking up to his kiss before leaving for work every morning, he never missed a beat when he kissed me goodbye for the day. I miss us planning our workouts together for everyday of the week. I miss the way we started to read the 5 love languages together and even though it wasn’t something that really interested in him he did it anyway because he knew it would better our relationship on some level and all he wanted was to do that, with me, us holding hands doing this life together. I miss the way he sang in the shower and I laughed while waiting for him to be done. I miss our clinginess and the way we both craved our physical touch for one another and the words of affirmation we gave. I miss the mid day texts from each other, just to come home and still act as if we hadn’t talked all day already. I miss his love. I miss our life together. I miss… HIM.

I was reading something about perseverance. Perseverance is taken as pushing on, get through it, just get to the other side. Right? But what is not said often is how just because you press on and push through something does not mean you are automatically strong, it does not mean it isn’t hard because it is NOT. It is not easy. It is painful. That is the truth right there, and most people don’t talk about that. I was and always am walking by faith, walking by God through all of this. Even to this day and it has only been 8 months. I forget how fresh that still is for me. The valley that I am now walking through, the trauma. He is still there with me, loving me and helping shine light on my perseverance. He is not yet done with me and my story. I CHOSE to turn my page, I CHOSE to press on, I CHOSE to literally fall to my knees and BEG God to save me. I knew what had to be done. I CHOSE to persevere, to fight for my life back, I CHOSE to fight my way out of this tight little bubble of despair, pain, trauma, grief, guilt, anger, lostness, sadness, depression, I CHOSE to find my way out of that, and it was not easy. I’m embracing all things new, I am embracing the new life I have and while I am still going through the moments, I can appreciate life more now. I appreciate the meaning of true love. I appreciate the unconditional love my child has for me, how much he needs mommy. I appreciate the sun shining, I appreciate the days where I just need to cry. I appreciate that because I am human, I feel and because I feel I am able to be compassionate and understanding to those around me and then some. I appreciate that I still get to wake up and BREATHE another day of this life, I appreciate that even though I don’t see Chris now I know one day we will be together again, in heaven and I will get to be reunited with that love. I appreciate every single moment in my life, it all means something in some way shape or form. I appreciate the ability to explore and get outside in nature, I appreciate that I have a passion and a gift to be able to write the way I do and write from the deepest parts of my heart and soul. I appreciate that I even got 2 years of life with someone who changed me forever. I appreciate that I was able to love him and him i. I appreciate life. Moments pass us by, as I said, but my moments are being lived so much more definitely. My moments in this life are being lived with much more purpose and strive, passion and grace. To notice all the small things because they also make up the big things, that life is to precious and our relationships with our loved ones are so important, that we only have this one life to live and at the end of my life I would like to think that the most important aspects of THIS life will be the only things that would have ever mattered. My child, my loved ones, and most of all the relationship between me and the father. That is all.

This new life is and will be spent appreciating everything, taking in the moments around me that come and go and cherishing what is in the moment. My new life, is more colorful in lots of different areas. This new life is different and while I know it is painful sometimes to remember that I am doing this without him, the person I thought I would marry, I know he is cheering me on, he is oh so proud and he is right here with me for every milestone accomplished, for every birthday that will come and go, for all my passions being fulfilled, he is here while I support him and continue to honor him in all the ways I know how. He is here for all the things he can’t physically be here for and as much as I wish was here to hold, I know he is here no matter what. He’s watching. He is listening. He is smiling.

It is kind of like the wind, I can’t see it but I can feel it.

Chris, I can’t see you but I can feel you. And, I know you are here.

I love you,

Bre

All of Gods beautiful breadcrumbs in my life

All of Gods breadcrumbs, his tiny little stepping stones, placement of ANYTHING that he sets before me. This I have seen, this I have noticed, this now more than ever I have payed attention to. Maybe it took something tragic happening to open my eyes, unfortunately sometimes I feel like that is the case. I have always been empathetic and aware, but now more than ever I’m on high alert, I am way more aware, I am even more emotional than ever before, I am even more vulnerable than ever before and most of all I am more of an open book than I ever thought I was. I always say ” I see through a different lens of life.” I love differently, I give my energy and time differently now.

I guess my point to this topic was to talk about those breadcrumbs I have noticed God place before me. My counselor that I talked with after everything took place told me I was different, she told me I was an old soul, that it was remarkable to her the mindset I walked around with, the ability to see something peaceful and worthy at the end of the tunnel, that in the midst of all the ugly I chose to see beauty. Does this mean It weighed or hurt any less? Nope. Not one bit, but I fought everyday, and I still fight. I think now, in this particular time of my healing, the grief and the trauma.. I am now dealing with what I saw, having to find him. The last few months have been a whirlwind of uncertain events, moments where I crave and ache Chris so much, how I just wish I had one more chance to save him and I seem to forget what happened. I don’t know if that’s the right sentence to better explain this but that’s what i’m going with. I am NOW, dealing with the trauma of finding the person I loved so much, the details of the day he left this earth and all the puzzle pieces leading up to that moment. Coming home from work, walking in OUR home, seeing two letters on our coffee table. One letter was a love letter I had written him prior that week and the other was his goodbye letter. Our brand new puppy in her kennel to my right. When I looked left I saw our garage door wide open and I had this eery feeling, I slowly turned the corner and I saw him there. I saw him for a split second and fell to my knees. We had neighbors all up by our house from my street crying with me, I don’t know how long I was screaming and wailing for and from what I was told, no one had ever heard someone make the sounds that I made that day. I look back and I can see myself in the moment, I can see myself wailing and remember rocking back and forth, hitting the ground beneath me and screaming NO at the very top of my lungs over and over and over again. My best friends mom walked me over to the other side of the townhome because my bestie lived right next door and if you have read my other blog posts, she was there for the entire thing. She was right by my side, she had to do the part of this that I could never ever do. She did so much for me that day that I just could not do. I was in a daze, I felt like someone ran me over multiple times and was continuing to rip my heart out of my chest.

What felt like forever was only like 2 hours after I found him and I finally got the ability to stand up and go to the bathroom. My body was in so much physical pain. I was so tired yet terrified to go to sleep. For weeks after I did not sleep. I would lie awake at night terrified to fall asleep. I would wake up and immediately be in this depressive state of mind and I truly felt like I did not want to keep going. It was so damn painful that I felt so broken I was not able to come back from this. I truly did not understand how or when I was going to come back from this. The next day we woke up and were taken to the funeral home where he was at for a little bit, we only had a window of time to say our goodbyes. I was really on my way to a funeral home to say goodbye to the person I loved with every inch of my soul, the person I just spent the last 2 years with, moved into my first home with, bought a puppy with. I could go on. I walked in that funeral home and as we were walking in the room where he was laying… I was being held on either side by my mother and my best friends mom. I walked every so slowly over to him to touch him and I immediately jumped back. I was terrified. He was so cold, he was so clammy, and hard as a rock. He wasn’t my Chris. I just wailed and wailed. I finally got the strength to touch him and hug him and kiss him goodbye. When I looked at him he seemed to have a smirk on his face, not like his was smiling but he was at peace. That brought my some comfort. That was the hardest goodbye I have ever had to make.

The first breadcrumb he left me.

The day he took his life I KNEW God was there, I knew he had all of us. My best friend was the one running around trying to take care of everyone, make the appropriate phone calls and so on. One phone call she made I will remember forever. She made a phone call to our landlord to inform her of the events. Little did we know that THAT phone call she stated might of saved her daughters life. We had zero idea that anything similar was going on with her and her family.. but how would we know unless we asked? Can you think of how many times you don’t ask or don’t check in with a friend or family member who may be having similar thoughts and feelings? In a way I believe from that moment on God was showing me a new path. A new way to open my heart and be more compassionate than I already am in this life. That even through something so awful that some other lives are destined to be changed because of this story. It is obvious you can’t save everyone but I will do my best to be the listening ear, the compassionate and understanding heart that someone needs if that means saving a life and relieving even a little bit of that pain they feel.

The second breadcrumb

My second one was I think two weeks after his passing. It felt like such a blur to me so when I relive those days and weeks they all almost seem to mesh together in one giant ball. I was so eager to have him visit my dreams, I was angry. I was feeling the sadness but I was just angry. I was angry that he had done what he did in OUR home. That OUR home was now not the same place it was before. I couldn’t be alone in that home, I couldn’t walk around that house by myself and I definitely couldn’t walk by the garage ( which was right near our upstairs) without getting an eerie feeling. I was angry at him for what he did not just in our home but to me… how could he let me come home to him like that? How could he do something like this KNOWING I would be the only person to come inside our home that day or ever.. I had so many questions and now looking back I feel awful for being angry at him for that and here is why.

