Thursday, July 31, 2014

8/11/02 brief post

Starting today I going to share limited portions of my journals.  The rest is being typed in a word document (for ease of creating e-book in the near future).

Here's what I want to share today... from 8/11/02

Lord, I praise You for being so incredibly faithful.  Even in my very darkest hour You were there for me.  … I pray that you would continue to help me to keep my eyes on You.  Help me to keep my eyes on You.  Help me to work through the issues and that I will be able to be a man of God that You want me to be.  Help me when I’m in the bathroom.  I still sometimes see images of Brian.  Help me Lord to work through those and be able to express what I’m going through.  Lord this is not something I could ever prepare for, but I know You will work in my heart, draw me closer to You.

(please keep reading and providing feedback.  This has been an interesting journey and I appreciate you being a part of it!)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

blog or another form?

Looking for some feedback!

I'm considering whether or not it would be best to continue doing this in blog form or if there is a more helpful way to do this.

Options I think about:
1.  write blogs in MS Word and just post some things on my blog
2.  keep blogging
3.  what are your thoughts?

My thought at this point was to make it manageable and just do at least 10 minutes each day.  Then I'd like to do a 10 minutes each morning before 10 and 10 minutes each evening.  As I'm able I'd like to increase this.  I want to blast through my information in journals and then get to the good part of processing things and making it into a form that people could benefit from.  The bottom line is I'm writing this for me and I pray that at least one person can benefit from it.

Please give me feedback on this.



08/11/02 portion of journal

8/11/02 a little bit after midnight
Lord at this dark hour I can't believe some of the thoughts that went through my mind.  ... (removed until the book comes out...)
I had a good time tonight.  I enjoyed my time with my friends.  I have such a wonderful future ahead of me.  I have so many people that I love so much.  .... I have never felt so hopeless as I do right now.
later on that day around noon 8/10/02
Lord I praise You for being faithful.  Thank You for ...  I am glad that I can get the help necessary to get better.  ... I will write down my thoughts and reflect on how wonderful You are and your sovereign mercy and grace.  Only by Your power will I get through this.  I am thankful that You have such wonderful plans for me and that Satan wants me defeated and rendered useless.  Thank You that I am Your child.  I praise You for giving me loving parents who are there for me.  ....  Satan wants to defeat me and eh will do whatever he can to do that.  I refuse to let the evil one make me think that if I just was a "little bit more spiritual or if I read my Bible more than this would have never would have happened."

this is an edited version.  If you want more... you'll find it in the book... also you can ask me about these things and these experiences when you see me in person.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

8/10/2002 journal entry - updated

Lord, thank You for removing some of the burden of Brian taking his own life.  Help mom, dad, and I to help each other through all of this.  Lord, thank you for helping all of us get some of our feelings out.  I was surprised that we did not cry much when we were looking through the pictures.  I thought to myself: "I can't believe my only blood brother could take his own life."  It is crazy, but I look forward to the day when a gift from all of this is given to me.  A gift that will enhance my ministry and that I will be able to truly sympathize and understand what something like this which causes so much grief can do to someone physically, emotionally (and spiritually).  I have gotten a lot stronger spiritually through this.  Lord You have lavished Your love upon me.  I am so grateful for that.  I would never in my wildest dreams ever think that I could get through this without You, Lord.  May Your kingdom enlarge because of this that Brian did to himself and to us.  I don't deserve it, but I thank You for Your love which is amazing, steady and unchanging.  Your love is a mountain firm beneath my feet - song about God's love.  Knowing that Your grace is sufficient for me is what has made this grief bearable.  Thank You Lord.  I love You.

[some of this seems random... right now I'm developing the habit of writing for at least 10 minutes per day... I will put this in a different form for the book, but I want to get my thoughts, feelings and emotions out there and see what happens in regards to the actual form of the book]

Sovereign God, I magnify Your name.  Thank You so much for all the love and the support that You are providing today.  It was so refreshing that I was able to see my guys (from the small group I was leading for teens) and be able to share a little bit of what I'm going through.  Thanks for the time of prayer that I could ofer to you in the time of such great need.  I definitely felt that You were right there beside me encouraging me and helping me get through the loss of my brother.  Sometimes I feel alone, but I know that You are always there right beside me.  Thank You for giving me a reality check with the youth ministry.  This is a gift from You and You alone.  If You want me to say something on Thursday I ask that I would speak things that honor You and will challenge them (the teens) to live their lives for You.  Receiving the hugs today were so wonderful.  I know that they love me and they also know that I love them soo much....

