Some of you have claimed that I’m strong. I don’t feel strong. I don’t feel like I have the strength to handle this. I have made it this far, but this is just the beginning of a life made impossible. I know God will help me. I know in time, it will get easier. (To be honest, though, at this point, I don’t want it to get easier, because that feels like I’ve moved on and that breaks my heart to think about.)

I was thinking about this blog and how Stephanie had no knowledge of it (at least not in the way it is now). I realized that anything I do from now on will fit that distinction. I don’t know how to live a life that she doesn’t know about. We shared everything, and it’s going to be soul-crushing to not have that.

I don’t want to wander around wallowing in my pity, either. But that’s where I say I’m not strong enough, because I don’t know if or how I’m going to do that.

God give me strength for today and for tomorrow and beyond. I don’t know how to do it or what I’m doing or going to do.

56 thoughts on “Lacking”

  1. My precious brother. I am crushed and broken hearted with and for you and your children… I do not have answers to these questions. I only know He promises His grace will be sufficient and He will give it to carry you through each day. Maybe for some time through each hour at first for the sake of your children. You may only have enough for that day. It reminds me of the manna that fell from heaven. It will be sufficient. Just enough. Right now it just hurts to breathe. So, He will keep breathing with you and giving you each breath. I'm so very sorry Brad. More than I could ever express. ♥

  2. You don’t need to be strong right now… you need to be human, and you need to let God be your strength. We will all carry you through on prayers. You just spend every minute you can with Stephanie. You will not be alone — God is with you, and all of us are here with you and for you.

  3. Our family is praying for yours. Please know you are all loved so deeply by so many people including us. Our hearts are breaking for you. -The Brown Family

  4. Brad you’ve given Stephanie your love, you’ve made her happy and joyful. It’s never the destination, it’s always the journey. Her journey has been a fabulous one filled with your love, and God willing, her journey will continue.

    Brad, you still have a journey to share with your children and Stephanie will always be there if not in body then in spirit. I’m praying for a miracle for you.

  5. You are continually in our prayers. We are praying for a miracle of healing for sweet Stephanie, and if that is not God’s will, that He will give you all the strength and courage you will need to face each moment of each day. There are no words to express how sorry we are feeling, but just wanted to let you know that we are still praying… May the peace that surpasses all understanding fill you and carry you through the days ahead.

  6. Even though you may not know me, your family is in my family’s prayers and thoughts through this difficult time. God bless.

  7. Brad, what you are showing is pure Grace. God’s Grace. I never met, nor read about someone, who I thought had that essence. You do. When I’ve read this blog, I’ve felt I’ve been touched by God. Ridiculous as that sounds. But that’s how I feel.

    I can’t comment about the strength you feel, but I can comment about the strength you’ve exhibited. It’s a strength I’ve not witnessed before. It’s a strength I only hope someday to have. I pray for today, and I will continue to pray for you. I hope that when you are at your weakest hour, our prayers will be there to help you, as your faith has helped me in reading this.

  8. I’m so so sorry for what you are going through. My prayer for you is that you would feel God’s hands around you. When you’ve no strength left, melt into Him, knowing that His love for you is everlasting.

  9. You may not ever know “how” to carry on ….for that matter you may never now how. You will just do it instinctively because you have 2 wonderful blessings that depend on you to carry on.
    God’s Peace & Love to you and those babies always.

  10. Brad, I’ve been sitting here for an hour trying to think of what to say. I still do not have the words to express in writing how I feel about you and Stephanie and your family. I love you all and this situation has only re-enforced that. And if I feel this way I can only imagine how a Holy God feels looking down on you and the love that you have for her and the way you have been able to express it and the witness you have had through this. I am still praying for a miracle for her, strength for you and wisdom for all those whose care she is in.

    Your brother in Christ,

  11. He will always give you enough. . .be enough. . .and carry you when you think you can’t go any further. Praying for you all.

  12. I have never met you or Stephanie (we go to church with her dad) but after reading your blog I feel I know you both. Thank you for sharing your lives with us. I truly believe God had great plans for all of you. We have been praying for you. This blog is such a beautiful testimony to your love for Stephanie and to your faith in God. He will never leave you, this is one of those times when you will look back and see only one set of footprints in the sand as he carries you through this.
    God Bless You.

