One Year Later – Abbie Allard

Yesterday Linda shared her thoughts. Today we hear from Abbie. May you be encouraged as you read her reflections and perspective…

When I was asked to write something here on Pastor Kevin’s blog for the one year anniversary date of my brother’s passing, I thought to myself, What words could I possibly come up with that would be able to say exactly what I want to say? and What do I even want to say in the first place? I read what my mom had written and thought she did a great job with explaining her thoughts and feelings. I said to God, “What is it that I could write about? I don’t even know where to begin…” That same day, I was listening to a CD that I had not listened to in a quite a while, and one song stuck out to me unlike it ever had before. The sun had not even gone down yet when God gave me a hint on what my heart really wanted to share.

“Who can hold the stars and my weary heart?
Who can see everything?
I’ve fallen so hard
Sometimes I feel so far but not beyond Your reach
I could climb a mountain, swim the ocean
Or do anything
But it’s when You hold me that I start unfolding
And all I can say is
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Whatever’s in front of me
Help me to sing hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Whatever’s in front of me
I’ll choose to sing hallelujah

The same sun that rises over castles
And welcomes the day
Spills over buildings into the streets
Where orphans play
And only you can see the good in broken things
You took my heart of stone
And you made it home
And set this prisoner free

Hallelujah, hallelujah
Whatever’s in front of me
Help me to sing hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Whatever’s in front of me
I’ll choose to sing hallelujah”

-Hallelujah by Bethany Dillon

When Andrew passed away, I could have easily blamed God, hated God, or even turn my back on God altogether. Too many questions existed without a trace of answers that could be found by human insight alone. I searched for answers in places beyond myself and my own thoughts, and could not find any there as well. And yes, that was a fancy way of saying I could not find the answers in even God, the only place I knew to look. Yet in the midst of all the confusion and lonesomeness, God wrapped his arms around me and gave me a peace, a tranquility, that was unlike anything I had ever felt before. My heart was not overwhelmed with the sorrow this world expected me to feel. At times I felt guilty because I was not as broken as the people around me that were affected by the loss as well. Instead of pointing the finger at God and blaming him for taking Andrew away from me, I chose to ’sing hallelujah’ and ‘see the good in broken things’; and to my surprise, there were more good things than I expected.

According to Isaiah 55:8-9, God’s way are not my ways; his thoughts are not even close to my own. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” After pursuing any answers that could satisfy the deep questions burning inside of me, I came to a realization that God’s ways really are higher than my own. Even though I did not find any of the answers I was originally looking for, I became satisfied in knowing that God had the whole situation in the palm of His hands. Even though I had to go through a major loss, I have been able to see many lives gained into the Lord’s kingdom because of Andrew’s life. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Ps. 23:4) So true.

“Hallelujah, hallelujah
Whatever’s in front of me
I’ll choose to sing hallelujah”

My heart has learned to sing those few lines since last year; not only during tragic circumstances such as losing someone dear to me, but during every situation that comes my way, good or bad, big or small. Trusting God is no longer just a Bible verse that sounds really sweet, but a daily choice of action to give Him all my cares and worries. I have found that the more I trust God with the little things, the easier it is to trust Him with the bigger things. I honestly don’t know who I would be if I had not gone through what I did one year ago. However, I do know my confidence in Him has been strengthened through it all.

12 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jody Juneau on March 7, 2008 at 12:32 am

    You are so special!! Its amazing, your trust in God. Your wisdom is beyond your years. Thank you for being an inspiration even in my own life. His ways are truly greater than ours.

    Miss you


  2. Posted by Kathy Johnson on March 5, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    Abbie, you are truly an amazing young lady. Your family has inspired our family. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring but we do know where we are going when the Lord decides to call us home. I will never forget Andrew and the impact he has had on our family. He has given us the greatest gift of all and that is bringing our family closer to God, and in knowing Andrew and loving him his memory will live on forever in our Hearts. For us Johnson’s the song that will always remind of us of Andrew is “Give until there’s nothing left to Give” by Reliant K …we know that Andrew was a Giver and he gave more than he will ever know.
    We love you all and wish you peace.


  3. Posted by revkevgcc on March 5, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Jeff Reed – the guy who owns the bookstore down in Florida that sells the t-shirts that Andrew loved blogged on this as well today.

    He’s a great guy who is having a kingdom impact with his life and has been spurred on by Andrew’s life.


