When God Shatters Your Dreams…

April 15, 2016. 1 year tomorrow. The day Layne asked me to spend forever with him. One of the happiest days of my life, but now I dread. All week I’ve been sick anticipating this day. 
You see when Layne died, I didn’t just lose him, but it seems like all my plans, hopes and dreams died along with him. I had a godly, loving fiancé who was the perfect match for me, and we had our dream wedding planned to a T. We were finally figuring everything out and knew where we wanted to live and where we would build our dream house. We had our cattle operation planned. We knew our future children’s names. We even had future family vacations planned! Now, I’ll never marry Layne or pick out the best calves with him or raise a family with him. Some of these dreams I may never get to live out, or maybe I will, but it won’t be with Layne. 

Sometimes God shatters our dreams and changes our plans, even if you’ve prayed and really thought you were following God’s plan. 

Here’s the thing though: God has a plan and a reason for everything and His plans are far better than any of mine. 

In Job, we learn that Job lost his children, servants, livestock, and became ill. However, God provided and “gave him twice as much as he had before.” In Ruth, we learn that Ruth loses her husband, but she is obedient and faithful to her mother-in-law and God. She goes from a poor widow without children to a prosperous wife with children.  These are great examples of Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” 

Right now I’m clinging to Job 11:18- “Having hope will give courage.” I have hope for a happy and bright future provided by God, so that gives me courage to take on my grief and sadness to get there💕

He Knows Your Every Need

“…for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!” Matthew 6:8  I’m in constant awe of how God knows what we need or what we will struggle with way before we do and how He uses people to comfort you or meet that need. Here’s two examples from this weekend:

1. I was reading an article about grief and how there’s things we start to forget. I started to panic because I’m so scared of that even though it’s inevitable. I realized I can’t instantly recall exactly what his voice or laugh sounds like and tears spilled down my face because how could that memory of something so so precious already start to fade?!? Well today I got a gift that Bobby had ordered for me. It was a bear with a recording of Layne that plays when you squeeze it. (thank you Mikey for putting that recording together) When I squeeze it in a Layne-like bear hug, it plays the recording of him. It will help me always remember his hug, voice, and his love for me. I’m amazed God worked through Bobby weeks ago because He knew I’d need it in this exact moment. 

2. Today in church during one of the prayers a wave of sadness came over me because I kept thinking how I missed how Layne would reach over and hold my hand when we prayed in church. Something so simple, but it always melted my heart. Well during the last prayer of the service Katie reached over and just put her hand on my arm. It meant so much and brought so much comfort. Katie had no idea how much it would mean to me, but I truly believe God laid it on Katie’s heart to do that because I needed just a simple comforting touch. 

Thank You, God, for knowing my needs even before I do. Thank You for Your comfort and peace. And thank You for amazing friends who You work through to comfort me and be there for me❤

You never know how a gift, a hug or a text can mean so much. If you it’s on your heart to do something for someone or reach out to them, DO IT! That may be exactly what that person needed and God is using you to meet that need and comfort that person! 

Bitterness- Cancer of the Heart and Mind

One source describes bitterness as being “angry, hurt, or resentful because of one’s bad experiences.” Another defines it as, “resulting from or expressive of severe grief, anguish, or disappointment.” Maya Angelou even goes as far as comparing bitterness to cancer because it eats away at you. 

I think we all struggle with bitterness at some point in life whether we are bitter at a person or with a situation or just life in general.  Let me tell ya, this past week I was extremely bitter.  Not at God or any person, but my crappy situation!! Bitterness steals your joy, your contentment, your peace.  Finally, yesterday I was tired of it! I thought this is not who I am.  I am a joyful, positive person and I am done with this bitterness.  Layne wouldn’t want this situation to take away those important traits of who I am.  So..I wrote in my prayer journal why I am bitter. I wrote over 5 pages!! That’s a lot of bitterness, people. Then I prayed that I give all those things I am bitter about to God because that is a lot to carry on my own.  I felt so much lighter and at peace once I did that.  There’s too many to share, but here’s a few:

“I’m bitter because I had a happy future planned with Layne- our dream wedding, where we would build our house, our cattle operation, our kids’ names, taking them to church every Sunday and Wednesday, future vacations with Holly and Aaron, everything.. and now I will never get that, at least not with Layne.  I’m bitter because everyone’s lives have picked up and moved on, but I am stuck at a weird place trying to figure out how to move forward and sort through my emotions of sorrow and loneliness. I’m bitter that Layne isn’t here to comfort me and make me feel better, or to watch Netflix and get late-night snacks, or to travel or try new restaurants with me… Most of all, I’m bitter because my best friend is gone and I was promised forever with him!!”

