About a week after Elijah passed I got a facebook message from Brandt. If you don’t know Brandt I will give you a summary. I viewed Brandt as my first baby boy. He is the son of my childhood neighbors Sherrie and Gary. The first time I ever babysat for the family Sherrie was pregnant with Brandt and had two adorable little girls I loved, Andra and Shana. These girls stole my heart! I was 13 years old I think almost 14, I watched the girls for just two hours while Sherrie and Gary went to an open house in early June which meant Sherrie was ready to deliver Brandt any day. I danced and sang with the girls I hugged them and loved them, everything went perfect on my first babysitting experience. Just two short weeks later a beautiful baby boy was born on June 20 1990. In late July I finally had my first experience with this sweet little boy. Sherrie needed to go to the grocery store and Brandt had just been laid down for a nap, so Sherrie called my mom and asked if she was going to be home and if so if I could come over and listen for Brandt to wake up. My mom said yes and off I went, so excited. The house was quite the girls were up north with their grandparents, it was just Brandt and I. About an hour after Sherrie left little Brandt woke up and I remember him just making little fusing noises, I went into his baby blue room and picked him up out of his crib. I carried him to the front picture window where I sat in a chair and lost my heart to this baby boy. It is the first experience I had with this feeling of surrendering my heart. I know I fell in love hard and complete, I would do anything for this boy. From that point on I became the official summer caregiver, driver, pretend mom, and big sister to these children. I learned and grew with them. I experienced my first divorce and felt the pain as if it were my own parents. My heart was filled, I felt their pain, I protected, I knew love, the unconditional kind. The kind that my own parents had toward me, the kind my siblings and I had, but in some ways more. Because I was the youngest and never was put in the position of the protector I did not know what this was until my beautiful Chapman family came. Years past kids grew and moved away and on, but my love was never gone. On holidays, graduations, recitals, weddings, and just when someone needed a ear, I was still called. So back to the message from my dear Brandt.

Brandt was raised as a christian and works for his church in Ohio. He had just saw a great message and sent me the video link for me to watch.  Brandt’s message to me read, Hey Tera take a look at this past weekends message. Sooooooo good and one of my favorite speakers :). This message was on Grace.  So first off what is grace, I thought?  I looked up the definition of this magically word. Because when I think about the meaning of Grace for myself, I think of when I was a dancer. I think of Grace of a beautiful ballerina looking effortless and flowing through the motions. When I looked up grace here’s what I found:


Seemingly effortless beauty or charm of movement, form, or proportion.
A characteristic or quality pleasing for its charm or refinement.
A disposition to be generous or helpful; goodwill.
Mercy; clemency.
A favor rendered by one who need not do so; indulgence.
A temporary immunity or exemption; a reprieve.

 Divine love and protection bestowed freely on people.
The state of being protected or sanctified by the favor of God.
An excellence or power granted by God.

To give beauty, elegance, or charm to.
So back to the story. I watch this message on Grace. By the end on the 35 minute message I realized I was locking myself and my soul in a prison, especially since Elijah has past. I had been feeling like what did I do to deserve these bad things that have happened to me. I was thinking at this point, I must have made God very disappointed in me  to take my baby away, does God not see how much I love him? So I sit with my ears and heart wide open and listen to what the message is telling me. I realize by the end, I am viewing God in human terms, and forgetting what he had done for me, how he loves me and what he gave up to grant me grace. Then this brings me back to one of the songs that I played for Elijah and now I can’t keep it out of my head. The song is again by Matt Hammitt it is “This Is Grace”. The lyrics read,” The reason for our suffering is to help us realize that in sickness and in death we are helpless without Christ. The reason for our blindness is for Jesus to open our eyes. Bless the lord, Bless the lord. This is grace, this is grace. When we walk through the dark night. This is grace, this is grace. So we wait for the sunrise, how I long for the sunrise. Your glory has always been shinning since the beginning of time. But in the face of darkness, how radiant your light”.  The next verse of the song goes “The ones who are marked by suffering are the ones who have found their joy. To be conquerors in all these things. Struck down but not destroyed”. At the very end of this song Matt sings “I have faith the sun will rise. Bless the lord, bless the lord. I will bless the lord, bless you lord.”
Wow!!! All I can say is, I have been walking through the dark night and I do have so much faith the sun will rise. I cry when I think of this. I will not be destroyed by the lose of our baby. Everyday that passes I see more light, and I think of my little fighter living in peace. I cry happy tears with this thought. I have heard this saying time and time again but realized it fully at this  moment. Sometimes bad things happen to good people, and good things happen to bad people. I am living in divine love and protection and I, like my little angle have  gods grace!
Thank you Bubs!!!


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5 responses to “Grace

  1. Marcie

    What a blessing friends and family are! I feel lucky to have known the Chapmans too, as they were my neighbors and babysat/played with my kids. I remember Matthew being very sad when Brandt moved away. “Elijah’s Grace”…that would make a good title:)

  2. Sherrie Nunheimer

    Friends, Family and God keep us strong if we let them. Life is often so complicated and yet if we give our joys and sorrows to God it becomes so much easier. I’m glad you have people like Brandt to help you remember God loves you and always will. Me too 🙂

  3. Shana

    This makes my heart smile. ❤ xo Love you!

  4. Your post is precious… You have always been a light in our life Tera. What would I have done without you in those years? Your unconditional love for us was/is a blessing…you are a blessing. Your strength through this very hard time is an awesome testimony of faith. We love you so much.

  5. Kerri

    Your story is restoring a faith and a love for God that is sometimes hard to live every day in a busy life. Thank you for sharing Elijah’s and your story. Blessings to your family.

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