  4. Posted by Pete McGinnins on March 5, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    I was truly impressed a year ago at their strength, which we all know is from God, and reading their thoughts a year later was both moving (I had a “Kevvy” moment while reading!) and inspiring. Thank God for the influence of people like them in our church family!!


  5. Posted by Tom & Carol Clifford on March 5, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this inspiring message. It is so encouraging and blessed. We can all learn so much from each other’s suffering. Another song that came to mind is I’ll Praise You in the Storm. That is where we really experience the “grace” of God.


  6. Posted by Melanie Blake on March 5, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    I just read both of these touching blog entries! God’s perfect plans are just mind boggling at times! It is a wonderful tribute to His not letting us fall, even when He allows something as potentially crippling as losing a child happen. I’ll never claim to understand His ways… I just thank God that He promised to carry us through!!

    Thanks for those two entries….. and thanks to both of the women who allowed us (some of us even being strangers) into the most painful parts of their hearts and healing process with God! They are walking testimonies to our Lord and His strength!



  7. Posted by Sondra on March 5, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Your words are very encouraging, thank you for your thoughts and being willing to share them. Jeremiah 31:13 – Then maidens will dance and be glad, young mena nd old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; i will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.
    Love you and your fam!


  8. Posted by laura on March 5, 2008 at 2:22 am

    i dont know either you or your mother, but i have sat here reading both of your testimonies while countless tears have fallen from my eyes. I am extremely close to my brother who is only 15 months older than me. Being able to read your story and see the strength that God gave you in a time that could have easily been horrific is just over powering. Thank you for sharing both your stories because they give hope; hope that there are people out there that are truly trusting in God and not just “going through the motions of life.”
    Thank you! I dont know why really, but thank you for everything you have shared.
    You are a blessed family, which may seem unlikely to some, but i can see with all my heart that your family has been blessed by God in so many magnificent ways.
    And your brother seems like an amazing person. I hope to meet him myself when I one day pass away. Maybe even see/hear him strum this magnificent guitar of glory you speak of!
    Blessings to both of you!


  9. Posted by Melissa on March 5, 2008 at 1:18 am

    Abbie, your words are such an encouragement to your 34-year-old sis! Mom told me about your blog and I was so amazed to read how you are able to express yourself and give HIM the credit for not just pulling you through a horrible situation, but seeing HIS eternal perspective…one that I struggle with daily! I love you and feel that our family was blessed to be able to share 13 years together with Andrew. Andrew was blessed to have you as a sister!


  10. Hey Abbie,

    That was a really encouraging blog you wrote about Andrew, i really liked the verse when you said that Gods ways are higher than our ways and his thoughts to, i have always known that verse in the bible but i have always thought that, well yeah god decides pretty much everything. But this verse really let me know that i need to stop thinking, oh God why did you chose for this to happen, and instead think, well God you chose for this to happen and i need to accept it so i must learn to accept it by realizing all the good things that have come from it.

    I was also thinking that it would be really cool if like me and Joey flew up there for April vacation or maybe you flew down here and we just hung out and did some fun things together, well just think about it and message me on facebook, thanks…

    Miss You


  11. Posted by Brenda on March 4, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Abbie, the wisdom you have at your age is amazing! I wish when I was your age and going through similar circumstances that I had the walk you have. I am so thankful to hear the strength you have gained in your walk with God. He will keep bringing you comfort and strength – as long as you keep singing and praising (as you have learned) Him! He is going to continue to use Andrew through you, as you faithfully keep walking with Him and trusting His leading. I am soooo very proud of you, and your faith!!! God has made you stronger, and you have allowed Him to draw closer to you than ever before – this is what comforts you, always!!!

    We could all learn a lot from one big thing you wrote ” Trusting God is no longer just a Bible verse that sounds really sweet, but a daily CHOICE OF ACTION to give Him all my cares and worries.” As adults we can sometimes struggle with this choice, and yet you, a young lady, only 16 show so many that is exactly what it takes – CHOOSING to give Him glory in all circumstances.

    You know how much we love you…. and we stand with you singing praises for Andrew and what God continues to do through his memory.
    All our love to you,
    Dan and Brenda


  12. Posted by Margaret and Jeff on March 4, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    Abbs-you are amazing. I love you so much. Thanks for sharing your heart. It is such a comfort, I am sure, to many hearts(I know it is to mine), to hear from you and know, that in spite of your loss, you are OK. All the glory goes to God, because who would have chosen this, and yet who would change all the good that has come from it? Thank you, Abbie.


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