Suicide is NOT selfish act, I will forever stand firm on that.

I had all these questions and the anger bubbling up inside me I just wanted SOMETHING, literally anything to answer even just one question that I had. Whatever it was 2 weeks or 3, like I said I am not sure. But, I had a gal I hardly know message me on instagram. Out of the blue, we just follow each other and have met a few times like 6 years ago. This was out of nowhere. She was just messaging me and opening up to me about her own past traumas and such. We got to talking and she wanted to remind me that Chris did not do what he did to hurt me, he did not do it in our home to hurt me or damage our humble abode and make it not homey anymore.. he did it where he did it because that is where he felt MOST comfortable. He felt at peace in our home, how could he not? It was our space. He did it at home and let me to find him because he felt comfort knowing the love of his life would be there to find him. I don’t know why that doesn’t make me second guess my questions but it makes sense and it made sense when she was explaining this to me. As soon as she further explained or tried to explain it to me because of her own personal handles with suicide and potential suicide herself she was able to give me a little comfort at the time and just remind me that the last thing he was trying to do was hurt me. I felt a little bit of relief after that conversation. Only a little bit.. and the time, a little bit was more than I could’ve asked for. At that point I wanted so badly to have him visit me so I could tell him how much we loved him and how we wish we could’ve saved him and how I am not angry anymore, I just felt sad for him. Sad that he felt the way he did enough to make that permanent choice. None of us will ever go a day without this memory.

For a few weeks, I wrote so much. I wrote to him, I texted his phone, I called his phone, I wrote him letters, I wrote out things just to write. I used to say ” I will never be the same again” I said that a lot and looking back I still stand firm on that. Was I supposed to stay the same? Absolutely not. That forever changed my life in more ways than one. But now… now is a different ball game. No I am never going to be the same, I don’t want to be. I want to grow, heal, change lives, love more, love harder, smile more, pray more, be more ambitious, I want to write more and tell my story to so many more people out there. So when I used to say, ” I will never be the same” I am now saying it from a different place in my healing process because at the time I was saying it as if I could never live without my Chris. Life is not easy I will give you that, living life without him is not easy. What happened, that is not for the faint of heart. I know I will see him again one day, I know he’s always watching over me. He is watching over all his loved ones. I always hope I am making him proud up there and keeping his memory alive in every way. I am constantly doing my best. That is all the grace I can give myself.

The 3rd breadcrumb

I ended up connecting with a girl who was experiencing a situation with a family member who was in this certain state of mind, he was suicidal. We got to talking on social media, I ended up continuing to check in on her here and there and just talk to her, ask what I can pray for. This relationship, with a complete stranger nonetheless blossomed into a supportive friendship, where we both understand one another. On a different level than most BECAUSE of my story. Because of that, she felt comfortable coming to me to talk and share with. THAT is why I share the way I do. Where I was able to lend a different view or just be another voice for her to hear and at the time I was still SO fresh from losing Chris. Little did I know God was and still is placing these different people in my life, different situations and many different conversations all to open my eyes to the door he has waiting for me to open. I feel like I have heard him loud and clear, I am listening. I am watching and I am aware of all the beauty even during the ugly and messy days. God has continued to show up and remind me why this story is going to change lives, because it has already changed a few and in another blog post I will share more about that in some of the messages I have recieved ( I will keep names out though for privacy reasons ) I hear my purpose and I see the path set before me, I just have to open that door.

The 4th breadcrumb

I have been trying to figure out what I wanted to do next with my purpose and the place I have been speaking from, I feel this fire in my soul that just wants to HELP people in some way but at the same time I have wanted to honor Chris’s life as well. I was thinking “what could I do?” And I had this idea to try and look into becoming an addiction counselor for some time now. No one knew about this idea at all, I mean NO ONE!

I was serving at church one morning and as a really good friend of mine and I were talking she was asking me all kinds of questions about what I wanted to do and then suggested I talk to this lady at our church who is involved with the addiction side of things. I was honestly like.. ” OK God I hear you, I see you now.” I was in awe of what that conversation came out to be because I had that idea in the back of my head for weeks and then all of a sudden a friend suggests it to me WITH opportunities surrounding us for me to get involved and I just knew THAT is what I was supposed to look into doing. Even if it was just volunteering for a little while so I get a feel, I just did not care what I had to do as long as I was doing something that was fulfilling me and my purpose. I am still now in the process of trying to get involved and I will always keep you all update on how all that goes. I am so excited because being with someone who was in addiction himself and hearing many testimonies from many different guys around him including his.. I was just blown away by Gods goodness. Those testimonies were a true test of faith, they bolster your faith in the Lord and remind you of all his grace. I know for me, hearing stories as such, it brings me back to a place where I KNOW God does work miracles, he is a miracle worker you guys and THESE stories just prove that. Time and Time again. No one is too broken for God, you are NOT too far gone and testimonies remind you of that.

So I encourage you, if you need a reminder on his promise to us, his grace and love for us PLEASE go listen to someone’s testimony and really hear where they came from and where they are now. Miracles do happen, and lives can be saved. They are every single day. This is where I want to give my energy these days. We are all broken in our own ways, we walk around carrying our OWN story and your story is unique in it’s own way. I have always said that sometimes people like to read the words they can’t say, or they like to listen to the words in a song that describes something they might be going through. I promise whatever you have to say, it does not go unnoticed. Someone is watching, someone is reading, someone is listening and most of SOMEONE is being changed and enlightened because of YOU.

I have so many more breadcrumbs to share but I am going to leave this post at just this. I always have more to say but I am afraid if I make these too long no one will take the time to read it. So, stay tuned for more and have an amazing new week ahead.

You are loved

You are worthy

You are beautifully made new.

Bre

Part Two

I felt my last post getting just a tad too long, hence why I said to be continued…

Monday, May 24, 202

It is Monday, I am sitting in the coffee shop waiting to join my first young adults group. Before I walked in here I got a voice memo from a sweet friend of mine praying for me. I will never go a day fully understanding Gods grace and love, how he shows up for me in so many ways, ways I never could have even fathomed. I am continuing to be made aware of the blessings, my surroundings, the people in my life that each bring their own light, their own voice that speaks into me all in their own way. I am so grateful.

Today had some light, I woke up and got my workout done, I did not want to because lets face it… who’s really a morning person? Not very many of us. I am trying to be simply because I have had so much on my plate, not in a negative way but things I want to do, places I WANT to be and being that the gym is a huge part of who I am, I feed now heavily off meaningful relationships and where I can serve that will fulfill my soul in all the ways I know God is trying to guide me to. He’s showing me where I’m supposed to be most, showing me that I have way more to offer than just going to the gym everyday, going to work and doing JUST that. I am not made for just the same things everyday that limit my time and my efforts. I am tired of saying NO because I have the gym and I have found that, the gym is still a place I love and a place I want to be but on MY OWN time. I will work around the gym not me around the gym. If that makes sense.

The enemy works in his own mysterious ways, the lord works in his BIG ways. His love is abundant and holy. It is fulfilling.

Tuesday May, 25th, 2020

Part of me realized today that there is still so much growing left to do within myself in my alone time. I am on fire in so many other areas, I am determined, full of life, focused, motivated…a little distracted. Sometimes not in the healthiest ways.

It has always been hard for me to be alone. Enjoy my own company, and when I mean alone I mean not being constantly surrounded by other people. It is why I would rather be at work than at home. It is why I would rather sit in my car and listen to music for a stupid amount of time when I should be somewhere because I ma distracted. It is why our phones and social media can be so damaging. This is something I am planning to do, a social media cleanse once a month. A friend suggested it and it resonated with me. Good for the soul, more time to spend with the lord. I am also choosing to re read through the Bible study I just did because it was just that good and I want take the time ALONE to really dive in and I already have the book so why not 🙂

If you want a normal look into one of my days or what my weeks look like here it is. Here is what it used to look like..

  1. Wake up and get ready for work
  2. eat breakfast and either take little man to school then head to work or just head to work
  3. work all day, 1 break in the AM, 30 minute lunch, and another 15 min break. Giving almost no time for anything else on those breaks
  4. Get off work and M, W, F head to Redmond to workout for about an hour or more most times. ( in a powerlifting team which I enjoy but it is very time consuming )
  5. Get home, cook dinner, make lunch, get ready for bed
  6. Go to bed
  7. do it all over again….

HERE IS WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE NOW

I am not even going to number these because it isn’t a list… my life does not need to be based off a list. That is so sad. Yes have things that NEED to get done, mark them off great. BUT, if you are living the same way 5 days a week… somethings gotta change. Are you really being fulfilled.