  13. Brad: You are making the hardest decisions a person ever has to make; I know, I’ve been there, done that. It isn’t easy but I can tell you that a selfish person wouldn’t be able to make that choice. It takes faith and unconditional love to make the choice you are making for another human being. It is the greatest love there is; the same love God has for us.

    I will keep praying for you.


  14. Brad–

    You don’t know me, I discovered your blog on a facebook post tonight. I have no great words of wisdom that will help you feel any better, only that I am praying for your entire family.

    A little over a year ago, ironically, I stumbled onto a blog of a man who was dealing with his young wife’s cancer. I wanted to share the blog with you, I don’t know if it will help, but both his and your blog have touched me and reminded me of my relationship with God and the importance of it. If you would like to read through it in the future it is

    Specifically, I am praying for peace and strength for you tonight.

    Love in Christ, Kyleigh

  15. I am a friend of David N. he asked me to pray for you because of a post of mine on FB. I came to your blog and was extremely touched. I have recently lost a dear friend of mine and the loss is great. I know how important writing and sharing can be during this time. I’d like to encourage you to contine to do this, if not on a blog, but in a journal. But more importantly, know that because you have shared there are more people than you know praying for you and your family. May God bless you and keep you….Charvez W.

  16. Brad,
    We have read your comments with awe, following from post to post. We really don’t know what to say… words are not enough.

    Just know that the love of God you feel is real. Our hearts break with and for you. We are praying for you often throughout each day. We pray that you would continue to find strength when you have no more to give. We pray for the ache. We pray that tonight you are resting in a way that only God can allow.
    In Him and of Him,
    Ryan & Joelle

  17. I don’t know you Brad but I understand what you are going through. My husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer two years ago this month. I have felt the anger, the bewilderment and the feeling of never being able to see a life lived separate from my spouse. Unfortunately, my husband did not survive. I am praying that, in this case, things will be entirely different for you and Stephanie. I have no wonderful words of wisdom to impart. I struggle daily with being separated from my husband. I just wanted to say that there are others that understand where you are right now. As hard as it may be, keep up your faith in God. No, we are not strong. It’s God who is strong in us. Lean on Him and never stop asking Him to hold onto you. When we can’t hold tight anymore, He keeps holding us. Remember that.Even if you remember nothing else, remember that He has you and Stephanie and your family held firmly and every tear you shed, He knows and keeps. He will get you through this, one step at a time.

  18. Still praying. No matter what happens remember that it is in God’s plan even if we don’t understand it. I can only imagine how hard it is for Stephanie laying there trying so hard to come back to you while she feels her Heavenly Father beckoning her to Himself. Be there for her now and if she moves on to her next adventure know that she’ll always be in your heart until you see her again.

  19. Brad, You don’t have to be strong! That’s the amazing thing (one of them) about our Redeemer: He is strong for us. I am hurting right next to you, just as so many people are. I know our hurt pales in comparison to yours, but God has heard all of our prayers. And He’s healing her. It might be that ultimate healing in heaven that none of us wants to accept right now, but fix your eyes on that unseen. And wow, think of all you’ll have to share with her someday! I don’t think she’s missing out on this blog–I think God is sharing so much with her! But I do know she’s being spared your sadness and grief.

    I don’t know what the next days and weeks and months and years will look like for you either. No one does. But I do know that I’m not going anywhere.

    Stephanie is already being held in Christ’s loving arms. She’s not hurting at all, Brad. She’s amazingly being protected of any and all grief. Regardless of what happens, she is not hurting.

    It sounds so trite, but keep leaning on Him. There’s not much else you can do right now.

    Love you

  20. Brad, even in these darkest moments, you and Stephanie, have lifted many up. I believe whatever happens, the life the two of you of you have you have shared will continue to to inspire.

  21. Brad,
    This is so difficult to understand. I cannot say how sorry I am. Your openness in your writing and your faith in God has been an inspiration to me and many others. Thank you for sharing so openly. I pray that you feel the love of God engulfing you as you go through the next few days and the days beyond. I pray for your precious babies! This is definitely not the end of the story as Stephanie continues to touch many hearts and God is using your blog for His glory amidst the sorrow.

