A Friend In Jesus

“I wasn’t sure where I would go…”

A Friend In Jesus

Tristan:  I lost my brother due to a car accident on July 18, 2015. We were extremely close growing up and literally did everything together, whether that was getting into trouble or playing bluegrass music. I played guitar and he played banjo. Due to losing him, it was difficult to play music anymore because that was something that we had always done together, so I haven’t played the guitar or piano in several years now.

So, as you can imagine, losing him really took a toll on me. However, I had a peace about me because a short time before his accident, he had a dream that Jesus had shown him his log cabin in Heaven and all the critters that were running around, and Jesus told him that it would all be his someday. It was about a month after that that it all did become his.

I had just turned 16 at the time and my brother was 18.  He had just graduated high school. It was within the week after losing my brother that reality slapped me in the face:  I realized that anybody at any age could be taken from their earthly home at any time, and I wasn’t sure where I would go if that was me. I gave my life to the Lord that week and was baptized on August 2, 2015.

It has been a long road of coping with losing my brother at such a young age, and for years I thought it was all just a bad dream and I would see his truck coming down the driveway and see him walking through the door. I bottled up all my emotions the best that I could and shoved them deep down and only experienced them again when anniversaries such as his birthday, the day of his physical death, and the holiday season rolled around.

Songs have always been my way of dealing with things, whether that meant playing the guitar or piano, or listening to music nonstop. Certain songs really hit me hard and one of them is “No Place Like Home” by Anne Wilson. I first heard Anne in concert back in March of this year when she was on tour with Zach Williams. When it came to the point in her show that she gave her testimony and talked about losing her brother, I froze in shock with the number of similarities in her story and mine. I have listened to “No Place Like Home” several times since then because when I’m feeling down and thinking about my brother, it reminds me that he is in his Heavenly home and that I will see him again one day.

Those emotions that I talked about earlier that I pushed deep down all came to the surface majorly last week when I read Anne’s book “My Jesus: From Heartache to Hope.” Reading this book brought back so many emotions and flashbacks from the week that we lost him, and I was back to the mind space that I couldn’t talk about him or Anne and her story without immediately getting emotional. This mind space also put me right back into listening to worship music and trying to calm myself and cope with the loss all over again.

Some of the artists that I have been listening to heavily lately are Matthew West, Zach Williams, and of course Anne Wilson. In the book, Anne talks about how it took some time for her to realize that she had not fully coped with losing her brother. After reading the book, I realized that I haven’t either. I have just been shoving the emotions down and not asking for help. God would not put us through trials and tribulations that we could not power through. However, we could only do these things through Christ who strengthens us.

So, this is me opening up and asking for prayers of encouragement as I am still coping with the loss of my brother. I have an amazing circle of friends that on the days that I am struggling the most, they continue to send me scripture about putting my faith in God and that He will always prevail.

Lastly, I would like to just thank God for using Anne and her story to really speak to me and give me the courage to get back into playing music. As the saying goes, sometimes you just need to “Let go and let God”. Fighting back the urge to get back in playing music and opening up more to friends about my struggles was really holding me back from fully processing my loss and that giving it all to God is the best way to cope with absolutely anything in life.

Whether you’re dealing with grief, a sickness, or any kind of difficulties in life, there is always a friend in Jesus to take your struggles to.

“Let go and let God.”

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