In this last 2 months I have finished yet another bible study but another book club coming up on Wednesday nights with some amazing women from church. I have joined a young adults group with a bunch of adults around my age, spending time in the word, good community, games and just an amazing well spent time. I have taken my passion to write and blog and journal way more seriously than ever before. I ran with it, and it has been…. exactly what my heart needed. I have chosen to take my time way more seriously with where I’m serving, am I giving to much to one area and not enough to myself? No, now I am making a point to give more to what I need. What is going to create a better me. The things that truly bring me joy I am now learning are just as important and they don’t belong on the back burner, they don’t deserve a no or an I guess I will do it tomorrow. They deserve for me to rearrange my life in order to better serve me.

SUNDAY May 30th, 2021

I am hopping back on here to write tonight and it is Sunday night, I had written a bit In my notes on my phone and when I do that it’s because I have things that pop into my head and I don’t want to lose my thoughts so I put them down wherever I can. So sorry for the gap in the days this week you guys, I had a lot going on and I like to take my time when writing out this stuff for the most part.

It was Memorial Day weekend. I made plans to hike crater lake here in Oregon, and we did that. I made plans to meet friends out at the Prineville reservoir and enjoy the sun, some food and some amazing company. I attended church this morning as well. It was a good day. A good weekend and it is a good life.

We have worship every Sunday, obviously and this one was powerful. I stood in the front row, held my hands together, and my eyes started to get teary eyed. I tend to get emotional no matter what but this one was different. The feeling I had was different. While talking to a friend, a really good friend this week about Chris I just remember telling her that when I think about him being gone it doesn’t feel real. That sometimes I walk around in denial of his absence and then I sit in church, the place we came and went together and I just cry. Tears flowing. Sometimes I feel Chris so near. Sometimes it just does not feel real that he is gone and there is so many things in this life that I just want to run and tell him. So many moments I wish we could get back. Some of my favorite moments in our relationship were our late night snacking in the kitchen just laughing, talking and pigging out. That time was special because it was just him and i. Present and goofy.

I am so damn proud of the choices I have made and I pray everyday that I am also making him proud up there. I know I am. Because of him, because of this entire other door to another world I knew nothing about…. I have decided it was time for me to give back. It was time for me to serve God in all ways, every way. Sharing his good news, changing lives, speaking truth, caring for those who need a little extra love and guidance, being vulnerable for myself and for the people who need to hear someone else’s vulnerability. I want to help, I want to love, I want to share and be a light. I have made lots of changes in order to accomplish the small things that bring me joy just to create them into bigger things. I know more is coming, I am sure of Gods goodness.

Whatever it is you choose to do in life, do it 110% but make sure you are having a healthy balance. At the end of the day and at the end of this life, I don’t want to be remembered solely for my hard work, to be remembered as the girl who busted her butt so much so she lost sight the important things in life. Family, friends, your children and most of all GOD. I am focusing on a much simpler life that better serve MY life.

You are loved, by more people than you know. Remember what is important in life, where do you want to be at the end of your life and who do you want standing next to you? Where is your time and effort being used? Ask yourself this, How will I be remembered? What do I want to leave behind one day? I know some people say, “just focus on the now, don’t think ahead or of the past” but that isn’t me and personally it is not realistic to me. What is the harm in wanting to have ambitions and dreams, or to have a goal in mind, a place you want to be and who you want to be there. Don’t let anyone tell you it is damaging to think ahead or to think of the past. In my head, my past has experiences that NOW I can use to speak from and on and THAT is beautiful. Your life is a story, it is a beautiful messy story, we all have one and each is unique.

Choosing to remember that life has lots of little things that make up all the big things. If you look close enough you can find the beauty in the world. When I sit and stare at my Childs sweet face and listen to him speak I am in awe that I created that. How lucky I am to be a momma. How special it is that I get to raise a human, there is nothing in this world more important to me than being a momma, and the best one I can be. If you pay attention in life you can feel and see all the magnificence in this world. There is so much to be grateful for, you can feel a true blessing.

I am going to cut this off and write again this week, there were many gaps in this one due to the week I have had. With that being said, I send you of this week to write yourself a kind affirmation everyday of the week. This is something I have HAD to do for myself in order to remind myself just how special I truly am. Sometimes we need to remind us… when it comes from someone else it is great, but you have to feel it for yourself too.

Beautifully Made New

Bre

This post is title-less, I just want to speak.

I decided to just speak. To just write. To just let it flow. No direction, no topic. Just me, my words and most of all my vulnerability.

I feel like I talk so much about how beneficial it is to be vulnerable, how important it is to be raw and real. When we go through the motions, when we have good days, we really cling to those, even just the good moments. Those will suffice for the time being right? When we experience a not so good day, a not so good moment.. while we remember how great it is to use that and grow from it, we ask ourselves how are we supposed to ride this out. It Is easier to remember that then it is to apply it. It is easier to also give input and advice to someone else when you aren’t going through it and someone else IS walking through it or whatever it is they are walking through. But, when you are going through that thing.. you end up being harder on yourself because you HAVE grown, You HAVE acquired a certain level of strength that you speak about or carry and its unsettling to have a wave you don’t really want to ride. But it would not be possible for me to even speak what I have had I not gone through what I have, I hope that makes sense. My experiences, my challenges, life hiccups and sudden earthquakes have given me a VOICE.

Last night (may 19th ) actually off and on this week I have had a really hard time getting out of my head. I have felt a little lonely ( I am the furthest thing from “alone” ) I have felt a level of insignificance and feeling irrelevant. Feeling a weight within in me that has felt way too heavy to carry and I was mad at myself for feeling it because I can tell it was bleeding into my relationships and my environment. In the past, I would have completely shut down, created issues that weren’t even there. I would create an argument based off how I am personally feeling. Even when the people that do care are only trying to help, so not only am I shutting down but I would be rude and insensitive, I would snap, get irritated easily and suddenly annoyed.. I would feel so crappy about MYSELF I would allow it to bleed into the most important relationships in my life. I would allow it to affect some moments that could’ve been beautiful.

Last night I had my first anxiety attack in a long time, I pulled over and I just sat in my car and I cried and cried. I can sit here and say ” I don’t know what came over me, I don’t know why that happened, why am I feeling this way?” I can sit there and try too make sense of something I probably can’t make sense of but it is EXPECTED.

I forget that in these short 7 months I have had to really learn to lean into uncomfortable spaces and emotions, I have had to re learn how to live. Really live. For weeks I felt so broken and lost that I felt like I was walking around in my own bubble of despair. My own bubble of anger, grief, sadness, confusion, healing, broken moments, feeling lost, loneliness. If I’m being honest, I felt like I lost my best friend. No matter what happened between me and Chris in our relationship, no matter WHAT we still held a bond, a friendship and we leaned on each other for everything. Sometimes the fact that he’s gone, the fact that October 16th and everything about that day had even happened.. I literally watched my old life vanish right before my eyes and I picked up the pieces to continue to keep living. I had to keep living for my sweet boy. I had to find a way to move FORWARD because moving on is never going to be a thing. I will never MOVE ON from what happened. I will only learn to move forward and let it be apart of my story and the way I walk through life.

The one place and space that has made me feel most at home and accepted within this walk is the church, the women in my studies, the friendships I have created inside church that now flow outside the church. God knew what was going to happen, he knew this was coming and what would then unfold afterwards. He knew and he was there to take care of me and love me, guide me, teach me, cherish me. He met me in my free fall, he never let me down, he was and is never far away. He is always here, right by side, waiting with all of his grace and abundant love.

I have walked through the fire, I have been the one to light the flame on my own life at times, I have most definitely burned myself. Ive been the one to bring destruction. I have walked through a valley. I have allowed my scars to define me not guide me and heal me. I was broken but God made me whole. I was lost and he found me. I was feeling alone and he continues to remind me that I am NEVER alone. I have seen breakthrough, I have felt breakthrough, even in the midst of my sadness or one of my anxiety attacks I still feel this cloud of weightless love. A love so light, so pure, so warm and reassuring. It feels perfect. It feels like God has his hand on me and he’s reminding me, “Let this out, I am right here.” God swooped me up. He takes this all in his hands, he is the defender of my heart. He is always near. He has the power, he is bigger than all the oceans, he shakes mountains and breaks down the walls, he is my mighty God. My savior. My father.