  22. Brad this is the moment I am speechless and I lacking in the words to express the extreme sadness and compassion I feel for your family and Stephanie right now. Hug your babies and hold Stephanie tight. Cherish the time you still have with her to say the things you wish to say. I don’t have the magic words so I will will share with you with 2 scriptures that speak to me at this moment.

    Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.”

    Psalm 71:20-21 “Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.”

    My heart breaks for you and the pain you and your family must be enduring right now. You are in my prayers and my heart.


  23. Brad, we are with you in spirit friend. We are praying for all of you daily. . . You are not alone on this earth… your friends,family (including those in your Christian family) are here to support you and love you and pray for you and with you. In regards to your strength…consider Job… God strengthened Him…and He brought joy back into his life. As difficult as it is to say…and as difficult as it is to hear….try to keep trusting Him. I will pray that He gives you the strength and courage to do so friend. Hold strong to your spiritual armour… I would emphasize one or the other..but they are all so important…

    Many blessing and love… we share in your burden with you:

    Romans 12:5 “ in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”

    Romans 12:10 “..Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. ”

    Romans 12:12 “…Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. ”

    Romans 12:13 “…Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”

    Romans 12: 15 “..Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. ”

    Romans 12:21 “..Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

    With Love, your sister in Jesus Christ, our Savior,


  24. Lastly, for you, in God’s timing…may His words lift you up, strengthen you and encourage you:

    Hebrews 12:1-2

  25. I am a missionary in Russia, and I have shared your story with our brothers and sisters in Christ here. We are all praying for you and your family. With love, j

  26. Love to you all..still praying His will. So much to say, and yet, still trying to figure out what and how. You, Stephanie, the kids, your families, you are all in my thoughts every single day. I feel your sorrow and I know God’s will surpasses all of our understanding. I also know He will never forsake us and His love will carries us through the storms of life when we are completely surrendered to Him. Your trust in Him is clearly evident and an amazing testimony to hundreds and perhaps thousands across the country and the WORLD. My prayer has been for healing, an amazing miracle that could only have possibly come from Him. Something that would capture the hearts and minds of those who aren’t sure, or choose not to believe. I will continue that prayer.
    With Love,
    Gina and the boys.

  27. All is Full of Love – Bjork

    You’ll be given love
    You’ll be taken care of
    You’ll be given love
    You have to trust it

    Maybe not from the sources
    You have poured yours
    Maybe not from the directions
    You are starting at

    Twist your head around
    It’s all around you
    All is full of love
    All around you

    In every language
    All is full of love

  28. There really is more and souls retain a consciousness of both worlds, this and the next. I have more knowledge than I would like on the topic myself. While physically she won’t be able to be with you, spiritually I am sure she will be with you often. Other than that, I don’t know what words to offer. I have only prayers. I’m so sorry. Just remember, there will be happy times again. You and the kids will go on loving each other. Each time they do something cute she would have loved, maybe she saw. If not, you will see her again in the future and be able to say every little thing you want to now. You will still get those 500 years, life just might be on pause for now.

  29. Brad, Steven and I have continued to read your blog to find out what has been happening. I find myself holding my breath each time I click on the website in hopes that the miracle of healing that we are all praying for has happened. It crushes my heart to read the ongoing news. I admire you so much for your strength and courage through out this whole process. I sit daily at my desk at work, in the car, at home, at the store, almost everywhere and pray to God to help you and your family through this difficult time. My mom lost her father when she was 3 in a car accident but she still has conversations with him to this day and we know that he is watching over all of us. I know that this will be difficult, probably the most difficult thing you ever have to go through, but ‘Cast your aniexty on Him because he cares for you.’ 1 Peter 5:7. Remember how much you are loved and will be loved by those around you. Never say good-bye, but rather see you later. 5 hours, 5 days, 5 months, 5 years down the road, if you need anything we are here for you. Our love, prayer, support, healing and thoughts are with you.

  30. I have fought for a week for something appropriate to say to you and have discovered that there is nothing I can say that sounds right. You don’t know me, but my family has prayed for yours all along, and we will continue to do so. My husband and I have been deeply moved by your blog and blessed by it.

    To borrow some song lyrics: “HIS (emphasis mine) strength is perfect when our strength is gone.”

