Alicia Broadus has worked as the Administrative Assistant at Awaken since October 2013. She came to Awaken broken and empty, not long after her husband, David, passed away. On the night of their 15th wedding anniversary, David came home feeling sick, and he went to the hospital the next day. Just a few days later, he was diagnosed with cancer, and 48 hours after his diagnosis, at the age of 33, he passed away. Alicia was left to raise their 2 daughters on her own. Her story of pain, perseverance and faith through the fire is powerful, so I asked her to share her thoughts. She wrote these words on June 17, 2015 – the 4th anniversary of the day David died…
I don’t have the best memory. But every year as June 17 approaches, the memories of that day, just a few short years ago, replay like a movie in my mind…
I remember leaving my home to head to the hospital to tend to my 33-year old husband who had just been diagnosed with cancer.
I remember seeing the panic in David’s eyes and hearing the fear in his voice.
I remember how his humor was still intact.
I remember the doctor telling me they were transferring him to a bigger and better equipped hospital.
I remember the long drive following the ambulance he was in.
I remember the long wait to see him.
I remember my brother’s face as he walked into the room after flying in to be with me.
I remember walking out of his room as his heart rate began to plummet and the nurse was yelling for the doctor to come.
I remember the doctors pushing past me as they rushed in to save him.
I remember thinking that they would stabilize him and I would be able to go back in there soon.
I remember the doctors asking for the family of David Broadus and the sadness on the doctors’ faces as they realized I was all alone.
I remember them punching the code on the door to the private room.
I remember the look on their faces as they made my worst fears a reality, telling me that my husband didn’t make it.
I remember thinking it was a not-so-funny joke.
I remember the trembling and coldness of my entire body.
I remember calling my mom and hearing the cries of true mourning coming through the phone.
I remember my panic as I tried to figure out what I would tell our children who loved him so much.
I remember looking at his body – still and unmoving – thinking it had to be a mistake, that this loud, boisterous, larger-than-life personality was no longer going to be a constant presence in our lives.
I remember thinking that I am not strong enough to live without him.
I remember the quiet, heavy ride home from the hospital.
I remember making dreadful phone calls and final arrangements I never planned to make.
I remember waiting for what seemed like days until I could put my arms around my family as they came to town.
I remember being so obsessed by my dirty ceiling fan but the inability to get out of my chair to clean it.
I remember the precious people who surrounded me in that time of fog and loss.
But most of all, I remember how God showed up.
God has been so faithful during this storm in my life. Somehow, I knew I had to seek Him. I knew that if I didn’t seek Him I would wonder where He is. I would be swallowed up in my grief. I would not be able to be the mom, daughter, sister, cousin, friend, or even wife that I was called to be. I almost immediately looked up to find refuge (Psalm 91:4) and peace that would only be found in our Savior.
My story is about a great love! Not the love of a man, although I experienced that, but the love of my heavenly Father, my bridegroom for eternity.
I often think about the story in the Bible of the woman who had an issue with blood. She believed that if she could touch Jesus’ cloak through the crowd she would be healed, and she was! Jesus knew He had been touched and through her belief she was healed. In my darkest days immediately following David’s death, I reached out to touch Jesus’ garment because that was all the strength I possessed. If I could just touch the hem I would not be consumed. I would be able to rest in His promises, trust in His sovereignty and experience His peace.
If I could just touch the hem I would not be consumed. I would be able to rest in His promises, trust in His sovereignty and experience His peace.
As God continued to reveal himself to me, I learned to captivate my thoughts and make them obedient to him (2 Corinthians 10:5). When the enemy tries to tell me that I deserve this, that God doesn’t love me, that He left me all alone, that I cannot go on, that I shouldn’t trust a God who allows His people to feel so much pain, I shut those thoughts down, fall on my face, and turn toward Jesus. I continue to lay this burden at His feet day after day.
I HATE living this life without David.
I hate that he is missing out on watching our girls grow into these beautiful young ladies whom I am so proud of.
I hate that I have to crawl into our bed alone, that his closet goes unopened, that there are no more socks left in the living room, that there are no grease stains on my door knobs, that I will never be forced to watch another car show, that I will never be so aggravated at him that it brings me to tears…
The list of things I hate is endless…
But I choose to REST in the fact that God says, “Do not fear, for I AM WITH YOU” (Isaiah 41:10).
I do not fear because God has a whole book of promises and He loves me so incredibly much.
He has overcome death (1 Corinthians 15:57).
I will go on without fear because I am not alone (Matthew 28:20).
He bottles up all our tears (Psalm 56:8).
One day NO more tears will fall (Revelation 21:4)!
God has placed so many people in my life to love me, encourage me, support me, pray for me, and live life with me. I am so incredibly grateful for those of you who have taught me to live again. So while today I feel deep sorrow and a weak spirit, I will NOT be dismayed. I will NOT be defeated. After the night falls I will seek joy for “weeping may endure for the night but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5)!
His promises abound and He is faithful to complete the good work in you. But you must seek Him. His arms are open wide and there is nothing He can’t overcome. There is nothing He can’t redeem for His glory. There is a peace that passes all understanding!
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). I cannot wait for the day for His glory to be revealed in me, but until that day comes I will hold steadfast to Him!