Bre Hanks

When one is faced with their greatest fears, faith is tested in measures the mortal mind cannot comprehend. I don’t think I have the words to describe how my very soul, mind and heart has been shook, rattled and pushed to the limit. My body has been numb and tingling (not a good tingle) since Nathan’s soul left his body. Half my soul was ripped out of my body and taken from me. I can’t sit with myself, I don’t want to die.. yet I don’t want to sit in my ever-agonizing body. The hole in my heart is so big and so dark. I thought for sure I would feel this overwhelming spiritual feeling of comfort and peace after Nathan passed, but guess what....I didn’t.

His actual passing was an incredibly spiritual experience that I will never forget, but AFTER he left, my body went into shock, terror and I felt scared out of my mind. The coming days ahead proved that while I felt the peace of loved ones around me and most assuredly Nathan around me as I prepared for the funeral, while I felt those things, the ever gnawing feeling of the gaping hole in my heart hasn’t let up much and it is indescribable. One thing I DO know without a doubt is that this is MY Gethsemane. Christ had to be completely and utterly alone for a while in the garden and it is my turn to feel that. No one can fix or heal this hole in my heart except Christ. I am here to tell you that while this seems impossible...NOTHING is impossible with Christ. While I’m utterly confused, heart-broken and knocked to my knees, I KNOW my Savior will come to my rescue and save me. I know that once I’ve FELT the pain, felt the surge of “no way out”, that there WILL be a way out. My friend lost her husband just a month before I lost Nathan and I remember telling her, “Somehow God will make things right in the will all work out”. Guess what, I still believe that even while facing my own hell.

When it is time to write, I will hear phrases in my mind. Sudden and very clear bursts of thought. Then I will hear… “write this down” or “share this”. I have always been taught that we have guardian angels, and I do believe that mine is a co-author to my posts.

If I could describe the past few weeks, I would sum it up as the biggest, most terrifying roller-coaster that I’ve ever been on, and as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t like roller-coasters. An emotional roller coaster, a coaster of fear, fluctuating between highs and lows. Vacillating between peaks and valleys on a daily and sometimes HOURLY basis.

This doesn’t mean that there isn’t times of peace and almost incomprehensible hope and calm and reassurance. When you hear the phrase “opposition in all things”, this is true for the past few weeks we've experienced. With all this fear and worry and sadness, there have also been indescribable experiences, that lead me to KNOW of an existence that is just beyond our earthly vision of what we know to exist, and that within that realm are people who LOVE us and are working on our behalf. A world just beyond our reach, and yet not beyond our reach. A whole world of guardian angels and loved ones that are as much a part of our lives as our favorite pair of jeans or our iPhone that we carry everywhere. Even MORE so a part of our lives than we ever could believe or understand until one comes so close to the brink of death, then it becomes more tangible, more evident and so much more welcomed into your life.

I’ve been trying to come up with the words for this post. Usually, when I feel impressed to share our journey, I feel like I’ve already learned a lesson or I've gone through something and have the experience to share what I know.

This time I’ve struggled, even though I feel STRONGLY that I need to share. The reason I’ve struggled is because I’m still GOING through the trenches of the very thing I’m learning and about to share.

It is in the vulnerability that we connect, so I’ll continue to write, knowing that each of you see my heart and know that the things I am learning right now in life are so DEEP and SOUL REFINING.

This journey is not just for Nathan and I, or for our little family. It is for you, and your spouse… for your kids, for your friend and my friend. It is for all of us. I can’t even begin to tell you how strongly I feel about this. And so I keep writing, even though I am not done learning this part of the journey. After all, are any of us done learning??? They say fear and faith can’t co-exist, but they are neighbors…

Without facing your darkest fears, you’ll never know how to access your brightest faith, you’ll never know just how much faith you are capable of obtaining. Your faith will never become materialized until you are pushed to a place where your fear tests you tremendously…. So fear is a part of our learning to have faith and hope and peace. As much as we don’t want it, we would never learn without it.

Even though they say that faith and fear can’t co-exist, I’m here to tell you that you can experience both in the same day, multiple times a day and it’s okay and it’s part of the process of overcoming your fear. Can I put that last sentence in BOLD letters??? I feel it so deeply.

A little child learning to walk may experience excitement and trepidation as he takes his first few steps. No one would tell him, “Dear child, you shouldn’t have excitement and fear at the same time… get over it and just be excited to walk!” We know better… we understand the caution of learning a new skill, that our earthly experiences are sometimes intimidating and they are MEANT TO BE that way. How one earth would we ever understand the joy of overcoming if we had nothing to overcome?? So even though I realize fear pushes out faith and faith pushes out fear, that they truly can’t co-exist at the same exact time, I also realize that our fear, worry, pain and agony is just as much a part of our plan as our faith, and that it ultimately leads to our learning and our highest good.

I love this recent quote I heard on a Tony Robbins podcast. They were interviewing athlete Siri Lindley… She said “Fear is the universe saying, Take this on… this matters. Everything great in your life is going to be on the other side of this fear… step in”. So while I’m riding the most frightful roller-coaster of my life, I am saying “I’ll take this on…this matters. Everything great in my life, and in the eternities, is going to be on the other side of this fear… I’ll step in”. I’ll step in over and over again. I’m going to cry, and scream and curl up into a ball, but then I’m going to get back up again and again and keep going. I’m going to TRUST and KNOW that all these things will wrap up into the most beautiful gift for our highest good. Ultimately, they will be a huge blessing and we will thank the Lord for the rollercoaster ride of life.

At the viewing the night before the funeral, my sweet nephew erupted into tears when he came up to me and the casket. I got down on my knees and felt a serge of Nathan flow through me to comfort him. I knew this is what Nathan wanted me to do. I had multiple people come up to me and say “You’ve been comforting others all night long! How are you doing that?” The truth is, it was Nathan prompting me to seek out the one who needed a little extra love. It happened many times that night. I would leave my “station” and go to them and sit with them. Nathan and I are still very much a team.

He was promised miracles of healing and I am coming to terms with the fact that his healing was of a spiritual nature and that he is GLORIOUS now. He was also told that he is needed to help comfort and guide people through this troubled world. I believe he and I are working on that now from both sides of the veil. Gods promises are always fulfilled. We may interpret things in a way we hope for and when things don’t make sense, we need to dig deeper, get on our knees and find true meaning in all things. If we ask, we will receive. My man is a warrior and is working many mighty miracles just beyond the veil for OUR side of the veil. I couldn’t love him more and I can’t WAIT to see him again some day and talk to him about the work we’ve done together in a most miraculous way.

-Jessica White @jessicawhitephoto

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