  31. I’ve had the same thing said to me that I am strong. I don’t feel that way either. But a friend shared this saying on a fb status a couple months ago and I have “claimed” it: “The strongest hand I will ever hold is the Hand I can not see!”.
    When I lost my sister in Feb. I just told myself “Breathe in, Breathe out, one foot in front of the other and we’ll get through this.” So, Brad, Breathe in, Breathe out…you will get through this valley/dark night because you are holding His Hand and only He will get you to the other side.
    I also was told of a song by “Brothers from different mothers” called “On the other side”. I’ll try to get the link for you so that you can listen to it. It was so beautiful and touching!
    I’d also like to encourage you to keep writing your thoughts down in a journel to her. Tell her things that the children are doing, what you are doing, thinking, etc. It really helps.
    Is it possible for you to post your address as I’d like to send you something?
    Much love and prayers because of Christ,

  32. Praying, just praying…for YOU, and your little ones!!
    With love and sorrow in our hearts,
    ~The Kutrubs Family

  33. You say you are lacking Brad, but God’s strength is so apparent in any weakness you may have. I’m praying for a miracle for you and Stephanie. Praying for your children, your parents, Stephanie’s parents and the rest of your family members. God is touching people through your blog. Yesterday at work I was asking a coworker to pray for you, and she said she had already been forwarded your blog and asked to pray. People who don’t know you are praying, God is connecting His people everywhere on your behalf.

  34. I do not know you or Stephanie, but like many I have followed your blog for the past few days. Just because we are all people and have all endured painful things, we instinctively want to offer something that will ‘help’. I know there is nothing to say. Clearly you are allowing the Father to minister to you, and bless you for inviting so many people right into the middle of your darkest hour. It is so important for people to see that there are those few people who walk through tragedy well…Brad, you are walking through this well. Thank you for letting us in to see what it means to continue to walk in faith and grace even in the midst of the worst outcome.

    I take so much comfort in knowing that we have NO idea how the Lord has been communicating with Stephanie during all of this. I think He is so proud of how you are honoring your wife, and I am certain that she knows every bit of the beauty that you have shared with all of us. I know you wanted her to hear it from you, and maybe she has. Regardless, she knows how much you love her and have honored her. Comfort and peace to you and your sweet kids.

  35. I agree with Leslie. Stephanie is aware of this blog and will be aware of everything else as well. I believe she will be watching over you all! She will forever be your Angel!
    I will continue to keep you and your families in my prayers.

  36. Our Pastor is running a series on relationships. His message this week-end was about community and centered around the verse in Romans 12:15, “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Brad – we are mourning with you during this time and will continue to be there for you today, tomorrow, the next day, and as long as you need us and even when you don’t. You said something to us when we came to visit you last Friday, and we are going to hold you to that. When I asked you what you needed you said nothing right now but you were certain you would need a lot in the future and you were going to try and make us feel uncomfortable with what you asked. Try us, Brad. :-) We don’t know all the right things to do or say, or when to be there for you and when to stay away, but one thing we know is that we want to do whatever we can to be there for you in whatever way you need.

    We Love You, Stephanie, Brady, and Halle (and Ellie and Ginger too)

  37. My family and I are praying for you. God will give you the peace, strength, and comfort you need to get through this very difficult time. As I said in a earlier post I have seen Stephanie in years but just reading your blogs I see what an amazing woman she is and how she has an awesome love for the Lord. What a blessing you have in eachother. We will continue to pray for all of you.

  38. We love you Brad and will continue to lift your family up in this terribly difficult time! It’s okay to not feel strong… it’s okay to fall apart. We pray for loving support around you in these times and protection from the misguided words of those of us who mean well, but don’t fully understand. May God be gracious to you and give you peace and may his healing presence surround you and support you and your family.


  39. Brad,
    Please know that I am praying for you and your family. I do not know you or Stephanie, but I found out through Facebook and some Malone friends about what has been going on. I have been reading your blog and crying for you. I have shared this with my husband and sister and each time I do I break down. I cannot imagine what you are feeling, but I am amazed by you. You are struggling with a horrible situation yet you are not blaming God. What a testament this is about you and your faith. It takes a remarkable person to not blame God and you, my brother-in-Christ, are that, remarkable. Your words have touched my soul on so many levels. We cannot understand why this is happening, only God knows, but we can continue to praise Him. As much as I want to pray for a miracle, I must pray for God’s will because God has a plan for each of our lives. Don’t get me wrong though, I do want a miracle. Praying for you and your precious children.


