July 27, 2012

Can it Truly Be?

It's so hard for me to believe, but it's been 15 years since my sister, Sherri, went to be with the Lord.  I remember standing in the florist shop ordering flowers for her funeral, and thinking, "Surely the Lord is going to return soon, because I can not bear the thought of living without her...and He won't put more on us than we can bear...this is clearly too much.  I know He must be on His way back.  We won't be here in another 10 years...surely."    Well....it's been 15. . .and has that caused me to doubt Him?  Has that caused me to become bitter?  Has my faith diminished?  Certainly one would think that any of those would be reasonably expected outcomes, especially considering how I distinctly recall saying "Surely He will not expect us to actually have to DEAL with her loss on a daily, or even worse: YEARLY basis." 

But here I sit. . . 15 years later.  I can truly testify to the fact that God is faithful.  No matter WHAT circumstances cause your grief.  Sudden tragedy..Sudden loss of a job.  Sudden death of a loved one.   Psalm 34:18 says The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  I clung to that promise even when I could not even pray any words to express my grief.

In the wake of her sudden death, and the days leading up to her funeral I recall very little...guess from the shock.  But one thing God allowed my memory to retain, and subsequently He has etched it into my heart:  Standing at her casket the night before her funeral.  People were lined up outside, waiting to come in. . .and there was my former piano instructor . . as we stood at Sherri's casket I told Lynn, "I can never play again. .. how can I play from a  heart that is broken?"  She said "You have all the more reason to now."  I didn't understand. .. but that was 15 years ago. . . Now I understand. 

God uses music as a tool in the healing process. . .and in the few months or even years after she passed, I could not hear certain songs sung without boo-hooing.  One specific song was "Serenaded by Angels."   Couldn't hear it sung, or played on the radio.  

How could I continue to PLAY from a heart that was broken?  In order to get the refreshing juice from grapes, they must be crushed. . .and little did I know that God was going to use Sherri's untimely death to become a platform for me to offer encouragement and comfort to others. . .and do it through the music that He caused to come forth from that once crushed spirit and broken heart of mine.  

God is faithful.   15  years later, here I sit . . .with a healed heart. . . still thinking of and missing my sister, but with a new perspective.  God WILL allow us to go through hard times, sometimes they seem even more than we can bear...but it's to reveal HIMSELF to us.  . and draw us closer to Him.  

And below is a musical arrangement of none other than Serenaded by Angels. . in memory of my sister's 15th year with the Lord.  Her time in eternity has only just begun.


  1. Beyond beautiful, touched my heart sweet sis.

  2. Tam, thank you for the beautiful tribute to our Sher-bear. I know she is proud of you for continuing on in the music field and now medical. :-) I can hear her now encouraging you to go for it. Your blog will touch the hearts of many who will be going through trials. We must keep on keeping on. Love you, Mom

  3. Dear Tammi
    What an honor it is to listen to your own piano rendition of this beautiful song. A fitting tribute to the way God redeems us from our grief! Congratulations too as you are about to end your summer semester. Just a few months ago, you were wondering how it was all going to work out. And then Bryan's operation, and now you are commemorating your sister's 15th homegoing anniversary.

    I have never heard this song before, until today.

    So beautiful. If I just changed the pronouns from she to he, and her to him, the song could very well be one I would sing for my own husband who went home to heaven nearly four years ago.



  4. What a beautiful song. My mom died seven years ago and was a wonderful pianist. I miss her very much and how we used to sit around the piano as a family and sing together.

    I love how you've allowed the Lord to comfort you through music. And how you've been a comfort to others through your music.

    I'm sure your sister would be so proud of you Tammi. And best of all, one day you will get to see her again. Isn't that an amazing blessing of being a disciple of Jesus Christ?

    Blessings and love,

  5. So beautiful sister. It was a great joy to see you at Journal of Faith. Praise God that He is working mightily in your life. I pray that He will continue to bless you with His peace and powerful presence. I also pray that your husband's health is doing well . . . I know it's been a while since we've chatted, but I never cease to pray. ;)
    Sending LOTS of love and hugs!!!

  6. Tammi, I have sung that song at several funerals and my Mom who is 85 has requested me sing it when she goes to be with the Lord. Beautiful testemony of God's grace in your life. I am sure you are a comfort to those who lose a love one. Blessings

  7. Tammi,

    Hello friend,
    This is a beautiful tribute to your sister, and testament to the faithfulness of our Loving Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    You stated so on the mark, and beautifully;
    "...God WILL allow us to go through hard times, sometimes they seem even more than we can bear...but it's to reveal HIMSELF to us. . and draw us closer to Him..."

    I am learning that it's those most unbearable times that are what changes me the most, and then I realize that the most unbearable, would be an eternity without Jesus.

    Again, this is a beautiful post, so encouraging.
    God bless you friend ~ michele

  8. Oh wow... I am so glad I stopped over here today Tammi. The tears just flowed as I listened to this beautiful music. For everyone of us who have lost one close to our hearts, this is a treasure.

    I am so glad to 'see you' again, and to hear this wonderful song.



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