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Finding Hope on the Road of Joy and Sorrow

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 ... Read Transcript


- 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.

(inspirational music)

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,

(sad music)

and fighting for her life,CPR, crying out to God.

Please heal her.

Please bring her back.

(sad music)

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.

(slow music)

- 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

(voice cracking)

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.

(upbeat music)

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.

(laughing)

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.

(upbeat music)

- 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.

(inspirational music)

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