This last week has been hard, it is now Sunday and I have been off and on writing this all week. Today I woke up with my little man. I had to serve this morning so we got up, got ready, had some breakfast and headed off to church. I was expecting to serve in the babies per usual. We ended having no babies so I was let go of having to stay in the room. I headed upstairs to listen to the rest of the worship, hear the message and be present. As I am every Sunday. I sat alone, which has happened a lot more lately. Like I said this week has been really hard on me, emotionally and mentally and if I’m being honest.. physically as well. I did a lot of crying, a lot of asking myself why, what was happening and what in the world was causing me this? I still don’t have an answer and I never will. All I can say is that depression and grief come in waves. This week it felt like a dark cloud was washing over me, I felt numb some days, and other days I felt so much I had moments where I wish I could just turn it off. I speak so much about how strong I have been, how much I have healed and how far and few between my attacks have been since that day. I can tell you right now, the one word I can use to describe myself and the way it feels… I feel… broken. I feel like I’m stuck in this own bubble of mine and no one could possibly understand what it is I’m feeling and how could I even begin to describe the pains in the depths of my heart? How one day I can feel like I have all the love in the world and how I have so many people who are here and care and the next day…. the entire rest of my week I feel as if I am all alone. Mentally I make myself be that way. I feel trapped, I feel lost, I feel broken. The last week has made me realize that when the going gets tough with me, when it feels heavy and overwhelming I am not FULLY giving it to God. I am not FULLY leaning in on those who have clearly said they are here for me. I know they mean it and I know they are here. In this head of mine, I don’t fully let that sink in. I start to feel like it is a burden, I am too much, too broken, too “down”. I close off, I shut down and I allow myself to wallow in the sadness instead of truly letting those doors open and let the people who love me, love me. For the first time in I don’t know how long I took two naps this weekend on two different days. I was tired but it wasn’t a tired I have been doing stuff all day kind of tired. I was emotionally exhausted. I knew today that me taking a nap was not because I needed it, it was me trying to shut off my emotions and sleep off some of what I was feeling only to wake up and feel it even harder, even deeper. I know the difference between the depression in me wanting me to sleep and not deal with things and the other part of me that is actually just tired. I know this difference and this… this was the depressed part of me wanting to sleep and wallow. I felt that and I recognized it.

It is Sunday night. I usually either pick up Rylan or take him back to his dads. Tonight was a drop off and I was already feeling the way I was and then having to drop off the one person who makes me fight to stay strong was leaving me for the week. Some days I am ok, other days It really dwells within me that I only get my sweet boy every other week. He is a big reason why I am still standing here, fighting every single day to be as strong as I know I am. He is my reason and my why. I dropped him off and I headed to the gym, per usual. I got a little cardio in because sometimes to distract myself just for a moment, I like to turn on a good movie, get some steps in and just be in that one spot and in that one moment. I don’t get a lot of tv time in so this is usually my chance. I felt good after that. I got in my car to leave and I felt another wave, it hit harder. I drove home and I pulled over twice on my way home. I sat there, I prayed, I cried and cried and I let it all out. I pulled into my driveway and sat there for another almost half hour just sobbing. That dark cloud I was talking about, felt like it was thunderstorms over my heart. My soul was feeling so defeated and broken. This week alone I have had two different occasions where an anxiety attack has completely taken ahold of me. Left me unable to catch my breath, my heart feeling like it was beating from my chest and me sitting there sobbing so much I couldn’t breathe. I haven’t had anything like that in a while, like I said, they are far and few between these days. I can sit here and tell you I don’t know why… but I do know why.

Like I said in earlier paragraphs.. I am living a different life, the life I once knew is gone. It was gone October 16, 2020. The person I was is no longer the person I look at in the mirror everyday. The person I see on a daily basis has and still is finding her way, step by step, moment by moment, minute by minute, experience by experience, month after month I am still finding the words, still finding my path, still finding the stepping stones and along the way I am constantly picking up all the breadcrumbs God has left in front of me. I feel like a completely different BRE. Here is the thing, I don’t write or share for pitty or for sympathy. I don’t share for people to feel bad for me or to check in on me. I share because THIS is real life. THIS is who I am. THIS is raw and this is vulnerability at its finest. I have so much freaking work left to do on my soul. There is so much healing left to happen. I have so much love in my heart still yearning to give and I am. I am NOT broken, this I know… but dammit sometimes it most definitely feels like it and that depression… that deep deep pain you feel in the deepest parts of your heart. That doesn’t go away. It has not gone away, I am just learning to live with it. Some days it’s not has heavy, it feels lighter. Some other days… it feels so heavy, it feels completely overwhelming and suffocating and it feels like it is diminishing me as a whole. But.. I know it is not. If this has been teaching me anything it has been teaching me that I am still so fresh in this, I am still learning and growing, changing and evolving. There is still so much left to do.

I am not lost, I am found. I am so completely loved by God.

I listened to this song called “you say” on the way home tonight, if I’m being honest I had it on repeat and I just let the words wash over my soul, I digested every single word. I hear you Lord. I heard you. Here are the lyrics…

 I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough
Every single lie that tells me I will never measure upAm I more than just the sum of every high and every low
Remind me once again just who I am because I need to know
Ooh-ohYou say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
And you say I am held when I am falling short
And when I don’t belong, oh You say I am Yours
And I believe
Oh, I believe
What You say of me
I believeThe only thing that matters now is everything You think of me
In You I find my worth, in You I find my identity
Ooh-ohYou say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
And you say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh You say I am Yours
And I believe
Oh, I believe
What You say of me
Oh, I believeTaking all I have, and now I’m laying it at Your feet
You have every failure, God, You have every victory
Ooh-ohYou say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh You say I am Yours
And I believe
Oh, I believe
What You say of me
I believeOh, I believe
Yes, I believe
What You say of me
I believe..

To be continued…

BRE

Understanding me.

It has taken me a very very long time to understand who I am, what makes me tick, what lights a fire in my soul. I think I finally figured it out but in a way.. have I really figured it out? Probably not fully, I think I will spend the rest of my life constantly figuring myself out. As we grow we also change out thought process, how we handle anger and frustration, how we keep ourselves healthy or not, how we navigate those curve balls life throws us, how we are in relationships with friends, family, partners, children, co workers, strangers. Everything changes even when you don’t see it. A year, a few months. Things can really change and that time.. flies by so quickly.

For someone like myself, I have always struggled with feeling accepted, feeling comfortable enough in being who I was made to be by God. Was I pretty enough than the next girl? Was I interesting enough or is someone else more interesting than me always? Was I smart enough, funny enough? The list goes on. I struggled with self esteem and confidience and even still… it arises in moments. It will haunt me and creep up and try to destroy me. At least it used to. I have found new ways to help myself get through those moments and those days.

I know I tend to use MY story in losing my partner to relate to anything in life and here is why.

I spent a lot of that relationship trying to be more for someone that felt like less of the person he was. I tried to be the bandaid, I tried to heal him a lot of the time, I tried so hard to be everything he needed from me because he went through so much of feeling not good enough, not worthy enough, not ENOUGH. I lifted him up constantly.

If I look back I can recognize where I went wrong and it was not putting myself first enough.. I loved that man for all that he was. All his failures and mistakes, all his successes and triumphs. Our relationship was not easy, I lost a lot of trust and I had this conversation of trust and what it did to me, a few nights ago with someone. I said all the things out loud that had created the person I now see in my past. She lost herself completely, she was constantly worried about when the other shoe was going to drop, she said no to her friends a lot. She missed out on a lot because she was worried about her partner constantly. I was always on edge.

I will NEVER shine a negative light on Chris’s life because he was not defined by his addiction and what that did to him. He did try everyday to become the person he always wanted to be. He fought really hard to create a new life for himself and to build a relationship with his son again. He fought every SINGLE day.

With that being said, I lost who I was. I was on edge, worried, stressed.. simply just lost, I cried a lot more than I ever should have. I just lost ME. I can look back now and it makes me so sad to say the words out loud of the things I used to do that LOOKED crazy, that LOOKED and FELT insane for me to even have to do. I did not recognize myself and neither did the people around me who loved me. The amount of times I heard.. ” I miss the bre who was always such a light, who said yes to enjoying time with the people she cared about most, who was present and positive”

I did not carry trust with me for a better part of our relationship and the people closest to me knew what that did to me. I could never fully enjoy myself out without him because I was constantly worried about something, where he was, what he was doing, what shoe was going to drop?

I now understand a few things about why I was the way I was.

I had zero confidence in MYSELF. I always thought there was someone better out there than me, I thought that if someone seemed more interesting than me then that would be it. This isn’t all based on my own lack of self esteem and or my confidence because there were mistakes made that caused me to lose my trust in the first place BUT everything just came full circle.

