Two years ago this week, we sat in Greenville Memorial Hospital trusting God but wondering if Brewer would remain with us on this earth or go on to be with Jesus.
Looking back and reflecting is very surreal. This week has been so identical in some ways–down to Clemson having won a National Championship then and now. I vividly remember being in Atlanta two years ago on business and calling to check on Brewer. He had been having severe headaches and when I heard he had missed the parade in Clemson and was instead resting on the sofa, I decided to head to Seneca to check on him. It was so out of character for him not to go to the parade and join in the fun.
This year I happened to be in Clemson on the day of the parade and I was judging the Miss Clemson University Pageant. On Saturday a call from Brewer came but I could not answer. When the missed call popped up on my phone, it sent chills down my spine. I was also overcome with gratitude.
I had flashbacks of the thoughts I had while Brewer was on a ventilator in Neuro-ICU…
Would I ever see him play golf again?
Would I ever see him awake again?
I can remember my arrow prayers to God:
“Lord, I trust you!”
“Lord, I want Brewer to live. Please spare him, but I will accept your will.”
“Lord, strengthen me for this journey. You know what is in front of us.”
“Lord, thank you for the love and support around us.”
“Lord, I feel your presence. Thank you for Your provision.”
I even prayed, “Thank you, Lord, that I got to experience Clemson winning a National Championship with Brewer and Thomas just days ago.”
My thoughts did go, at times, in the direction of wondering if God may have allowed that memorable experience before Brewer left this earth. I am so humbled and grateful that God spared Brewer. I reflect often, which comes with a lump in my throat, the alternative.
I will never forget the miracle we experienced. I will never forgot how God brought direction and peace to my heart when I did not know the future. I will never forget the prayers of thousands of people, the visits at the hospital, the care of doctors and nurses and the overwhelming sense that, no matter what, God was holding all of us and, mostly, Brewer.
This past weekend I was reading the book of Matthew and these words jumped off the page at me, “Then Jesus began to denounce the towns in which most of His miracles had been performed, because they did not repent,” (Matthew 11:20). Miracles do happen. They happen still today, every day. I watched one happen before my very eyes.
I don’t ever want to forget! I want to not only remind myself often, but others, too, who were looking on, about the miracle we lived before our very eyes. I will NEVER forget when Brewer made the turn just hours after Dr. Halladay had said, “We need to talk and make decisions because Brewer has not turned the corner like we thought.”
I will never forget rejecting his words in my heart and mind and then verbally putting him off saying, “Can we just wait until everyone gets here to discuss this? It is early and can we just wait?” I remember his blank, but compassionate stare and the yes nod of his head. I then remember, eyes burning with tears and nose running, heading to the restroom and then circling that third floor in prayer. Simply begging God, “Please let Brewer turn the corner!” And then following up with, “Not my will but yours!”
I can remember circling and circling until I was startled by the silence of the early morning hours of that floor being broken by hearing my name called out…by a distressed voice. It was Vester, the gatekeeper of ICU who was beckoning me to come. As I turned to fly past her, my thoughts were honestly not ones of faith but fear. The last words I had heard from anyone about Brewer were negative!
I remember hearing her say, “I am sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you!” Then I rounded the corner as she swiped me through the glass security doors….and I saw Brewer…sitting up…all wires that snaked across his body…gone.
Tears were sliding down his cheeks and mine by the time I got to him. I remember his words, “Pray with me, MOM!” I dropped to my knees as I took his hand and said, “I praise you, God. I praise You for Brewer’s life. I praise You! I praise You!!!” I also remember just a few hours later, Dr. Sharon Webb, Brewer’s neuro-surgeon, looking Brewer and me in the eyes and saying, “Brewer, where you were when you arrived here and where you are right now is a total act of God. It is nothing we did!”
Today, I want encourage you that God still performs miracles today. I know at times we don’t get the outcomes we desire. He is sovereign and I have learned to live and trust His Word in Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord and LEAN not on YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight” [emphasis mine].
I cannot deny the miracle our family experienced. I want to remember and acknowledge what happened. Even though time marches on…I will tell of God’s hand, of God’s power and that we have a God who is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is mighty. He is awesome and to HIM I give all glory, honor and praise.
“The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him” (Exodus 15:2).
“We ought to give thanks for all fortune: if it is good, because it is good, if bad, because it works in us patience, humility and the contempt of this world and the hope of our eternal country.” ~C.S. Lewis
“I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that, I still possess.” ~Corrie ten Boom