I challenge you to think of some things you are bitter about.  What bitterness do you need to give up to God, so you can experience peace and joy?  If that is something you feel you need to do, here is the prayer I prayed: “Lord, I give up all my bitterness to you. I am DONE being bitter! I can be sad or upset, but no more bitterness.  Give me joy, peace, and contentment that only you can give! Amen.”

*I then started looking up verses about bitterness that lead me to Job.  This week I will be writing about Job, and how we can use our struggles to honor God.*


Letter To OSU- A Quick Glimpse Into Layne’s & My Life Together

*This is the letter I wrote to OSU for my request for catastrophic withdrawal.  Please take time to read.  It gives a glimpse into how much Layne meant to me and explains my decision to take the semester off.*

To Whom It May Concern,

            I am Hannah Darr, an agricultural communications senior.  I am writing this letter in regards to being granted a catastrophic withdrawal.  My fiancé and OSU student, Layne Meriwether passed away on February 5.  This is our story:

            Layne and I’s lives were intertwined at an early age. I moved to Waynoka, Oklahoma in 1st grade.  We attended school field trips together, were in 4-H together, and later FFA.  When I was a freshman in high school (2010), Layne asked me to go on a date with him to “fifth quarter” after the football game.  I was so nervous that the cute, junior running back was asking me on a date! At first I said no, but I gave in and we were inseparable ever since.  We loved doing everything together.  We ran track together, gave speeches together, showed animals together and more.  Layne even worked for my parents.  We loved traveling, fishing, shooting guns, working cattle, cooking and spending time with our brothers.  Wherever one of us was, you were sure to find the other. 

            Fast forward 6 years to April 15, 2016.  That is when Layne took me to our favorite fishing spot on my family’s land and asked me to spend forever with him.  I thought I was the luckiest girl in the world, but if you looked at his huge smile and bright, shining eyes locked on me, you could see that he thought he was the luckiest guy in the whole world.  This past year has been full of wedding and life planning.  My house is full of all my wedding decorations just waiting for my wedding day that will never come.  Layne and I had planned our lives out and even bought cattle together.  We said it is pretty serious when you buy cattle together.  We knew what land we would eventually build our house on and even our future children’s names.  Big plans and big dreams that we will never get to carry out together. 

            Many would say Layne and I had a fairytale kind of love.  We had a love that many spend their whole life trying to find.  It was patient, kind, and unconditional.  I will forever miss how Layne always looked at me with such love and adoration.  We understood each other in a way that no one else could.  We both loved reading, learning, traveling and agriculture.  We pushed and motivated each other to be the best we could be.  Most importantly, we love and accepted each other for who we were. Layne was a man of God, uplifting, intelligent, driven, compassionate and strong.  Luckily, we knew how much we meant to one another because we told each other every day.  He made me feel loved, wanted, secure and confident.  There will never be anyone else like my dear Layne. 

            Layne and I both attended OSU, and while we didn’t live together, we spent every day together.  We worked out together, made lunch and dinner together, did homework together, and just spent time together hanging out, watching TV, and so much more.  This semester we even had a class together.  It was every Monday and Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 9:20 a.m. and also a lab on Monday.  Our other classes got out at the same time on Tuesday and Thursday, so this semester it seemed like we were together all the time.  I can’t bear the thought of walking to my 8:30 without my best friend by my side and then sitting in the 4th row by myself with an empty seat to my left where he would normally be.  It pains me to think of getting out of my class on Tuesday and Thursday at 4:45 p.m. and have to walk alone without Layne to greet me with his loving smile and strong hug after a long, hard day. 

            After Layne’s passing, I have been trying to find my new purpose and my “new normal.”  I have been trying to find how God wants to use this to influence and help others.  I’ve also really depended on the love and support of my friends and family. I lost my best friend, my rock and my soul mate. I didn’t just lose my soul mate, but my brother lost his best friend, roommate and brother.  My mom lost a friend, history buddy and son.  My dad lost his best companion, right-hand man, cattle consultant and a son.  I along with my family are not sure how to go on without him, but we are learning how. My family needs me right now, and I need them even more.  I attend church every Sunday with my family.  Also, I attend Grief Share at my church on Thursdays, and it has helped me tremendously.  I need to be home to stay involved in my church which has played a huge role in my steps towards healing and my “new normal.”  I know after time spent with family, studying the word of God, traveling, and being home helping on the farm, I will come back in the fall stronger than ever.  I am determined to finish strong, but right now I just don’t have what it takes to do that.  I need time for healing.  I need time to figure out who this new me is without the person I have loved and depended on for 7 years.  I have been a 4.0, involved student, and I plan to continue to be that student if allowed the time needed to heal and recover. It is with sorrowful tears that I finish this letter.  This was extremely painful and hard to write, but I hope it give you a small glimpse into how much Layne meant to me. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Hannah Darr

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