Brought From Death to Life (Heartfelt thoughts on the anniversary of a friend’s tragic death)

Me and Brian goofing off

Today marks four years since my dear friend and colleague Brian (shown in the photo) died with the love of his life as the small plane he was piloting was overcome by the winds at an Arizona airport shortly after take-off. He was heading back home to California so he could make it to work. Brian and his girl died on impact (I pray). I try hard not to think about what their last moments were like on the way down, it’s haunting, so I quickly turn my focus to Jesus believing with all my heart that He was there with them receiving them with open arms. It is a much better and peaceful thought to turn to.  I will never forget that Sunday afternoon on July 17, 2011, when I received the shocking news that my friend was gone. He was only 35 years old. I miss my friend dearly, he was an officer and he was more like a little (at a towering 6’7”) brother to me since I was ten years older than him. He was funny and brilliant and I had the privilege of working closely with him on a special team, so I was blessed to see his kind heart too. I thank God for the memories that we can hold on to through the hurt and the healing.

So I felt like writing this not only because I was reminded of today’s anniversary of Brian’s tragic death, but because the other person in the photo (yep, me) is also gone from this world. That Debbie B. no longer exists and I am GRATEFUL. That photo was taken at a work conference in Canada where we gathered after a long day of sessions to drink the night away and have some fun. If you look closely, you can see the beer bottle in the lower left corner of the photo — that was one of who knows how many I had. It was like that every night that we were there. What you can’t see in that photo is the pain in my heart. When I look at my smile and laughter, I can see that was still at a time when the alcohol did a good job of masking the pain and providing temporary relief. I was a ham for a long time when I drank. But it was soon after this event when it just couldn’t hide or soothe my aching heart any longer. The depression and drinking started to become very serious from then on until I received my miracle from a rock bottom cry out to God.

I am not going to go into the whole story of how my life has changed so drastically because it is written all over this blog. If you want to read how God has turned my life around, please take a look at some of my posts. I pray someone will be encouraged by the power of God in my life — the once lost (dead) soul. I just wanted to take this opportunity to praise God for saving me from the pathway to hell I was on. He saved me from dying by my own hands and He truly brought me back from death to life. Brian literally died, he’s no longer here, but I am going to believe that he accepted Jesus and he is safe with Him today along with so many other loved ones who have made it “Home” before me.

Lord, please tell Brian I said “hey” and that I will see him with the rest of those I love when it’s my turn to come home. Brian, it has never been the same since you left us, but I am grateful for the memories. See ya later!

Jesus said to her, “I am the one who brings people back to life, and I am life itself. Those who believe in me will live even if they die. Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe that?” John 11:25-28 (GW)

YES LORD! I BELIEVE!

Ah, just another wonderful example of two more souls (out of many) brought from death to life by the power of God Almighty. May there be many, many, more and may God use the story He continues to write into my life to draw more to Him.

Thank You Lord, for helping me to choose LIFE! ♥

And thanks again for listening to my tender heart. God bless.

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