I Never Imagined . . .

A Friday morning email stopped me in the middle of breakfast. My prayer for years has been that this book will help people, but I did not expect this.

When I was in the doctoral program at Trevecca, Steve D. and I discovered that our children were friends at Tennessee Tech. Brad lived with several other engineering guys; Jennifer’s boyfriend, Josh, was one of those guys. We laughed about the small world connecting us. But just a few months later Jennifer’s death found us more united.

My email from Steve says he is reading my book, and he bought one for Brad.  Brad’s wife, Becky, has been suffering from an extremely aggressive cancer.

The lives of Brad and Becky, Jennifer and Josh, and several other Tennessee Tech students overlapped, much like a Venn diagram. Becky and Jennifer became friends at Tennessee Tech. Becky’s quiet spirit, love of the outdoors, and her brother, who roomed with Josh, placed her in that circle of Tech friends.

In the summer of 2001, Becky and Jennifer often met to mountain bike together on nearby trails. Jennifer loved having someone to workout with and keep up physical training for a triathlon.

www.joymsouder.com

  Becky, Courtney, Jennifer, Samantha

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           Becky and Jennifer after a minor biking fall

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                      Brad and Becky on their wedding day

After Jennifer died, Brad and Becky fell in love and married. Life took them to Virginia Tech for graduate studies and eventually to Colorado. Three young children completed their family when the cancer diagnosis changed everything.

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                  Becky and Brad with their three children

Becky fought bravely for two years, even seeking treatment in Turkey, but after returning home her body was consumed with pain. Sadly, my next email from Steve says the disease won Thursday night.

Becky’s life ended peacefully while surrounded by her three children and the rest of the family.  I can’t help but walk through our days after Jennifer died; the first chapters of my book detail the trauma, support of friends and family, shock, exhaustion, and pain I experienced. How does Brad help his children through this sadness and loss?

This I Know: 

  • God’s grace will be with them, not erasing the pain, not changing the fact that a family is without a mother and wife.
  • God’s ways are not understandable to humans, but the fact is, His Son died also. He understands the pain of loss and chose to sacrifice His only Son for you and me and every other sinner in the world.

Today I Can Be Thankful:

  • Steve bought my book, finished reading it on the plane to Colorado, and has a book for Brad.
  • Becky’s family arrived in time to be with her as she breathed her last.
  • for Brad’s faith in a loving Father.
  • I completed Where Is Joy? and it was available for Steve to purchase.
  • God has used my story to help others.

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