  40. Brad, take one day at a time. This is the hardest thing you will ever go through in your life, but lean on everyone around you. Take joy in your children that the two of you created. God,family and friends will get you through this! Stephanie was a very lucky woman to have you as her husband! She was so happy because of you! You don’t have to be strong now, you just have to get through this and later on you can be strong. Everyone deals with loss in a different way and there is no right way.

  41. Brad,
    My heart is breaking for you right now. Please know you have been, and continue to be in my prayers. May God wrap is arms around you, Stephanie, and your little ones during this unbelievably difficult time.
    With Hope,

  42. God will give you the strength. He is the only one who can. Just live for today and in the moment. For tomorrow has enough troubles already. No one can predict the future. God has everyting figured out. Just rely totally on him. Yes, there maybe days that are harder than others,but He will always be there and never changes. All strength comes for Him! I am still praying for you and your family. Prayer never does void.

  43. Brad, My family continues to keep you and your family in prayer. We cannot express how deeply sorry we are for what you are going through. Just know there are many many people who love you and are praying for you. You and Stephanie have touched more lives than you will ever know.

  44. Dear Brad, I do not know you nor your wife but my big brother went to malone and a friend of his posted this blog on facebook. I felt compelled to write even though I have full knowledge that absolutely nothing that anyone can say truly changes how you feel. In my relatively short life death has been no stranger, but no one like what you are experiencing. However that last year of my life has been incredibly difficult in a very dif way, and the only song/thing that has pulled me through is a song by Don Moen called “God Will Make a Way”. The song was written by Don after his sister and family were in a car accident and lost their oldest son. The lyrics are simple… God will make a way, where there seems to be no way. He works in ways we cannot see, he will make a way for me. He will be my guide hold me closely to his side, with love and strength for each new day, he will make a way for me. I hope in some way you are able to take comfort in such minimal words of encouragement. I simply cannot imagine, but my heart breaks for you and my prayers will be with you daily.

  45. Brad,

    I have been following your blog and related comments and have been awed and truly blessed by your openness and willingness to share this tragic and painful journey with others like me who you will probably never know.

    The scripture references shared by you and others have encouraged all of us in your family of faith as we seek to express our Christian love and concern for you, Stephanie and your beautiful children.

    Treasure your memories of all the wonderful times and continue to share with Stephanie in whatever ways allow you to feel her presence. Her sweet spirit is there and always will be with you.

    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I will continue to pray for God’s presence to surround you, strengthen you, and give you peace.

    Shirley Miller

  46. Dearest Bred! Last night as Jim & I read your blog together, a silence came over us like none I have ever felt. We both could not move, speak, or breathe. The tears flowed, and well, let me just say… that because of you and Stephanie…my hugs are a little tighter, my kisses a little longer, and my breaths a little deeper today. You have our hearts and prayers!

    The Bokisa Family

  47. We are doing a song this week that I wanted to share with you.


    A Refuge for the poor,
    a Shelter from the storm:
    this is our God.
    He will wipe away your tears
    and return your wasted years:
    this is our God.
    So call upon His name.
    He is mighty to save, this is our God.

    A Father to the orphan,
    a Healer to the broken:
    this is our God.
    He brings peace to our madness
    and comfort in our sadness:
    this is our God.
    So call upon His name.
    He is mighty to save this is our God.

    This is the One we have waited for,
    this is the One we have waited for,
    this is the One we have waited for,
    Jesus, Lord and Savior. This is our God.

    A Fountain for the thirsty,
    A Lover for the lonely:
    this is our God.
    He brings glory to the humble
    and crowns for the faithful:
    this is our God.

    So call upon His name.
    He is mighty to save this is our God.

    This is the One we have waited for,
    this is the One we have waited for,
    this is the One we have waited for,
    Jesus, Lord and Savior. This is our God.

    You are the One we have waited for,
    You are the One we have waited for,
    You are the One we have waited for,
    Jesus, Lord and Savior. This is our God.

    HE is our EVERYTHING, Brad, for you, for Stephanie, for your children, for all of us. May He continue to hold you up, to comfort you, to give you strength and peace as we pray for that miracle with you.
    The Combs Family

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