Happy Birthday to Chandler from a Mother’s Heart!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my wonderful son, Chandler “Jimmy”! Although Chandler is forever 19, today he would have been 21 years old.

 Some people may find it hard to believe that after nearly two years without my Chandler, it is still hard to live without him. I would do just about anything to give him a big hug this morning and video him in front of his cake as we sing happy birthday. This day brings a wave of grief and sorrow that literally knocks me off my feet. I’m not ashamed of that. I own my sorrow because it comes from the unstoppable love of a mother for her child. Although Chandler is no longer here, my love and longing for him beats on with every beat of my heart. This love is the purest of love, and is placed in my heart by God. If I didn’t love him so much, I wouldn’t miss him so much.

But my grief is not without incredible HOPE. And this day is not only filled with sorrow and longing but with thankfulness, praise and even joy. I am so THANKFUL for 19 wonderful years with Chandler! Every day of being his mother was not always wonderful. In fact, some days were incredibly difficult, frustrating and even heart breaking. But every day was a blessing, and I’m so THANKFUL for the short time we had. I’m so THANKFUL for the legacy Chandler left behind.  A legacy of love and service for God and people, and for the impact he continues to have throughout the world. I’m even THANKFUL for the sacred and beautiful process of my grief, for I see much more clearly through tear-filled eyes. It is through my brokenness and weakness that God has given me a clear understanding of my calling in this world to reach out to the poor, the lowly, the lost and the hurting. It is through suffering that God blesses us with hearts of compassion. God has shown me my complete dependence on Him, my desperate condition and my need to rely on His power and grace in my life.

My lips are filled with PRAISE to my awesome God for making Chandler the person he was. I PRAISE God not only for all that He did through Chandler’s life, but also for what He is doing through Chandler’s death. I am utterly amazed at how God can take something that seems so tragic and devastating and turn it into something so beautiful that it changes lives all around the world! Only God can use death to bring forth so much life! Only God can redeem brokenness and turn into strength, beauty and service! I PRAISE God because He is good and He is faithful in all situations. GLORY to God forever!

Even JOY has slowly crept it’s way back into my life. I can’t say that I feel it all the time, and I don’t believe I should. “There is a season for everything under the sun”. But today, at this moment, there is JOY. I have JOY because I know my darling son is safe in heaven with God! I have JOY because I know he is at peace and is happy and complete! I have JOY because I know Chandler wouldn’t come back even if given the choice. I have JOY because of God’s unfathomable plan of salvation through Jesus, my son will live forever in perfect joy. I have Joy…BECAUSE ONE DAY I WILL EMBRACE MY CHILD AGAIN, and I will live forever with Christ and know the perfect joy that Chandler knows now.

THANK YOU God for June 4, 1992. Thank you for blessing us with Chandler James Brazell. And happy birthday, my beloved son! “I love you forever… I like you for always…as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be!”

~Rhonda Brazell, Proud and Loving Mom


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11 Responses to Happy Birthday to Chandler from a Mother’s Heart!

  1. dan Baber says:

    l too miss Chandler, and think of him often. Ynote was encouraging and uplifting. I pray for joy and peace, and give thanks for the light in the life of Chandler, which though short burned bright.

  2. John Clark says:

    Rhonda, I have never read anything with so much love for someone, faith in something and the courage to feel it all. You are Jimmies Mom, look at what his death has opened in you, I hardly knew him and I look often at what he has opened in me. With this “Joy “has a new meaning in my life! Happy Birthday Jimmie, I pray I may have a gift for you someday to equal the one you have given us.

  3. Sherry Craig says:

    All that comes to mind at this moment is “AMEN”
    Perfectly said….Love you much friend :)

  4. Cindy Laird says:

    Oh Rhonda, thank you for sharing such a beautiful expression of your love along with your grief, and yet joy. My eyes are full of tears. Thank you also for reminding us of God’s goodness and faithfulness in ALL situations. I, too, praise Him for that truth! “Happy birthday, Jimmy.” And God bless you, sister!

  5. Jerrie Jiang says:

    Happy birthday, Jimmy!
    We only talked twice when you were in BJ, but the conversation really impressed me a lot. Actually, I had a news to tell you that I became a Christian last Easter. Praise the Lord that he let me to know a friend as you. May He bless your family.
    We will meet again one day, dear.

  6. Ron Collins says:

    Rhonda and Chuck,
    Appreciate your blog for Chandler. My heart continues to go out for you both and the kids. A great testimony you’ve shared for why knowing Christ here on this earth is so important for eternity. Chandler’s life lives on due to his relationship and commitment to serve Christ. Thanks for sharing.
    Ron, for Patty too.

  7. Bethany Baber says:

    Thank you for writing this wonderful post, Mrs. Brazell. Thank you to the whole family for this wonderful blog. Jimmy was and is such an impact on my life. Whenever I think of someone who lived life to the fullest and for the glory of the King, Jimmy Brazell is always the first person to pop into my mind. He lived such a Christ-cenctered life, and was truly a light to all the world. Thank you Brazells, and thank you Jimmy.

  8. Dina Ash says:

    Rhonda…I LOVE THIS!! So real and a beautiful picture of a mother’s heart and her love for her son and Heavenly Father! I am SO PROUD of you…you are REAL and HONEST and this journey is a journey…and it’s YOUR JOURNEY! Thank you for sharing your heart in such a real and honest way. You are an encouragement and a blessing to me and many others! I love you dear friend!

  9. What a great picture of Chandler! And what a beautiful perspective on the joy of motherhood, the eternal nature of love, and the clarity of purpose than can come in the wake of such overwhelming grief. Chandler was a blessing to all who knew him, and his legacy lives on through the family he left behind. Praying for you, Rhonda, that God will continue to heal your heart and will continue to bless your willingness to be used by Him as you reach out to a hurting world with the HOPE of the gospel of Christ!

  10. Janet Baber says:

    Thank you for sharing your mother’s heart and journey, Rhonda. So beautiful! Love you!

  11. Peter Martin says:

    Rhonda, this is beautiful. Thank you for continuing to share your heart. You and Chuck and your family are such an inspiration to so many of us who have not been through this type of grief. Thank you for showing us how to love. I have thought about Jimmy’s birthday a lot this week and wondering if we will celebrate birthdays in heaven. The Bible describes how special was the wedding at Cana with Jesus present. If we celebrate birthdays in heaven, imagine Jimmy celebrating with Jesus! Blessings, Peter

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