later that day
Dear Lord, thank You for strength only You can provide.  I pray that I would be able to get in contact with one of my pastors sometime on Monday and maybe be able to talk with as soon as Monday at lunch.  I pray that You will use his love for You and for me to work through this grieving process.  Lord help the teens to see that I love them and that I care about what they are going through.  Help them to know that grieving is a difficult thing, but that it is okay to express your feelings.  Lord I pray that You would use my interactions with my friends at third service (evening) to challenge me and to make me stronger.  Thank You for bringing such wonderful people into my life.  I pray that they would see that I'm hurting and that I need much prayer.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Journal from 8/8/2002

Dear Lord, It is hard being in Ocean City Maryland without Brian.  I have realized that this is the first time of many to follow that we will come here and be reminded of all the great memories that we have had.  I am angry at Brian for all the grief and depression that he caused mom as a result of this.  I am having difficulty healing, because mom is so needy.  I want to help her through this, but there is only so much energy that You have given me.  I have definitely noticed that the three of us (mom, dad, and I) are dealing with this very different.  Mom has not talked much, but has cried quite a bit.  I do NOT see crying as a weakness.  I have noticed since the burial that I have not cried much or been overcome with grief.  I don't know if I am suppressing my anger or frustration or not.  I want to get it all out so that when I talk with my Pastor he will be able to help me deal with what I am going through.  I am thankful for the other pastor who helped me realize that I am angry with Brian for what he has done to us.

You are my Rock and Your promise never fails me Lord.  I feel like I have a huge weight on my shoulder that has been put on me by Brian killing himself.  This is a reality and I'm not going to deny it for a moment.  Lord I think You for providing an opportunity to get away from Hershey and to work through this with each other.  Help us to pray together and study Your Word together.  We know that we need your strength to get through this together.

Lord thank You for the promises that You have provided me.  You will sustain me and I'm willing to trust You.  May we work through our issues with each other and with You.  May I transfer all the knowledge from my head to my heart.  My I take every thought captive.  Grateful for the answer to prayer about not leading Bible study at this time.

Lord my I be living a consistent life with Your Word.  If there is anything that I do or think that does not align itself with You or Your Word may it not be a part of my life.  Everything in my whole life and being is Yours.  My life, my job, future, family, school. etc.  My nothing be taken for granted or be relied on for my strength.  You alone are my strength.

Journal from 8/7/02

Dear Lord, You are my rock and my salvation (Psalm 63).  Lord thanks for having the pastor come to counsel and encourage me through this grieving process.  Things that I can do to get me through this:
1.  Get devotional to help the grieving process.
2.  Go to the cemetery and bring my journal, Bible and bring my Bible and write a letter to Brian sharing with him  how it has effected me.  Write a letter to God to help work through these issues.
3.  It's not bad for me to be angry with Brian for what he has done and how it has impacted me.
4.  I must be honest with myself and not try to hide these feelings that I'm having.
5.  Talk to some in my network right now who is lost their dad in a similar way (Did this).

I am disappointed that I will not being going to Thailand.  I was really looking forward to that but I did not do other than say that i was willing to commit to do this.  Lord I know that you are in control and I trust in You.

May You strengthen my faith in You and not my faith in my own faith.  You are the only one that is going to help me get through this.  I am willing to do whatever it takes to be whole again.  I can physically feel my neck get really tense right now.  May You relax me.  I give everything to You. I also need to be willing to re-evaluate what I think about Brian.

This who thing is a reality.  Brian killed himself and whether I like it or not it is a reality.  I must accept it and also accept the consequences of Brian's decision.  I will be feeling the effects of this for a long time. 

Going to the beach with mom and dad will be a good thing.  It will be an emotional roller coaster.  Lord I can do all things through You who gives me strength.  I do trust in You and You alone, my Rock and my salvation.

later on that evening....

Lord, I am so exhausted right now.  I rely on You for my strength.  I can not do this without You.  We are trying to work through things and it will be good to get away.