I had ZERO self esteem or ambition, no drive, not a lot of life to me, not a lot of positive energy was being put towards the things that mattered to me or the things I had a desire to accomplish. I felt like I was walking on egg shells, I lost myself and lost the drive I once ever had. I don’t even recognize that person anymore.

I am in a place now where I feel like my best self, my best version and that path for her is newly paved. None of this means that I don’t love my Chris. Because, that loss did a number on me. That pain, the grief, the loss, the memories we had.. It comes rushing back at a speed of light sometimes and it almost takes my breath away. I loved that man with everything I had, this is why I allowed my self to be lost in the first place. I CHOSE to not put myself first sometimes because I felt as if he needed more of me than myself needed of me.. if that makes sense.

I am now in a place where I am so unbelievably sure of who I am, what my purpose is, the heart I have, the joy I have in my soul, the love I have for life and the appreciation nonetheless. I APPRECIATE life. I APPRECIATE the little things that surround me. I try to take more notice of the simple things life has to offer. I try to smile through the awful feelings while still feeling them and allowing them to run the course it has to. I have always said, “happiness is temporary, it comes and goes and that is okay.” I stand by this, only I use the term joy now because JOY is constant. Joy is constantly in my heart. I am JOYFUL about the life I get to live. I AM JOYOUS in my role as a momma. I am JOYFUL that I am surrounded by so many people who love me and understand me as well as I am finally somewhat understanding ME. I am JOYFUL that I get to serve a God who is always faithful and forgiving. That his love never waivers. I am JOYFUL in the fact that I get to raise a little boy who will also have a love for the Lord and that I am the one who gets to watch him walk by faith, build his relationship with the Lord.

I am so joyful.

I understand now that how I choose to flow through my own life is up to me, solely up to this momma. If I want to get stuff done I have to create a space for myself that is organized and planned out to get those things done. I understand that the one thing that has gotten me through this entire process and the healing is my faith and my love for the church and helping serve in some way. I understand that there may be someone else who is more interesting, more lovable, more fun or funny, someone who is more attractive than myself. There is always someone who has something you don’t or carries themselves in a different way than you do. I am who I am, I am firm in who I carry myself to be. I know what is set upon my heart and I have been so excited to see the purpose God has set in front of me to pursue. I understand that I won’t always have a sunshiny day, that I will cry, I will scream, I will get angry, I will feel those emotions that most people really don’t want to feel but for me… it is designing a completely new Breanna. It is building and structuring me in the ways God has intended for them to do. He is not yet done with me. He is always working on my heart, filling me up, answering prayers, leaving me breadcrumbs and he is always, ALWAYS present.

I actually like to look back on who I once was, how I carried myself, what were my strengths and my weaknesses, what did I work on in order to be where I’m at now. I have somewhat of a painted clear picture on who I am NOW. It has helped me grow, flourish, blossom, create, love more, be extra kind, many things have bolstered my faith, my purpose is being brought to my attention in so many ways, in some ways it has shown up through other people. It is amazing what God places on your path. He has had me since day one, this story of mine is continuing to allow me the ability to speak in the ways I have, it has allowed me to finally understand myself in some ways, I know what needed to change in order for me to have healthier relationships in my life. I finally understand myself, in more ways than one but at the same time I am still growing and evolving, learning new things, acquiring new knowledge and with that allows me the ability to always find ways to be the best version of myself while still allowing myself the grace to not always have it right. The grace to get through the days where I just don’t know how to hold myself together, or why I am questioning myself. Those to me now… are all great ways to GROW and LEARN more about myself. This is a never ending road to always becoming the best version of yourself and recognizing that the things you make think are a downfall, are actually probably the very thing that is creating you to be who you are. Allow yourself the grace to figure things out slowly, gracefully and with all the kindness in the world. You deserve it. You are a masterpiece.

I am proud of this version but always excited to see me grow in many new ways.

Bre

A letter to myself

Dear Bre,

Love whole heartedly. Continue to find beauty in all things. Find solace in that fresh summer morning where coffee is in hand and a good read is in the other. Seek gratitude. Truly smile. Write down what you are thankful for in each day. Write down how you see God working in your new life. LOVE your new life. Cry those tough moments out. Experience new things. Accept help and be gracious with your process. Grief has been hard, don’t let it take you to a dark place. Let God continue writing your story because we know its the best one yet. I am proud of the women you have become in the last 6 months. The women you are still becoming. You took something dark, painful, grueling, unsettling, life changing and you used it to ask God to create you a new beautiful story… without pain we don’t have joy and even though I have felt true pain.. I have TRULY felt TRUE and IMMENSE joy. Wow isn’t that something? She is learning to breathe again, she is learning that God doesn’t work on MY time, he works on HIS time. Instead of constantly trying to rush life or get somewhere I’m not ready to be she is learning to wait in the process for the beauty that is unfolding. I surrender. I hand over my entire life to God and let him rewrite my story, turn a new page to a whole new chapter that was my life and be present in what NOW is my life. That is beautiful. Let’s take it all in. Let’s have fun with this. Because we are over here reminding people that you can smile and cry at the same time. You can feel joy and sadness at the same time. Healing is so hard, it is holy, it is painful, it is scary, it is raw and real all at the same time. We are here learning what it truly means to let new hope, peace and joy flow into our life. In life, we will grieve. We will love. Without love there is no grieving.. without grieving there is no love. I am constantly being reminded that because I have felt true, debilitating pain… that I now feel true love. I now feel what it means to love whole heartedly, I know what it means to truly, deeply CARE. So I hope and I pray that you, Breanna, continue on with what God has in store for you, he is so very present In all that you do. He is not yet done, he has a beautiful plan for your life and there is PURPOSE on the other side of PAIN. There is a beautiful story on the other side of what once was. Moving forward does NOT mean moving on. Give yourself grace. Be patient with your journey because it is YOUR journey and it is Gods journey. Let yourself have fun, laugh, cry, smile, yell, scream, be silent, take it all in, be stimulated and surrounded. Take some time for YOU. Be present in all that you do and most of all… ALL THAT YOU ARE. Be the momma YOU need yourself to be and who Rylan needs you to be. Be adventurous. Get outside more. Spend less time on your phone. Continue to write your little heart out. Read more books and less instagram posts. Find ways to help someone in need. Pray, Pray and Pray. Dive deeper into the word of God. Dream and flourish in the new things that have been set upon your heart. Be passionate and purposeful. Be the new you, let your new story be told. Keep sharing the depths of your heart because… sis it is helping and the more you share, the more you are reminded that it IS in fact helping. So while this is helping heal YOU, it is also helping heal others as well. You are doing such an amazing job. You riding a new wave, you are taking on new challenges and figuring things out one day at a time, one hour at time.. This version of you is pretty awesome, you are one of the strongest people, God has a huge purpose and plan for your life.

You are loved. You are valued and strong. You are powerful In all your own ways. You are free from evil and rejoicing in the Glory of God. You are a new women with a new heart and new set of eyes. You love differently. You are seen and you are heard. She is compassionate and strong willed. You are beautifully made new !

Love, Bre

The Anger and The Guilt

I told you guy’s that I would write about a little bit about the stages of grief from loosing someone by suicide. It carries a different process and set of emotions with it that is different than someone just passing. It doesn’t mean this holds more or less significance but it carries emotions and feelings that I feel most people would have a hard time understanding.

It is sudden

It is final

It is ugly.

It is confusing..

A N G E R

When anger set in for me I also felt guilt. I woke up on the day of Christophers funeral, November 12th, I was so angry. My anger came from a place of love, because I was so angry that he was GONE. Continuing to ask myself “why?” ” Did I not do enough?” I asked myself many questions. I asked the what if’s. I disected everything as much as I could to try and understand why it was I was angry, the anger didn’t feel right. I felt like it was awful to HIM for me to be angry, because I was not the one who felt like I had to take my own life right? He did, so he deserved grace and understanding.

Then… I let myself just be angry because I knew where it was coming from. I knew that if I had the chance to see him again, just one more time I would’ve told him to hold my hand and that we would get him through it, TOGETHER. But, as I have said he had checked out. I watched the light in his eyes diminish for 6 days. I was also angry because he CHOSE to go missing the Sunday before he took his life. I was SO angry, worried, lost, confused.. At that time I had thought he was dead. I thought he got in an accident on his way home from the valley and I was a wreck. We found him and I knew immediately that he had checked out, mentally. He didn’t want to show his face because I had gotten everyone involved in finding him and that was the only thing he had said to me for days, “I never want to show my face again”. I will never fully know what happened that night he went missing.. maybe I don’t want to know. I was angry.

