When his wife Lyndsie died from cancer, Daniel faced an unexpected and painful future of single parenthood. Widowed unexpectedly at 25 with three boys under the age of three, Brittany faced a similar future without her husband, Patrick. Before ...
- Really, I remember the exact moment.
This girl walks in, and theysaid it was with a group
of girls, but I only sawone, and it was Lindsay.
She had like that radianceabout her, that light.
At 19, she was diagnosedwith cancer out of nowhere.
It was caught early enough
to where they were able to get rid of it.
21, two years later, it showed back up,
and this time, it was more serious.
It required a biggersurgery, a hysterectomy,
and at that point in our relationship,
I had an engagement ringin my pocket, you know.
I asked her to marry me.
We got engaged, and throughthe year of engagement,
she went through chemo.
We started a life.
Everything was good from there,
and we did adopt two children.
Cancer showed back up,really out of nowhere again.
So my prayers were very bold.
It was, God, heal her.
Fix this, but it turnedinto quickly a fight
for her life in a minute.
Looking at her and saying you've got this.
Stay here with me,
and fighting for her life,CPR, crying out to God.
Please heal her.
Please bring her back.
I found myself saying goodbyeto my wife, not by choice.
It felt like my wife was leaving, and yet,
it wasn't that she went to heaven.
It's that heaven literallycame down to get her.
Lindsay went home toheaven August 28th, 2015.
I walked out of thathospital having no clue
what my life would look like.
I had to deal with reality thatmy wife was no longer there,
someone who I had known since I was 15,
and now I'm in my 30s and dealing
with the reality that Inever thought I would,
and so the kids forced me todeal with what was going on.
There was no dancing around the topic.
They asked where mommy was.
They wanted to know whenshe was coming back.
I'm sleeping on the couch
because I don't want to be in a bed.
It's another reminderthat Lindsay's not here.
One of the hardest things
that month was picking up myphone to text her out of habit,
calling her phone out of habit
and stopping mid-dialor mid-ring and knowing
that I never will hear her voice again,
and God spoke to me so clearly.
He said that connectionthat you desire with Lindsay
and that you want, you canhave it, but it's through me,
and what she's doing rightnow is worshiping me,
and why don't you try that?
So I look at that as a pivotalpoint in my grief of saying,
God, I'm gonna trust you.
I'm gonna worship you andlift up your name high
above all the pain, above allthe hurt I'm going through,
and I said, God, I'm ready.
Whatever you have forme, I don't know the why.
I don't get it, don't like it,
but I refuse to waste thispain that I've gone through
and refused to allow thisto be wasted or pushed
to the side, and that's whereI started moving forward.
God comforted me so much inwhat I was going through,
I was encouraged to comfort others.
I could actually speak to a pain
that I had never known before.
As Christians, we're headed home.
We're headed to heaven,
and our focus should not be outward.
It should be upward, and aswe look up to what is coming
and get in a glimpse ofthat even in a wife's death,
I realize the best is yet to come for all
of us if we trust and believe in God.
- My life was so amazingwhen Patrick and I met.
He was my first boyfriend, andI was his first girlfriend.
So we got married in 2011,
and we stood on the stage together,
and we said I promise to be faithful
through life's pleasures andthrough life's pressures.
I will be faithful to youuntil Christ calls me home.
In the fall of 2015, we hadthree kids under the age
of three, and life was crazyand busy, but it was so fun
because I felt like I was living a dream.
He came home, and he alwaysdid daddy time with the boys,
and so he tucked them into bed that night
and would always sing thema song and pray over them.
I remember us prayingtogether and going to sleep.
He woke up the next morning,and he was like, you know,
I'm not sleeping much anyways.
I'm just gonna go ahead andget ready early to go to work.
I said you look so handsome in your suit,
and I hope you have a great day.
I love you, and that's what I said,
and he said I love you, too,and he walked out the door.
I went to Bible study, andwe were studying Revelation,
the prophecy at the time,and just moments later,
my phone rang.
