With Tammy Trent
Author of Learning to Breathe Again
GGBC: Often times, when something unexplainable happens believers are reminded to believe in God's sovereignty. To some this may be a trite expression, but what does God's sovereignty mean to you personally?
TT: I HAVE ALWAYS TRUSTED AND BELIEVED THAT GOD IS THE LORD OF MY LIFE NO MATTER WHAT. I GAVE HIM MY HEART AND SOUL LONG AGO AND IN RETURN HE PROMISED ME ETERNAL LIFE. FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE, I DO. EVEN IN THE HARD TIMES.
GGBC:Learning to Breathe Again is a book that is very close to your heart; can you tell us more about this story?
TT: IT'S BEEN SAID THAT IT'S A RIVERTING, CINDERALLA-LIKE STORY, WHERE YOU FEEL MY EMOTIONAL THRILL AS TRENT AND I FALL IN LOVE. YOU'LL HOPE WITH ME FOR OUR HAPPY FUTURE TOGETHER. THEN, WHEN TRENT MYSTERIOUSLY DISAPPEARS IN THE AZURE WATERS OF JAMAICA'S FAMOUS BLUE LAGOON, YOU'LL WALK WITH ME THROUGH THE PAIN, AND FINALLY YOU'LL REJOICE AS MY FAITH BRINGS ME FROM HEARTBREAK TO HEALING.
GGBC: Learning to Breathe Again is a very honest grief and hurt during a time of tragic loss. What are some of the ways that you knew that God was with you in Jamaica?
TT: I WILL NEVER FORGET CRYING OUT TO GOD IN THE BATHROOM OF MY HOTEL ROOM JUST THREE DAYS AFTER I LOST TRENT. I ASKED THE LORD "IS HEAVEN REAL? ARE YOU REAL? IF YOU CAN HEAR ME, CAN YOU JUST SEND ME SOMEONE TO HOLD ME? I MISS MY MOM, MY SISTER AND MY BESTFRIEND. CAN YOU JUST SEND ME SOMEONE TO HOLD ME?" WITH TEARS STREAMING DOWN MY FACE SOMETHING CAME OVER MY SPIRIT AND SAID, "GET UP AND MOVE TAMMY". SO I GOT UP OUT OF THAT BATHROOM AND BEGAN TO MOVE THROUGH THAT ROOM. I COULD HEAR SOMEBODY IN THE ADJOINING ROOM. SO I LOOKED IN THAT DOOR WAY AND I SAW A JAMAICAN WOMEN STANDING THERE IN A HILTON HOUSEKEEPING OUTFIT. I ASKED HER IF SHE COULD COME IN AND MAKE MY BED AND SHE SAID, "I'VE BEEN TRYING TO GET TO YOU. I COULD HEAR YOU CRYING AND I'VE BEEN TRYING TO GET TO YOU". THEN SHE SAID, "COULD I JUST COME IN AND HOLD YOU". I FELL INTO HER ARMS AS I KNEW AT THAT VERY MOMENT THAT GOD WAS VERY REAL. HE ANSWERED MY PRAYER AND SENT SOMEONE TO HOLD ME. I KNEW BEYOND ANY DOUBTS THAT I WAS NOT ALONE. EVEN THOUGH I DIDN'T UNDERSTAND A THING IN MY LIFE AT THAT MOMENT, I UNDERSTOOD GOD'S LOVE FOR ME.
GGBC: Why is important for a person experiencing and moving through the pain of loss and separation from a loved one to allow family and friends to help?
TT: BECAUSE YOU CAN BARELY HELP YOURSELF. I THINK I WAS SO NUMB AND SO SHOCKED FOR A VERY, VERY LONG TIME. I NEEDED THE SUPPORT, LOVE AND PRAYERS OF MY FAMILY AND CLOSESTS FRIENDS. THEY WERE STANDING IN THE GAP FOR ME WHEN I COULD NOT STAND ALONE.
GGBC: What is helping you through the times when you all you can feel are sorrow and sadness? Is there a particular Scripture that comforts you?
TT: HONESTLY, I THINK IT'S THE LOVE THAT SURROUNDS MY LIFE NOW THAT HELPS ME IN THOSE TIMES. MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS HAVE LET ME WALK THIS OUT ON MY OWN TERMS. THERE WILL ALWAYS BE TIMES OF SORROW AND SADNESS FOR ME. PROBABLY THE REST OF MY LIFE JUST MISSING TRENT, BUT IN THOSE TIMES I JUST ALLOW MYSELF TO FEEL....TO CRY....TO HURT....BUT THEN I GET BACK UP AGAIN AND REMIND MYSELF THAT THIS IS SOO TEMPORARY. JEREMIAH 29:11-13 TALKS ABOUT MY FUTURE IN THE LORD AND HIS PLAN FOR MY LIFE. I AM WALKING IN THAT NOW.
GGBC: Many of the chapters in Learning to Breathe Again open with lyrics to a moving Christian song. What song has God placed in your heart that reminds you of His peace and His presence? What song ministers to you?
TT: ALL PRAISE AND WORSHIP SONGS MINISTER TO ME NOW MORE THEN EVER BEFORE. I COULD LOSE MYSELF IN THOSE MOMENTS NOW...IN THOSE SONGS NOW. THESE SONGS PROVIDE SUCH HOPE... SUCH LIFE TO ME.
GGBC: You are currently traveling with Women of Faith conferences. How important has it been to talk about your life and especially what happened to Trent?
What have been conference attendee reactions?
TT: IT'S BEEN GOOD FOR ME TO TAKE THE PLATFORM AGAIN AND JUST SIMPLY SHARE MY HOPE WITH SO MANY WOMEN AROUND THE COUNTRY. I THINK IT'S A VISUAL OF GOD'S HEALING HAND AS HE HAS BEEN PUTTING MY LIFE BACK TOGETHER AGAIN. I LOVE HONORING THE MAN OF MY LIFE AND I LOVE BEING AN EXAMPLE OF GOD'S GREAT GRACE. WOMEN NEED TO SEE THAT THEY ARE NOT ALONE AND IF A DEFINING MOMENT LIKE MINE WERE TO WALK INTO THEIR LIVES, THEY TOO WOULD LEARN TO BREATHE AGAIN.
GGBC: You have been comforted by many people along the way; do you have any words to say to others who may be trying to help someone who is grieving?
TT: STAND WITH THEM. PRAY FOR THEM WHEN THEY CANNOT FIND THE WORDS TO PRAY ON THEIR OWN. SEND FLOWERS. SEND A CARD. MAKE A MEAL. TAKE THE KIDS FOR A DAY SO THEY CAN HAVE TIME ALONE. DON'T FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO HAVE ALL THE RIGHT WORDS. INFACT FEWER WORDS ARE BEST AT TIMES. REACH OUT WHENEVER THEY CALL. THEY WILL CERTAINLY NEED YOU.
GGBC:: What do you believe is the biggest life lesson that God is teaching you through all of your pain and the many questions?
TT: TO TRUST HIS HEART WHEN I CANNOT SEE HIS HAND.
GGBC:What do you most hope for readers to take away from Learning to Breathe Again?
TT: I HOPE THEY ARE SOMEHOW ENCOURAGED OR INSPIRED KNOWING THAT GOD IS IN THE MIDDLE OF THEIR CIRCUMSTANCES TOO. THEY WILL NEVER HAVE TO FACE LIFE'S DIFFICULT MOMENTS WITHOUT HOPE. AND AT THE END OF THE DAY, NO MATTER WHAT, GOD IS ENOUGH.