He left us all with so many questions and unfortunately those will never be answered. I just had to learn to stop trying to make sense of something that was just never going to make sense. I had to ride out the anger and when I did.. I then just had to remind myself that what I continue to feel is all validated and OKAY! I was angry that he took his life in OUR home. I was angry because he knew that not a single person would have come over to check on me or him besides my best friend next door and even then a part of me felt like he knew that I would be ok because I had her. I was angry that he knew I would come home and see him that way. I was angry that he left the door to our garage wide open for me to see when I turned that corner. I was SO angry that I could not sleep for days, I could not be alone, I could not shower alone, change alone, go to the bathroom alone. Anytime I had to get anything from the house I needed company and I always felt scared to be inside. I was angry that for weeks on end I was not able to sleep without someone sleeping with me and lights on and tv on. I couldn’t eat, I lost weight quickly. I was angry that it felt like my whole world was turned upside down, but somehow, I knew I would be ok. I was learning how to navigate all of that while grieving his absence. I was so angry. I just wanted him back, I wanted a do over, I wanted to save him.

G U I L T

This one.. this one hit me hard and it still does to this very day.

Friday morning, October 16th I woke up feeling defeated. I had felt so stepped on, not appreciated for having just spent 24 hours the Sunday before looking for my person only to find out he chose not to find a phone to call someone.. I thought he was dead somewhere. I woke up that Friday morning after he had completely checked out and given up. He didn’t move from the couch for 6 days, he didn’t shower, he didn’t change his clothes, he didn’t brush his teeth, he did nothing but watch tv. Every day I left for work I sat right next to him and said, “I love you, I am here for you, we can get through this.” and everyday he never looked at me and just told me to leave him alone. I was pushed away second by second, sleeping in our bed by myself, I was fed up come Friday morning. I had found his goodbye letter on the top of our closet on his side and I took it, I went next door and I called non emergency and I tried to get someone to come get him or at least come check on him. I had proof that he wanted to take his life and I thought that was enough… but no one came. I reached out to teen challenge, the program he had graduated from. No one came. Even when I read his letter I still didn’t think he would do this.. I never really put myself in the mindset that he must of been in to make such a final decision. Only one person came the night before that Friday and it was his best friend, I thought the conversation went well. But, Chris was still checked out. I even asked him how it went and he said ” It was good, but it didn’t change anything” then he just went back to not looking at me and telling me to leave him alone. I still have this idea in my head that he pushed everyone away because he had already made up his mind about what he was going to do and he didn’t want to change his mind. Whatever it was that caught up to him so much so that he felt the need to leave this earth. To leave his sweet baby boy, to leave another boy who loved him dearly, to leave the person he wanted to marry. To leave his family and friends. He had so many people in his corner, people who truly cared about him and knew what he struggled with mentally.

The guilt set in for multiple different reasons. That day I left to walmart and then work. On my way to work from walmart I had this insane urge to go home.. it felt like a pull, it was an intense battle with MYSELF and I almost took a left turn to go home and instead I took a right, I went to work and got it done in less than an hour so I could hurry home but I didn’t know why. My gut was eating at me. I got home and my life changed forever. The man I loved SO hard was just gone. He had my love letter I wrote him earlier that week sitting next to his second goodbye letter on our coffee table and our brand new puppy in her kennel. I felt guilty that I did not come home in enough time. I was guilty that I didn’t stay home with him, why did I leave? I felt guilty that I didn’t fight harder even though to me it felt like I was fighting as hard as I could to bring him back to a place where he could feel possibility again. That he could get better. I felt guilty for not recognizing more of what he was saying or feeling, but I did. After he left this earth it was like puzzle pieces came together and things made sense. I felt guilty for so much and I just wish I had the chance to tell him ONE MORE TIME how much I loved him and how I would’ve gone to hell and back to support him with every ounce of my being. He meant the world to me, anyone who knew our relationship knew it wasn’t easy but that I loved that man with my entire soul. I fought for US every single day. I did everything I could to make that man feel special, loved, and cherished. He deserved it, he deserved to feel whole again after such a hard life prior to meeting me. I took his broken pieces and I loved them with all of me, I never once judged him for his mistakes or used them against him. We didn’t struggle or have the hard times we did because he didn’t love me…he had such a hard life with addiction and he never felt good enough for me and Rylan. He always felt like we were better off, and I tried to hug those broken pieces and the doubts he had within himself. He still deserves that, I will forever honor him, Cherish him and share his beautiful life in all of its rawness.

I know for some people this may be hard to read, I know this isn’t ideal to share, I know some might not understand why I choose to share such details or the story at all. I recently read a book called ” FEAR GONE WILD” and this book is a whole story written from a wife who lost her preacher husband to suicide. She shares some dark details, some unsettling pieces of their life and his life during his depressed and lost state of mind, her life after, the messy process after loosing someone to suicide.

We can’t just sit here and only talk about mental health or suicide and how big it is and then just stop there. We all know how serious this is. We all know that mental health is not only important but that in the last year alone that more people have died by suicide than ever before. The rates are only rising and it makes me feel like I want to scoop up all those people who feel so unworthy of life and remind them that their life here has purpose and that they CAN get through this. I want so badly to snap my fingers and take away that pain, because from experience in MY personal life I know what it feels like to have those thoughts room your mind. I have been there, a few times. I CHOOSE to share this story and part of my life because it HAS to be shared. More people need to be more comfortable sharing those broken pieces and asking for help or accepting it when it is offered. I have had many people reach out to me a little bit after Chris left this earth expressing their gratitude for how I share, asking for prayer because they are or a family member is experiencing a similar situation. We got a phone call from our landlord that day saying that our phone call about what happened might of saved her teenage daughters life that day… to me, that only makes me want to share more. Why? because if telling this story can change someones life or save someones life then I will tell it until I’m blue in the face. This is why I write, this is why I share and I am so vulnerable.

I love you all,

Bre

Timing is nothing but it is also everything

Let me start of by asking you a few things, what is timing to YOU? Does it hold great value? Does it even mean anything at all to you? What is it?

For me, personally, I feel like there is a certain stigma or conversations with people based around what is considered a “good” time for something. But that only comes from other peoples judgments, their assumptions or what they only see 10% right? For instance, I’ve heard someone say.. “Why does she look so happy? How is she not sad anymore? How can be so lively.. it’s only been 6 months?” From the outside you see ONLY 10% if not less than that.

Let’s talk about this.

I will say, I just don’t care too much about the assumptions or judgments because I am more joyful. I am living my life. I am making a hell of a lot of progress in a short time and guess what? I will give SO MUCH PRAISE to our God for that because let me tell you what… this momma would NOT have made it this far without him, without my community in church, the wonderful friends I have in my life that are basically my family. My family. My child. I did not do this alone.

I will be the first to say, how you decide to grieve and process certain emotions, how you decided to put one foot in front of the other after ANYTHING that may feel defeating, a loss or a hardship of any kind. That is you. You decide what road to follow and that road will never be the straight and narrow. It will have bumps, pot holes, round abouts and some construction. Your life is always in the hands of the Lord and it is not always easy to walk by faith, that is a choice even when you feel like all hope is lost. Faith plays the biggest role.

Where is your faith?

What are you praying for?

How are you navigating THAT thing?

This is MY growth, MY grief, MY trauma, MY walk with the lord. It is all going to look different for everyone.

Sometimes, the so called “good timing” people think is wrong or right might not always be ideal, might not always look good to THEM, it might not always make sense to THEM, you will most definitely receive some opinions and those are acceptable. But, don’t let someones opinion dictate how you choose to move. You have YOUR opinions and your own thought process for a reason. You are YOU for a reason, cliché I know..

I was sitting in church today and our pastor had mentioned something regarding prayer, what is a prayer you have prayed and God has answered? or has he not answered yet and you have given up on whether or not he is even listening? Have you prayed for that thing once or twice or has it been a constant prayer? Have you given up on a prayer or maybe it has been answered and you just forgot to take a closer look and thank him for it? Because this was me today. I forgot about mine, truthfully I prayed for it one time.. but it was intense, it was emotional and I was vulnerable in asking complete strangers to sit and pray for us at the time.

In summer 2019 my best friend and I had gone to another church together, both of us having some major issues in our relationships. We just remember walking up to the individuals offering prayer and crying and praying with them. We were in similar situations with no one else to cling to but each other and the Lord. As we did, I remember we really didn’t talk about that prayer time again, like ever. We simply just moved forward and dealt with the same stuff for a while longer. Good days here and there but still allowing the darkness of our situations to take ahold without truly walking with the Lord in it and constantly praying about it.