I am so tired right now and I'm not sure what I need to write.  It hurts me so much to see her (my  mom) hurting so much.  It is so difficult because she is losing her parents (they are moving 8 hours away to NC) and I'm also moving back to school and it won't be the same after graduate.  Lord I love You and I trust that You will bed one in regards to whether or not I teach at Bible study.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Journal entry of 8/6/02

Dear Almighty God,

Thank You for showing Your mercy and grace upon my family and I.  Thank you for my friends support.  Your faithfulness amazes me.  Thank you also for providing a time for my mom and dad and I to get to spend time with each other.  Since my pastor is away for the week I should probably see someone else.  Even though I have not been able to spend time with a counselor, I have friends who are supporting me.  I definitely want to set up a regular time to see the school counselor.  I could easily meet him the week I go back to school.  Lord You know the timing of being able to talk through this.  May it be your timing and not my own.  Lord, if You want me to talk with my other pastor no or later - may Your will be done and may I do  my part.  Thank You for Your faithfulness in all that I'm going through.  I praise You!

Later that day I wrote:
Sovereign Lord - May all that occurs tonight honor You.  You know what is best for me and that I need to be whole.  You are my strength.  I rely on You and I want what is best for mom, dad and I. 

I need to move along in my grieving process and I have not been able to in the past 10 days or so.... through all this I desire to draw closer to You and I want You glorified.  May this bring all of us closer together.

Journal entry from 8/5/02 part 2

Dear Lord, I want to serve You.  Make me into who You want me to be.  Lord help me to regain motivation to get up at a reasonable hour.  Give me the courage to face the storms of life.  Lord thanks for helping me to accomplish some things today.  Help me to have an agenda or purpose.  I have too much to look forward to.  I would never take my own life.  There are many reasons beyond the obvious of my future marriage. 

God is so faithful and no matter what comes my way I will always trust Hi.  I was sleeping more and my loved ones were concerned about this.  I would NEVER (original emphasis) allow my situation to get serious enough to completely lose hope.  I do not look at taking medicine as a sign of weakness, rather I look at it like a way of getting help.  Thank You for your mercy and grace.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

8/5/02 part 1

Dear Lord, Thank you for being faithful.  The love that You have lavished upon me has been wonderful.  I know in my head that you are sufficient for me but my heart doesn't realize that yet.  I pray that today I will get a little closer to understanding your love, mercy and grace in my heart.  Thank you so much for allowing my friends to be here to help me get through this.  May this draw us closer to You.  I know that what has happened is NOT a dream, but that it still just doesn't make sense.  Lord, bring me to the point where I am ready to talk with someone who has gone through something like this.  All that I have written I pray that Your will be done, not my own.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to go to lunch with a friend.

later on in the same day
Lord I am sad right now.  My body is fatigued because of all the stress that a situation like this causes.  I trust You to get me through this, You alone.  Right now I'm in a fantasy world.  I don't have a job to go to and that is good in some respects.  I have time and not a lot of pressure to get through this.  I am teaching next Tuesday for my Bible study, but probably will teach something that I have already given in a sermon.  This will give me some sembelence of the life I had before this terrible event.  I know that this grieving process is going to take a long time and that You will give me the strength that I need.  I feeel like this whole thing has made me go back int my shell that I was in when I was younger.  I desire to get things accomplish like sorting through all my stuff, but I have lacked the energy to do it.  Lord, you are my strength and I trust in You.

Friday, July 25, 2014


Dear Lord, thank you for showering Your love on me today.  It was such a blessing to be able to see the teens and the leaders after you service today.  A lot of my friends gave me a hugs and told me that they love me and are praying for me.  I knew that they cared about me and it is so nice to see that outpouring of love to me.  I'm still searching for someone who has gone through a similar trial and who can help me through this.  I'm going out with a friend tomorrow to catch up and encourage each other.  I know that last time we talked I was encouraged by everything he said.

I t was nice to get out of the house and into the air conditioning.  This is good because it is giving me some sort of routine.  Lord I pray that You will help me get some things accomplished.

It is weird not going back to work.  I still have items that are unfinished business.  I definitely want to just hang out with my discipleship guys.  I really thought that I was starting to break through with them.  I know that God used me to challenge a few guys to live for Christ.  God used me to impact teens and for that I am thankful.

I was glad that I saw a friend of mine.  He told me that his father took his life and that he's still working through things.  I know that this is a long process.

