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From the words of Brantley….

07 March
In the words of Brantley…
Wow, where do I even begin this morning.  My heart is heavy and full, overflowing with joy and sadness.  How is it possible to exude two very different emotions.  The plans for today were very different – as I had already begun to prepare posts for the day.  
But when I woke up this morning, Damalie {with Sangaalo} was so heavy on my heart.  We got up, fixed breakfast for our little one and my husband, Richard set off for work.  The urge was too much, so I picked up the phone to call her.  I had to hear her voice… and just talk.  I missed her so much and wanted desperately to hear her voice.  Leaving Uganda just recently was so hard and saying goodbyes are even worse.  Her husband picked up.  He said, “hang on, Damalie is across the way, let me go get her.  She’ll be happy to hear your voice.”  A moment passed and she picked up.  Sigh.  Her voice was calm, but I knew something wasn’t right.  I asked how she was, how were the babies, etc.
She said, “Jackie passed away this morning.”
{Brantley, baby Jackie and Damalie}
My heart sank!  I was speechless.  She began to cry and then I did.  Just a few days ago I met this sweet baby girl for the first time.  Damalie placed her in my arms and I even got to feed her a bottle. I held her close and snuggled with her.  It felt so right, so precious and sweet.  And now, here I am, crying with my precious friend on the other line as we talk about the passing of this child.  The tears flowed from my eyes and all I could do was cry with her.  I felt like I was hugging her from across the world.  If only I could physically hug her right now.
Although death is difficult and often times an overwhelming part of life.  {for me, almost unbearable to process most days}  The Lord has really spoken to me this morning.  He has shown me comfort through the Bible.  I feel His presence and although questions arise, and the difficulty to understand the “why?” surround my thoughts… I know that the ultimate purpose is for HIS glory.  So, today, through the mourning of my tears – I choose to rejoice with JOY.  Rejoice in that He is God and He is deserving of glory even during the difficult times of grief.
Today, I am comforted by a loving, gracious God and by His Word.
{Romans 8:27-28}
And he who searches our heartsB)’> for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the goodD)’> according to his purpose.

{Isaiah 41:10}
So do not fear,B)’>
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthenD)’> you;
    I will uphold youA)’> and my fortress,