Fast forward to this morning, sitting in church next to my best friend, on April 25th 2021 and our pastor asks us, “What is a prayer that God has answered? Did he deliver? Did he show up?” We both looked at one another and just smiled.

He indeed answered our prayer.

This was not on my timing, this was not on her timing, this was not on the timing of the people who prayed for us, this was on GODS timing alone. For HE knew the plans he had for us, HE knew what was going to unfold and this is exactly where our faith came into play. We trust in him, we continue to pray, to have faith, lean in closer to the promises of his word, to share the good news, to be his church. He is ALWAYS on your side. He ALWAYS has you, and maybe it isn’t what you want it to look like but let me tell you what, God has a beautiful story that is your life. Your life has a purpose.

Please, do NOT base your life around the so called “perfect timing” or listening when someone says ” Is that too soon?” “Are you sure this is the right time?” “What if” If it feels right, let it flow. If you feel joy, walk in that. If you are not being fulfilled, change something. Timing is everything and it is nothing all at the same time. You could potentially miss out on SO much by basing too much off the “right timing” Or giving yourself a ridiculous timeline for anything. Sometimes things just gotta flow!

I wasn’t going to use this as an example but I think I just might because it seems fitting..

I am obviously seeing someone new and most people know this and some probably don’t like it, some might not approve of the so called “timing” of either the relationship or the direction the relationship is moving. Whatever it may be. But, in this situation I am following my heart, I am going with the flow and walking in my faith with this one. The reason I am using this as an example is because I feel like there is this un necessary stigma around the TIMING that I am supposed to mourn, grieve or be sad after everything. “Is this a good time for you to be in a relationship? It’s only been however many months? How can you love someone new so soon? There are probably a million different questions people have asked or things said that create this bad image around MY LIFE and how I choose to move forward. There is reason I say timing is everything and it is nothing. Because, if I were to put myself in a box and say “ Okay, 2 years from now is a good time to get back out there” “1 year from now I will start working out at our gym again, that should be enough time to not be sad when I walk in there right?” “Years from now.. I can have more kids right? This is a good time?” How silly does that sound? I realized that I would miss out on a lot of amazing things by confining myself in this box or in this mindset where I’m constantly questioning when the right time is, or when I will be truly ready for something. Moving forward I have decided to just follow my gut. How are you TRULY feeling?

This is my time to rebuild, restructure and focus on what is important to me, what I FEEL in my heart, where my SOUL and GOD are leading me to.

I encourage you to pray that prayer, keep praying for that very thing. I promise no prayer goes unanswered. No conversation with the lord goes unheard. It might be a week from now, it might be a year from now. We don’t know, but what I do know is God always has a plan. His plan is better than your plan and my plan.

Reassurance, grace, hope and utter despair.

The day this sweet man left this earth I felt an over abundance of different feelings. Some of these I did not expect to feel so suddenly.

I did not expect to feel safe, reassured or even hope in the midst of this but I did and it was very confusing and questionable to me. But even feeling like I was questioning why I was feeling a sense of security, I knew this was God holding my hand and telling me, “My daughter, I am here, I will be here, you WILL get through this, feel that.” I always assumed that when something so tragic happens that most people go through all the BAD motions. Ya know, the ones that leave you wanting to stay in bed for all hours of the day, not eating or eating a lot. Not getting up and choosing to still live life. Pushing everyone away that only wanted to be there for them. Unfortunately life DOES still move forward and while you feel like your stuck in this quicksand like place and you literally can’t move your feet even an inch forward.. you KNOW life still moves on.I sometimes felt like I was in this giant bubble walking around with this heavy thing that most didn’t know about and I did not know how to speak to strangers at times. But there are lots of people who choose to stay stuck because it is easier than fighting to feel better. I wanted to do this but I did not.

I could not relate to that feeling because even in my pain I still felt the urge to push on and FEEl everything as it rushed over me like a giant wave in the ocean.

I remember that very moment where I dropped my phone after answering my call to my best friend and screaming.. I remember falling to my knees, grabbing onto the wall where the front door would shut and I was just screaming. I remember someone grabbed me and moved me out on our front porch while I was screaming and crying out and holding me while I rocked back and forth, while I was hitting the ground screaming and yelling the words “NO” over and over and over again… I remember this so vividly because I did this multiple times after the initial moment. I did this for weeks and while it happened less and less, it felt more painful as time went on. I remember trying to go to our gym for the first time I think 2 or 3 weeks after.. I don’t remember a time frame because those days just blurred together. I ended up walking in and basically walking out. I could not do it. I then left, sat and cried in my car once again and yelling “NO”. I truly felt like “what am I supposed to do without you?” “How am I supposed to continue on when we were right in the middle of building our LIFE together?” “Why did you do this?” “Why didn’t I come home soon enough?”

“Grief is like the ocean.. it is deep and dark and bigger than all of us. And pain is like a thief in the night. Quiet. Persistent. Unfair. Diminished by time and faith and love.”

As odd as this is going to sound.. remembering all that I felt at that very moment and even then on. I felt HOPE. I felt GRACE. I felt SAFE. Weird right? How did I feel those things after something so tragic? Because God had me. That is not something I knew.. this was something I felt in that very moment when I dropped to my knees and screamed, where I could not believe that this was now what I was going to navigate through. That my future waters were continuously going to be rough, rocky, filled with every emotion you could possibly think of. And It was. But I FELT Gods presence within me and around me. I can’t even really explain it but I can give you an idea.

I used the metaphor “breadcrumbs” for many reasons.

When I started my counseling sessions and I started to write I remember using that metaphor a lot. I kept saying how I SAW God and Chris leaving me breadcrumbs. In my dreams, in people, in life, in weird coincidences or relations from others. There was so many and there is STILL so many. I brought this up to my counselor and she was in awe of my determination to use this as a way to speak to people, she was in awe that I had used that term to recognize some GOOD instead of continuing to focus on what I can not change. She also ended up being a writer and navigating difficult waters in HER life at around my same age and she and I were able to relate on some levels. I had come so far in such a short time and I think part of that was I did not want this to define me in all the wrong ways. I did not want this to destroy my life and diminish the person that I was and wanted to be. I wanted to shine a light on his life after he left this earth. I wanted to do right by him and honor him, I wanted to continue to share my pain and the strength and growth that came with navigating this season in my life. It hasn’t been easy but it has been worth the fight. It was a fight, I won’t lie to you about that.. It was a battle and a daily one. There were so many moments where I did want to lay in bed and my pain felt so strong on some days, the desperation, the loss felt so heavy, his absence was excruciating at times. I would wake up and mornings were the worst for me for a while. I honestly questioned how I was going to make it out of this season, how was I going to get through this? Well, somehow I am STILL getting through it. There is not a single day that goes by that I don’t think about him, how much I loved him and how I was willing to go to the ends the earth just to live a life with this man. My person. But, God had other plans and If anything I am happy to know he is truly home with the Lord.

Grief is not easy. The trauma was not easy, I still deal with that and while it may be seldom, it is still there. You don’t just pick up one day and all of a sudden you are fine, everything’s back to normal. I chose to wake up everyday remembering that I still have a life to live, I still have to be the best momma I can be to my boy, I still have to work, I still have to show up for my life. It does not mean I am 100% back to “normal” or “happy”. I have put in the effort, I am not choosing to scrape by and “make it to another day” I am always embracing this life that I still get to live. One thing my counselor switched on me was using the word HAPPY. I felt JOY. She noticed after hearing me speak and share that I was feeling JOY. Joy is permanent. Happiness comes and goes, it is NOT permanent and that is OK. Life can be so beautiful, it can still be appreciated, it can still be joyful and your life IS an abundant blessing.

This one horrific tragedy was not a definition of my days to come, I knew that and it was up to me which road I chose to take moving forward. That road was going to have blocks, pot holes and lots of construction but it was going to end up being a beautiful masterpiece ahead. This was not going to define me. It is apart of who I am and in this it has created a story behind the person I have become and it is worth sharing. It is worth bringing to life.

GRACE.

Grace was so hard to give myself when I didn’t feel worthy of it. I promised myself that I would invest in ME, in my growth, in my healing, in my need to want to prosper in this season and I did not do it alone. I was continuing to receive grace from so many of my friends, family, my church community. I was constantly reminded that it was OK for me to have a breakdown because it was what needed to happen and to allow myself the GRACE to let it be, let it flow, let it wash over me and really FEEL what was happening. I never allowed myself to shut off those unwanted feelings and emotions. I did not mask it, burry it or try to forget about it. If I FELT like I was about have one of those moments, I just let it happen. I still let them happen because I know it is all part of the process. I have to allow myself the patience and grace to walk through this hard place because this is how I have healed and grown and learned. I am still learning and recognizing things I never expected I would have to. This doesn’t just stop one day, just because you see a smile or a laugh.. what you see isn’t always the clearest picture. It is a ray of light and only few know that there Is a lot more behind the door of my grief. It is ever-changing, the grief is ebbing and flowing. Sometimes it is calm and sometimes it is overwhelming. I am always learning to swim in it.