Sometimes I'm just fine and other times I am very sad.  I know that in my head God is faithful but it hasn't gone into my heart yet.

I'm glad that I have a friend who helped me to start to work through my issues.  I definitely want to meet with a Pastor who lost his son since he knows what it is like to lose someone you love.  I think he will have some insight and at least pray for me.

8/03/02 part 2

I am trying to figure out how Brian's death affects the way I talk about my family.  I have an older brother, he's just no longer on earth.  We will see him again in heaven.  Also Grandma still has an older grandchild than me again, he's just in heaven right now.  I cried about all of this because I think it's starting to hit home and sink in.  This is not a dream, but it is a reality.  Tomorrow at church I'm not sure how I'm going to handle the whole youth group thing.  I want to be at the main service, but I love the teans and I care about them.  Lord help me to heal in Your timing not my own.  Through all of this not my will but Yours be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Lord thanks for loving me and caring for me.  Lord may Your name be praised!

Thursday, July 24, 2014


NOTE:  This is a mostly unedited version of my journal.  My book will obviously have somewhat of a different form to it.  I'll be posting it as blogs for a while and we'll see where it goes from there.

Dear Lord, I praise You for being so faithful.  It is so cool to see how in the littlest things You teach me so much.  ...  Lord I ask that you provide the person/people that You want me to talk through this with.  Lord You know what I need and You know how I am feeling.  Only You and Your grace will get me through this.
Lord you know what I need to teach for EPIC (Bible study) next Tuesday.  You have taught me so much about Your faithfulness, mercy and grace.  Lord thank You for loving me and caring for each and every one of my felt and unfelt needs.  Lord, everything I do may it be your timing, not my own.  I pray that you will help me get into some sort of routine where I can start to grain "normal' life.  Lor I trust You and You alone to get me through such a trying experience.  It is not something that I prepared myself for at all.  My I find out when I have false guilt and get rid of it right away.  May I take every thought captive.  Lord I am so vulnerable right now and I ask that You protect me.
Lord help me to heal and to be able to heal and to be able to regain some semblance of a normal life.  Thank You for giving me the opportunity to serve You and to learn so much about real life ministry.  This grieving process is also a part of ministry and I think You for that!
Lord I am trying to reconcile how I know that You are faithful and sovereign and how something that hits so close to home would be allowed to happen.  I do know that a lot of good has come from all of this.

Mom and dad are so much closer and I have deeper friendships with my friends.  Lord thank You for the outpouring of love that You have provided for me.  ....  I trust You and You alone.  Thank You Lord for using my love for writing to help me get through this.  You are my support and my Rock.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

from 8/2/2002

This is all from shortly after everything happened.

I have been supporting my family but I can't support them if I'm not supporting myself.  My significant other has tried to support me but all I can think about when I try to to through this is that everything does not make sense.  I can't believe that Brian would take his own life.  I think sometimes I get frustrated with myself when I realize that I did not love my own brother very well.  that has always been a place/area of my life where I needed to change.  I did try but sometimes I think I didn't try hard enough.  Lord thank You for the love that You have lavished on me and my family.  Lord I am needed and I must rely on You for everything.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

let's do this

Last week I decided that I am going to write this book.  It will happen and it will happen between now and the end of the year 2014.

I "intended" to start this a year and a half ago, but I decided to focus on getting my LPC.  Now that I have my LPC and my ideal job situation.

For some reason I don't have anything written at all the first few days after I lost my brother to suicide.  I'm fairly certain I wrote, but the first entry I found was about a week later...


Dear Lord, I am confused.  I don't know what I'm feeling right now.  I feel numb to everything.  The fact that Brian is no longer with us does not make sense.  Everything would be made so much easier to cope with if it was an accident or something like that.  I don't know what it means for me to get back to "normal."  I desire to talk through this with someone, but I don't have the words to say what I am feeling.  I am trusting God is faithful and that only He will allow me to get through this.  I feel so needy right now.  I've been giving and giving more.  I don't feel like I can give any more right now.  I need recharged by You LORD.  You know what I'm feeling and You alone can comfort me and strengthen me.  You know when I am having my issues and when I am fine.  Lord I just trust You and You alone oh LORD.  You are my strength when I feel weak because I am physically and emotionally weak right now.