On April 27, 2002, our 19 year old daughter Jessica
was killed in an automobile accident.
The following story, His Hands that Held You, is a true account of a vision that I experienced shortly after her passing. I am sharing this experience because I believe that we are living in a time of tragedy, none that America has experienced in quite a long time, maybe never before. We are shaken as we have experienced this great country to not be the solid fortress we once thought. Sadly, we have lost our hope, our guide and now desperately long for something or someone to hold onto, to put our trust in.
The situations in this country and in the world will not get better. The hatred and violence, the crimes against humanity will continue to grow in great proportions. Because we are human and are given to doubt the things that we cannot understand or fully explain, some may find this story hard to accept in its truthfulness. This incredible experience of peace and hope for the future was a true gift from God. I am sharing this gift to encourage you that there is a God who loves you despite all the bad press. A God of comfort, of unexplainable peace and life everlasting; probably just the opposite of what you expected, learned or heard Put all the negative stuff away for a few moments and listen to my story. Come and meet the God of love!
This is dedicated not only to the precious memory of Jessica, but to the Lord Jesus Christ who keeps us and holds all things together, those things seen and unseen. Things that are within our understanding and things that are not.
“His Hands that Held You”
In Memory of Jessica Nicole Brown
One night during April 1997 you made the decision to follow Christ and it changed our lives and our eternities. Your last night here on earth in April 2002 again changed our lives and the lives and eternities of many others, such that we will not fully know until the appointed time. Even though your missions ministry here on earth was short- as we count days down here- it is eternal in the presence of God. And just like you, your ministry was different from most, yet perfect in the eyes of God. Just a few days after your death here, the Lord spoke to me. “Teach what you have been taught, for I come quickly.”
I am angry. I am on the beach in Laguna lost, crying, asking God why this happened, why you had to die. I want to know if you are with Him in paradise why I am stuck down here in such terror. I spent so much time holding you up in prayer, together with you, only a month before….and in those secret moments God waking me in the middle of the night, crying for your safety, begging for your life because I could not dare to face even the thought of losing you. Yet, there was a slight nagging in my soul telling me I just might.
How I loved you. How I longed to take my faith, my wisdom and give it to you, carve it out of my very spirit. In overcoming horrors of my own life, I thought I could walk you right through yours. I know I was the cause of some of those horrors – the insecurity, the lack of self confidence, the emptiness, searching, reaching for anything, anyone to make you feel good about who you are. Never stopping to count what it would cost or where it might lead you later on. I knew this all too well as I once owned these things.
In watching you over the years, I amazingly saw things in your personality and character that I adored, characteristics that were much different than my own. It was the very essence of you, the girl-i-ness, your sense of humor, and the outright determination to be different from anyone, the courage just to be Jessica – – Jesika. I am glad that I took the time to tell you this before
Our private jokes that were funny lines and gestures taken from movies that we would throw in to our conversations just for the simple giggles. Watching you in youth group, becoming a mentor, your deep concern for others’ feelings. Often expressing concern for others in our family to know Jesus Christ. The desires to serve God in missions – watching you practice mime…our favorite song….”is your name in the Book…” (I’ve forgotten the movements again)….endlessly begging you to sing with me –you knew you had the voice! Watching you jokingly argue with Amanda, laughing as you both fell to the floor turning it into a wrestling match, calling me to help you. Dad taking you out to buy your first car, teaching you bass guitar, making sure you had what you needed, always. Watching you with him, hugging, talking, sometimes crying, but often laughing.
Truly there is an endless list and it brings me great joy to know that although our time together on earth is finished, we have an eternity with the Lord Jesus Christ to giggle and paint nails and best of all to dance on His altar at His feet. We can be together without the pain, without the tears! You are our porcelain doll and we have hated every moment without you.Dad and I are on the Laguna Beach, just days after your funeral. I am hysterical with grief, pounding the sand in my anger and frustration, questioning how something so unspeakable could have happened to us. There is no comfort or peace as the detective’s words replay over and over…”Jessica was in an automobile accident and she didn’t make it”. Remembering how I ran into your room, begging God…..this could not be so, falling to the floor in total unbelief, and knowing there was absolutely nothing I could do to change it. And in a moment, remembering every prayer, every tear and the knowledge that your passing was not a surprise – I knew. Of all the things we fixed for you as parents, this would not be one of them. Sometimes in my sleep I think I hear you screaming as your car flips coming apart, tossing your precious body out into the desert. I cannot bear the thought of my baby out in the cold wind, dying alone in the dirt.
Later in the unfamiliar hotel room that is too dark, too enclosed I can’t decide if I should start screaming or just choke myself. I hear the waves crashing on the Laguna shore, so familiar, like a lullaby rocking me to sleep on so many other nights and even some sunny afternoons during happier days. On this night there is no lullaby. The sounds of the ocean bring more pain, more emptiness. Nothing will ever be the same, feel the same, taste the same because you are not here. I swear to cry for you every day of my life. I swear to hate the rest of my life.
In the darkness of the room somewhere between sleeping and dreaming I see my own face before me. I wonder why I would be looking at myself. There, in the darkness begin swirls of light and color – all colors, especially pastels of blues, lavenders and pinks. The light gently touches the top of my head, and is gone., but leaves a sense of comfort. I am intrigued as again I see the light touching my face, giving a deeper sense of peace. The touch moves away just as another comes, establishing a brilliant pattern of bright light and color. This sense of touch, sense of peace never leaves me.
The pastels are radiant swirling in and around each other like mists blown by a gentle breeze. They increase in brilliance and swim together as part of the pure white light. I know there is a Presence of Holiness in the colors and begin to see small hands there. Then I recognize that the hands are the lights and colors. In a glimpse, I see feathers of white light, touching, caressing one side of my face. Each touch brings its own measure of peace flowing downward, filling me, transcending inward where I am broken, lifting the horror, the grief. A healing?
Then I see two hands, one on each side of my face. The hands are large and strong, much more brilliant than the smaller ones. I am so calm that nothing seems to matter now. I feel as though I am floating, the weight of this burden gone and I would be content to float here forever. Then my face begins to fade and I see your face, my Jessica, my daughter. It is your face that is being held between these two brilliant hands. Your face was between the hands of the Most High God as He held you during your last few moments here on earth. In His mercy and kindness the Creator of all Life took the time to assure me that you were not left to die alone in the cold desert field.
You who have shown me great and severe troubles shall revive me again,
And bring me up from the depths of the earth.
You shall increase my greatness
And comfort me on every side.
Also with the lute I will praise you
And Your faithfulness,
O my God!
To You I will sing with the harp,
O Holy One of Israel