"KSBJ Call Transcript"

I have wanted to make this call for months. It relates to the death of my daughter and the role that KSBJ has had in the days and weeks following Brittany’s accident. I have felt compelled to call in the days following share-a-thon and earlier this month which would have been Brittany’s 19th birthday. Today is the 6 month anniversary of her accident so it was appropriate to make the call today.

On January 24th our daughter Brittany unexpectedly went to be with the Lord as the result of an automobile accident on her way back to college. In the days following the accident, God did so many amazing things and KSBJ was a big part of it. The day after the accident as we were making plans for the service to celebrate Brittany’s life, I received a call from Joe McKinney, our worship pastor at StoneBridge Church. Joe said that there was a Steven Curtis Chapman song that he thought would be perfect for the service and he wanted me to listen to it to see what I thought. He never said the name of the song but I have been a big Steven Curtis fan since Treasure Island and was at a loss to what song he could be referring to. 

A few days later, a friend of the family brought by a framed copy of the words to “With Hope”. As she comforted my wife Joy, our friend Clay picked it up and exclaimed that this was the inspiration to the sculpture that they were dedicating in the Woodlands to honor families in general but particularly those that had experience the death of a child. Clay’s daughter Abby was killed 7 years ago in an automobile accident at the same age as Brittany. They had been working for years on a project that ultimately became the “With Hope” sculpture now next door to the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. Well, I had no clue what he was talking about but when I picked up the frame and read these words “This is not at all the way we thought it was supposed to be. We had so many plans for you, we had so many dreams, and now you’ve gone away and left us with the memory of your smile.” I paused and looked up to the top of the frame and saw that they were the words to “With Hope”. I then realized that this was the song that Joe was referring to. At that moment with tears streaming down my face I blurted out “Oh we have got to have this song at the service…not only that but we have to close with it because after you hear this, there is nothing left to say”. I heard later from many people that KSBJ was playing the song a lot. In fact, many reported to me that as they got to their car after leaving Brittany’s service, the song was playing. Well, if that were all there were to the story it would be amazing enough but as Paul Harvey says, and now for the rest of the story.

Two days after the service in the Woodlands, we headed up to Austin College in Sherman where Brittany was a freshman and played on the basketball team. The school was holding a special memorial service. They thought it would be appropriate to hold it in the gym there and we wholeheartedly agreed. As we left town heading up I-45, we were dreading having to drive through the accident site which was on I-45 just north of Madisonville. As we went through Conroe, there was a highway sign informing us that the freeway was closed 70 miles ahead. I did the calculation a figured that this was a bit north of the accident site and that we would now have to go through there at a snail’s pace which would prolong our difficulties. About 6 miles south of Madisonville, the traffic was forced to exit and go up old highway 75 which parallels I-45 but a mile or so to the west. By the time we intercepted I-45 and were allowed to get back on the freeway we were several miles north of the accident site. So God had protected us on the way up.

It was a wonderful service and we spent the night in the area because we had the difficult task of getting all of Brittany’s things out of her dorm room. After doing that, made much more bearable by the participation of her teammates, we headed back to the Woodlands. Normally we would have been listening to cds until we got back close enough to pick up KSBJ but we were talking about and Joy was writing down in a notebook all the amazing things God was doing. It started to rain about Buffalo and as we began to approach the accident site I asked Joy to turn on the radio to see if we could pick up KSBJ. As she did, the very first words out of the dj’s mouth were “With Hope, by Steven Curtis Chapman”. For a moment I thought that we had just missed the song but then it began to play. I turned to Joy and said “no one is going to believe this!” So as we drove through the accident site for the first time, through the pouring rain, we were comforted by the song that more than any other brought us comfort and hope. Brittany will forever be in linked in our hearts to this song. We are eternally thankful for KSBJ.