A Lesson (Still) Learning: Anger

I know this isn’t the time of year to be angry, but I am.

It’s been almost 14 years since we lost my oldest brother in a car accident. I just can’t help but wonder how different things would be if he were still here. Last night, it hit me…that more years have passed than the number of years I actually spent with him. I was 13 when he died and it’s now been 14 years in February since the accident.

The holidays always make me miss him more. He was the oldest of us five children. He was mature beyond his years and had a deeper relationship with God at 19-years of age than most people have their entire lives. He was always looking out for each of us and encouraging us with his quiet spirit and his infectious laughter. He was truly an amazing man who desired a deeper relationship with God with every breath he took.

God assures us in Romans 8:28 that “All things work together for them that love the Lord, who have been called according to His purpose.”

I just sometimes feel like maybe He got it wrong. It’s hard to see the good sometimes when it seems Brian would have impacted way more people had he still been here.

But then I think about the hospital in Zimbabwe, Africa that carries his name. People are receiving life-saving treatments and, even more importantly, spiritual healing. Lives are being changed everyday.

I think about friends who might not have come to Christ without Brian’s influence. Their reunion in Heaven will be a sweet one.

And I think about my own walk with God. How might my life (and the lives of my family members) have been different had my family not endured such a tragedy at such a formative time in our lives? Would we have loved God as deeply? Would we have yearned for Heaven as much?

So even though I am still angry that Brian was taken away from us way too soon and miss him dearly, I can find some comfort in knowing that our Almighty God can work even in the midst of tragedy. I still don’t understand it. I still don’t like it. But God is God…and part of having faith in Him is blindly trusting Him, even when everything around us tells us not to.

I think I’ll be hugging each of my family members a little tighter this Christmas…and be thankful for the impact they have ALL had on my life.


  1. thank you for your post, I lost both my parents in a car wreck when I was 21. I was newly married, about to move to a new city, husband had a new job, and I was newly pregnant.
    I have often felt the same way, I often wonder, around the holidays especially, what it would have been like if they were still here? If they could have known my 4 children. I know that He had and still has a plan, I know they are much happier than they ever could have been here, but it doesn't keep me from wishing I could have just one more hug, just a few moments to talk.
    Again, thanks, from someone who knows EXACTLY what you mean.

  2. What a truly touching post. I think we will all be hugging each of our family members a little tighter this Christmas thanks to your brothers story. Thank you for putting the holiday into perspective

  3. Thank you for sharing, Jenae. I still have those moments when I feel angry about losing my dad too soon. He should be here teasing his grandchildren and making memories with us. I hesitate to say I understand someone's pain, because we each experience loss differently — but I do understand the growth that has happened in my own life as a result of losing my dad. I hold on to the hope that I am a daughter of the Most High King. Someday, I will see my dad again. And someday you'll get to see your brother again. And I look forward to the day when we're all whole again!

  4. great post, thank you. yes, it's so hard during the holiday season when you're missing someone so much. your brother touched and is still touching many, many lives. what a day when you all will be re-united one day!!!!
    God bless you and your family this season!

  5. Powerful- especially the part about "Would we have loved God as deeply? Would we have yearned for Heaven as much?" God has ways of redeeming pain…but that definitely can't be confused for 'removing pain'. Even when seeing God's hand it doesn't make the hurt less, huh? Thank you for sharing, Jenae.

  6. I am sorry for your loss. I know how easy it is to think of how things might have been and long for a different outcome. My dad died shortly after I turned 15; now I am almost 40. I almost can't remember much about him now. We weren't that close, regretably, and I often find myself wondering if we had had a little more time together we could have overcome our differences.

    Yet how amazing that your brother has such a tribute by helping so many people in Africa. For someone as mature and loving as you describe, he would have been very pleased with all that is being done in his name.

    Please have a blessed Christmas with your family!

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