Hope Will Lead Me On September 01 2014, 2 Comments

It's interesting...Bryer's Song was something Justin came up with.  I was very hesitant to have a Facebook page, but he thought it was a good way to communicate.  He put it up one day in March of 2013.  Bryer was 5 months old.  I remember looking at Facebook sitting in the NICU and seeing Bryer's Song pop up in my newsfeed.  "Hmm, how did he land on that name?" I wondered.  He later said it was a metaphor for Bryer's life...a sweet song to be heard.  A story to be told. Yes...ok...I can dig that. I liked it.  It's kind of ironic though...because it was through song, lyric, melody and music in general that God tenderly spoke to me in this desert season of life.  Sometimes He even spoke boldly.  It's not unique to me, I know.  Music tends to be that way right?  Impactful.  Moving.  I had a set of songs that ministered to me on a daily basis...ones I played over and over on the ride down to Nationwide...ones I quietly sang to him over and over...certain ones I would listen to driving home. I had songs pop into my head out of no where that I could NOT get rid of...always a poignant message for my heart.  I even sang an unexpected "duet" of "This Little Light of Mine" with a housekeeper one day which blessed my socks off - but that's another story for another time.  So, just like many others have a soundtrack of their life, I had a soundtrack of Bryer.  The first I shared some of them was at his memorial service.  It felt so good to sing them as a congregation and take them in as dear brothers and sisters in Christ sang them solo.  So, I decided to compile all these songs... and I burned several CD's. I gave to my family and close friends. I wrote "Bryer's Songs" on all of them because, well, that's what they were.  My family loved them. I even gave out a few to other hurting people with the hope they'd be encouraged.

This past spring, I was riding in the car with my brother Aaron and his wife, Kari. We were actually headed to Nationwide to meet up with another hurting family.  They had their Bryer's Songs CD playing.  As we drove and listened to each song, I told the story of what each meant to me...why it was significant...what part of Bryer's life it was linked too...various emotions that the songs evoked.  I shared about "Hope Will Lead Us On". This is a song I made sure to listen to every drive down, multiple times.  It was a track on a "mixed cd" a dear friend had made to encourage me (see you never know the impact you may have when you reach out - thanks Catherine!).  It became my anthem.  I cannot tell you how this readied my heart, soul and mind in preparation for what the day might bring. I could feel the strength welling up within.  I was uplifted.  I had courage. I sang it loudly over and over and over.  

It was a couple months later, early this summer, when Kari and I were sitting at our church's VBS contemplating doing t-shirts again...My desire was to do something that went beyond Bryer and extended into each person's heart who chose to wear the shirt.  Go beyond, but still be connected to Bryer's God-given story.  You follow?  So, we are discussing this and she says, "Well, Carey, I was driving down RT 3 listening to my Bryer's Song CD, "Hope Will Lead Us On" was playing...I know exactly where I was...the sun was shining through the canopy of trees etc... and it flooded me,  "Hope Will Lead Me On". It's what we need to put on the t-shirts."  Bingo.  I couldn't have agreed more.  

We will never forget Bryer.  Of all people, how could I?  He is flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone. A piece of my heart was taken to Heaven last September.  But, we realize it's not ONLY about Bryer.  It's about all of you. All of us. It's about this race we are all running to eternity. And boy, it can be tough. Tragedy, illness, chronic pain, infertility, loneliness, divorce, anxiety, fear, grief...death.  So, yes, buy the shirt for yourself, a hurting friend or a child, and remember our boy.  Be inspired by the story God gave him for us to tell; His song for us to sing.  But furthermore, when you wear this shirt, let strength well up within you..."For those who Hope in the Lord will RENEW their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles.  They will run and not grow weary.  They will walk and not grow faint." -Isaiah 40:31.  I know this to be true!  Let Hope lead you this day, because the day will come... as we press on.. when the battle's won.