Your Beautiful Shining Face
A poem in memory of my dearly loved & treasured brother by Jennifer Morrow*
But then, just like that, you were gone.
It seems like only yesterday when you were here, we were talking on the phone, sharing, laughing – or you were at my home.
But then, just like that, you were gone.
The pain is so powerful when you lose someone you love, even when you are certain they are with the Lord in Heaven above.
You were so proud and so vibrant. You left your mark in this place.
No one will ever take your place. And, oh, how I so miss your beautiful, shining face.
You had such a special grin and a smile, like that of a gleeful and happy child.
You were so proud and patriotic and willing to stand for what is right. You would stand for America and, if necessary, gladly fight and give your life.
You loved God and had accepted Jesus as your Savior, thank God, this for sure I know. But you were sad and disheartened by the ways of the world, and this had affected you I also know. Things had come crashing down on you, and you even wished you could go.
So now, you’re with Jesus, but I’m still here below. The Lord has to sustain and strengthen me, and lead me in the way that I should go.
The Lord is the only One who can heal the intense feelings of desolation, emptiness, and pain I am experiencing even now at this time. All the people around me who see me must say, “She’s really doing fine.”
His grace really is sufficient, to this I can attest. But you felt like a part of me and that part is still so greatly missed.
Songs on the radio trigger so many memories from the past. And, for now, they are still a painful reminder that you are not here with me.
I know we won’t be separated forever, and I eagerly look forward to the day when I can enter Heaven and behold my Lord Jesus and your beautiful, shining face.
*Thoughts came scrambled and formed into the above poem on the evening of Monday, February 19, 1996 (9:30 p.m.) – following the loss of my brother, Donald Lee Deason (“Donnie”), who was tragically murdered on June 13, 1994.
When the ties that bind us closely to this earth are gone,
the ties that bind us close to Heaven are made stronger.
A Brother Like No Other*
I once had a brother, but now he’s gone.
He was like no other, but now he lives in his heavenly home.
Sometimes when I am still and quiet and all alone, I think about my brother and all the wonderful moments we shared. I am thankful to the Lord for all the memories I’ve known. I am thankful to have loved my brother so very much.
It’s hard to lose a brother, especially one that’s like no other.
*From July 5, 1999 journal entry – Jennifer Morrow
On November 13, 2013, I was able to finally share the above poems and thoughts (after almost 20 years since the passing of my dearly loved & treasured brother). Only through my Heavenly Father’s amazing grace, comfort, healing, and strength, was I finally able to share these not from a spirit of grief, which is truly a testament to the healing work of the Holy Spirit in my life. I am not in any way saying I do not still greatly miss my brother, and, to this day, tears over this great loss suddenly come at unexpected times. Anyone who has experienced this type of tragic loss of a close family member understands how this remains a part of your life always. However, I do believe we have a choice in how our grief continues to affect us. This type of deep wound (which words fail miserably to describe), feels like a knife piercing straight through your heart, and can only be comforted and healed through the supernatural work of God’s Spirit (no drug, no person, no experience, nor any amount of money can even come close to relieving the wounds of a grief stricken heart). Only through pressing closer to my Father God through His Word (not just on one occasion, but over and over and over again), encountering His presence in worship and just laying myself before Him with all my questions, anger, hurt, disappointment, and tears, have I been able to experience consoling, peace, and healing. The Lord has been faithful to heal my wounded heart and spirit, and this healing continues to this day.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and rescues those who spirits are crushed. Psalm 34:18
I know for certain that had I closed myself off from the Lord, and allowed the lies of the enemy to prevail (which we all have to battle especially in times of suffering and circumstances that seem to have no purpose or make any sense), I would have become bitter and resentful. Bitter or better – it’s our choice! I had to choose to surrender more of my broken and wounded heart and soul to the Lord, instead of placing up a wall to my heart. It was not easy. It was truly painful. But the pain has led to more healing and freedom in areas that I wasn’t even aware I needed at the time.
This period of intense pain in my life led me directly into birthing the dance ministry at The Church at Brook Hills in 1997, and a specific calling into dance ministry and the ministry of prayer and intercession – overcoming evil with good.
Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good. Romans 12:21
You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy. Psalm 30:11
I experienced a lot of God’s healing through many personal times of worship (and, yes, worship through dance), and also through specific friends who would come and spend hours with me praying at my home over a period of several years (one in particular was a new friend divinely appointed for this purpose). At one point, I thought I might need to take some anti-depressant medications to help (as I truly battled a season of depression), but for me personally, God brought healing and strength directly through His presence, His Word, and the prayers and counseling of others. (Through two other local churches, I did pursue grief counseling and further ministry counseling based on Neil T. Anderson’s The Bondage Breaker. Let me just say that this is my journey through grief, but I fully understand why many going through this kind of grief may need medical help or anti-depressants at least for a season. I actually did a little credit card therapy – and that’s another part of this story, but then finally realized I had to press into the throne and not the mall!) There have still been times that I have had to truly fight the thoughts from the enemy to focus only on the horrific and violent way Donnie’s life was brutally taken (even in my dreams as well), and so I have great empathy for those who have lost loved ones violently through murder. It adds another nightmare like dimension beyond the shock, as well as the forgiveness process you must pass through. I do have to put into practice 2 Corinthians 10:5, taking every thought captive and bringing it into the obedience of Jesus Christ, but this is something all believers have to do in this fight of faith.
There are many things we as sons and daughters of the Lord go through that are not “good,” and not only are they not good, but some are horribly tragic, painful, sorrowful, disappointing and difficult to understand. However, those of us who love God and are called to see His purpose, His agenda, and His will, carried out in our lives for His glory know, that the promise holds true, that the Lord will use all of these things “to work together for good.” We only have to trust and believe His promise.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28
Our lives are all a part of a story – His story for His glory!
Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name goes all the glory for Your unfailing love and faithfulness. Psalm 115:1