So I answered the unknown number,
and it was my husband'sboss on the other line,
and he said, hey, Patrick fell at work.
We're gonna send a vehicle to come get you
so you can come to the hospital.
I ran into a hallway
full of people with sorrowwritten all over their faces,
and they pulled me behind a curtain,
and they sat me down in a chair,
and they said, I'm so sorry,Britney, but Patrick died.
His heart just stopped beating.
Patrick went home to be with the Lord
on September 29th, 2015,
and in that moment, at the ageof 25 with three little boys
under the age of three, I became a widow,
and my entire world turned upside down.
We felt sorrow that felt unending,
and it felt like my heart wasliterally breaking in two,
but I also felt Jesus just sitting with me
and saying I feel your pain.
It's gonna be okay.
I'm gonna walk you through this,
and I would come in my living room,
and I just rememberfalling flat on my face
and just crying out to God andsaying, God, I can't do this.
I cannot do this apart from you,
and He was so faithful to usehis word to soothe my soul
in a way only he could do.
In those darkest moments of our lives,
sometimes can be the lightest moments
of our lives because God isso near to the brokenhearted,
and I remember how God wouldjust, as He says in scripture,
how he gives widow the songs in the night,
and God would give me a new song to sing,
and it doesn't matter if you're in a place
of utter brokenness andhurt like I was fresh
after my husband's death
or hearing him severalyears later out of it,
God is still the same sovereignGod over all situation.
- When I met Britney for the first time,
one of the first questions I had to answer
in my heart was am I readyto pursue somebody again,
and I'm not just making a decision for me.
It's for my family,
and when I saw Britney, I saw a future,
and that was incredible,
and it was very just exciting.
- The Lord was so graciousbecause I think in every area
of your life after loss
and pain you're so guarded with your heart
'cause you feel like yourheart has been trampled on,
and so the Lord made it so clear,
and then Daniel was sointentional with his pursuit
of leading us in the ways ofGod, yet guarding our hearts
in the process until God'stiming made it evidently clear
that we were gonna be a family.
- I brought Ethan and Aubrey with me,
and they loved beingaround each other so much
that by the time they left that weekend
they were crying about leaving each other,
and so that was reallyencouraging for us moving forward.
- I remember one nightPayton had been praying,
and that they had beenpraying for a new daddy,
and I was thinking what
in the world are you all thinking about?
I said, well, buddy,it's not just about us.
Like, God's gotta bring the right person,
and he said, well, I think I know someone,
and I said, you do?
And he said what about Mr. Daniel?
I think he would be a great daddy,
and I said, well, thatmeans that Ethan and Aubrey,
and he said, I would bemy brother and sister,
and I would really like that, mommy.
So we got married on July 16th, 2017.
- And just continued onwith the crazy and the wild
and the love and the beautiful part
of bringing kids together.
- After we announced our engagement,
people started callingus the Brooker bunch
because we are a blended family,
and the last name is Brooker.
Our life is like a circus.
I feel like we are a traveling circus.
It's so crazy 'cause wehave five small children,
abnormally close in age.
- Yeah, enjoying the firsts,creating these moments
that maybe I had as a childor that they've wanted to do.
- So for our family,there's always a road of joy
and sorrow that intermingle.
This is part of our story, andPatrick will always be part
of my story, and Lindsay willalways be a part of his story.
- I think as you go throughpain it's okay to admit it.
It's okay to be real
because until you addressit it's not gonna heal.
God is not wasting your pain.
He's not wasting anythingyou're walking through.
He sees you, and he cares,
and he wants you to live outa life that is full of joy,
full of love and passion and pursuit,
and we have to make a decision
that no matter what we walkthrough, we have to trust
and believe that thatis still waiting for us,
that that is still ahead.
- When you feel like your life is over
and there is no hope ahead,
and you feel like you're drowning in pain,
just reach up to the hand
that is trying to pullyou out, which is Jesus.
So if there's one thing Icould encourage you with is
keep hoping even when it hurts.