REASSURANCE was a beautiful thing to feel and it made me feel safe.

I felt this so strongly, I felt this every single day. God was ALWAYS and is STILL reassuring me that no matter what, HE HAS GOT ME. I am SAFE with him. I surrounded myself with the church, the community of women within our church. I knew this was where I was supposed to be. I knew that this would save me in ways God was showing me it would. I felt led. I felt urged. I felt saved. I felt safe. How was I able to feel all that while I had just walked in on the person I was building life with for the last two years just gone in one single moment. I was honestly in awe of MYSELF. I was in shock and somewhat proud of myself for not letting this completely destroy me and my life. If anything I wanted to push on for Chris as well. I wanted to live this life, live a life he so desperately wanted to live with me and honor him in ways he deserved. I KNOW he would’ve wanted me to continue to live, to find love again, to smile and laugh with friends and family, to continue to push forward for the dreams and aspirations I have in my heart. He encouraged me to do the things that were set upon my heart. He knew I was constantly eager to learn new things, read a new book either together or apart, he knew I had these ideas for the things I wanted and I just wanted to share all of it with him. I may not be able to audibly hear him when I do share things with him still but I know he’s listening and I know I am reassured that what I am doing, how I am pushing on, the choices I’ve made to continue to live this life while not allowing the grief and trauma to drag me down.. I am reassured by God and by Chris. I know Chris has his hand in my life. I know he would just want to see me smile again, to love life. And I am.

I will forever honor him by living this life with a grateful heart, appreciating everything life has to offer and continuing to share what is in my heart because this has what has created these relationships I hold so close to my heart. THIS is what God has set upon me.

I am forever grateful for the love I am receiving from everyone who is either reading, sharing or commenting. I would love for you guys to reach out, email me, share with me. It does not have to be publicly. I want to know what’s in your hearts, how are you getting through a hard season in life? How are you naviagting difficult waters.

You are loved. Your words matter.

You are BEAUTIFULLY MADE NEW

The Love and the loss.

This word is one I never thought I would have to say.. but now I live with saying the word often..

I lost my person, I lost my best friend, I lost the person I shared everyday life.. gone, in one single moment.

Christopher and I met in October 2018 and 3 months later we moved into our first home together, our tiny townhome that was connected to the side where my best friend lived so we had it made being so close to her and the kids. It was a giant family. We had Rylan, my 5 year old boy and Chris had his son, Cannon, who was also 5. The two boys quickly became brothers and friends and I loved our little family and what we were building. Christopher always struggled with feeling like enough for us, always felt like he was failing in some way and that if a tiny ray of light shined through the windows of our life something would take It away, almost immediately, and he would then think his life was determined to always be as difficult as whatever thing was getting in the way of the life we wanted. I have always been someone who has seen the brighter side to life, even in spite of hardship, take it I haven’t always had the best attitude about things or to people ( I am working on patience ) but I have always known that no matter what “I’ll be okay”. Christopher and I fell head over heels instantly for each other, we would sit in the back of my car and talk for hours just getting to know each other and it quickly turned into a deep love.

Christopher had personal struggles prior to us getting together and that’s the place I met him in. Right in the middle of a big life change for him. It was not easy and it had moments of true test, but I always knew that I loved him more than whatever struggle came our way, I loved him for who he really was, not what he thought his struggles defined him as. I saw him in a different light than he saw himself and that’s why we always fought so hard to keep going. I just wanted to be his biggest supporter. He was a beautiful human, he always did everything for everyone he loved. He was the kind of guy who would answer any phone call, any text, drop what he was doing to help a friend. He wore himself thin a lot of the time and I knew why he did some that. It was almost an escape from his own struggles and issues and he felt better helping others, which was never a bad thing. He just forgot to take care of himself too. I always tried to remind him that HE mattered to. He knew what I was saying. He was selfless in his TRUE self, not what evil told him he was. His mind got the best of him a lot of the time, I only wish he saw what I saw. His mind, the evil, the lies that evil told him, took him away forever.

October 16th came and went like a flash of light, but those first 2 days felt like eternity.. it was a hard week for him. He had given up on life and I could see it, I could feel it. He pushed me away, many times. I knew why. It was a beautiful Friday, we had our brand new puppy and she adored him and he tried to disconnect with her for obvious reasons. I was getting ready for work, I was upset for how he was pushing me away, I was angry and hurt and at a loss. I found one big letter he wrote to his family, his son, me… I reached out to 3 people that day. I called non emergency, I reached out to teen challenge to have one of the guys come check on him, I reached out to his friend. One person came to see him the day before, his best friend drove 2 1/2 hours to check on him and to just drive home that very night. Thursday night. Friday came… I remember leaving to work in a hurry, upset and angry that he had pushed me away all week, turned everyone away, he told me he would leave if I had one more person call to talk to him and at the time I did not want to risk him leaving and not being able to find him again. So I left it alone but I was upset. I just wanted him to accept help. I just wanted him to know he was loved and ALL week I did. I kept sitting down next to him on the couch and I just kept repeating myself, ” I love you Christopher, I am here for you.” One day that week before work I wrote him a little love letter and brought him a drink because he knew most of the time the easiest way for me to get anything across was through my writing so I always wrote him letters.

He put my love letter next to his goodbye letter and I saw the two sitting on the coffee table when I walked in that Friday afternoon before I found him.

I came home and the love of my life was just gone. I walked in and I screamed as loud as I could, for a few moments I could not cry, I just screamed and then the tears flowed. It wasn’t a normal cry, it was a normal scream. I had let out sounds that no human should ever let out of their bodies.. I was in shock and I was in agony.. My best friend came home RIGHT as I walked in and found him. She is forever connected to this tragedy with me in the most personal way and I am forever grateful that God had her there with me through something like that. A few hours passed and I got up to use the bathroom and I felt like someone had beat me up, I felt so weak and tired and sore to the touch. I had so many people hugging me, holding me, telling me to drink water, to sit up, to eat something, to talk. All I could do for weeks was cry, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t be In my own home anymore, I couldn’t be alone even to shower, I couldn’t be alone in any way. I truly felt like that was it. I was broken, I knew God would take care of me but in some moments the pain was SO deep and SO painful I felt like I could’ve easily been taken away in my own pain. I could’ve let that take me away. I didn’t just cry, I yelled out in agony, in desperation, begging for answers I would never get, begging for Christopher to send me a sign of some kind, begging for God to tell me WHY, WHY, WHY? Many times, many places, many drives I just sobbed and sobbed.

I started to write a week after he left this earth, I turned my pain into words and in a way it helped the healing process move along, I found out that my writing would save me. Like I have said, I am a writer, no matter what it is, in whatever way, I can write. I quickly found my why in writing once again. My need to write, what it did for me, what I had to share. I have always been able to share a little more than most people. I thought, why not? This may not be ideal, some people might not understand why I chose to write about this but, in my mind I feel like there isn’t enough out there being shared, talked about, viewed, commented on, on suicide and whatever surrounds it. Loss. Suicide. Mental health. I quickly found out just how huge it really is, how there is probably more people than you would like to think that have considered such a thing. It breaks my heart into a million pieces that some people feel so unworthy and useless that they think that is a better option. We are NOT better off without you. SOMEONE loves you. YOU matter. YOU are adored and your life holds meaning. Your mental health is so freaking important.

I know that was longer than I anticipated, a little off track in some areas but my idea for this first post was to share my initial direction because of what I have experienced. I have had SO many people reach out to me personally to say thanks for what and how I have shared through the darkest part of my life. How I have turned something so devastating and ugly into beautiful words and shining a brighter light on Chris’s life because that man deserves to be remembered for who he really was and the man I loved endlessly. He was way more than his struggles and his addictions. I hope me being vulnerable and so open leads you guys to not be just that. A little more open and a little more vulnerable.

There is a time to be private and there is a time to be open. I KNOW this is what I’m supposed to be doing, what I’m supposed to be sharing because I know its reaching someone. If that is you, let me know. I would love to connect, talk, pray for you, love on you, share with you, listen to you.

I am here, not just to post and write but to be the extended heart you might need.

National suicide hotline number 800-273-8255 HELP IS AVAILABLE!