My Brave Story- Stacey Custer

My first knowledge of the Custer's came about when I was around 6 or 7 years old. My brother was a huge fan of Cody's and had gotten an autograph from him by one of my grandparent's friends that wintered in Arizona. Fast forward about 15 years and I would have the honor of not only meeting Stacey and Cody through Kody riding bulls in the PBR but get to know them and their family personally. Stacey is one woman that I look up to so much. Her steadfast faith has always been in the forefront of her life and even when tragedy hits she stands firm and continues to praise Jesus. I'm so excited to share her story with you and it's such an honor to call her and her family our friends.

Candace

 Stacey, Lacey, Brett and Cody

Stacey, Lacey, Brett and Cody

Standing on the shore...

 I had been walking out a relationship with the Father for many years and was totally content with where we were in life as a family. We were living in Wickenburg, Arizona and had 3 beautiful children. We owned our own home and had a great church and church family. In 2004, Cody came back from a rodeo Bible camp that was held in Sayre, Oklahoma and said that he felt like we were supposed to move to Sayre. I told him he was crazy. He asked me to pray about it and that started the wheels in motion for us to move to Elk City, OK.

He calls my name...

After visiting the camp in 2005, I knew that if we moved to Oklahoma, I could live there. The people at the church were amazing and they were all eager to help in any way they could to help us get to there. After visiting the camp in 2006, I knew when we left there that we were going to moving. We decided that we were going to move for 2 years to catch what the Father had for us and then come back to Arizona. That was 9 years ago with no plans to go anywhere else!!

Stepping into the waves...

 We knew that we would wait until after Aaron’s 8th grade year to move. We went out at Spring Break that March and started looking for a place to live. We found a piece of property that we really liked but it was raw land and we knew that there was a lot of work to be done to it. In April, we pulled the trigger and committed to buying the land. We finalized it all in May and prepared for our big move.

Don't look back...

 The fear of not really knowing many people was huge for me. I am a people person and people are really important in my life. I was leaving the life that I had built for 17 years. Where would my children go to school? Would we all make new friends? Would we fit in. All of the questions weighed heavily on me. But the Father had prepared all of that ahead of us.

Reaching for His hand...

After we moved, all of the things that I was afraid of were soon a thing of the past. We put our kids in a “country school” called Merritt and they soon fit in and were thriving. I was mostly concerned for Aaron because he wasn’t as outgoing as Lacey and Brett were. All the kids fit in perfectly and started playing sports and making friends. They all thrived in more ways than we could have ever imagined.

Take hold...

We lost our son Aaron in a car accident the night before he was to start college. He was attending Southwestern Oklahoma State University and was on the rodeo team. Our lives changed that night and will never be the same. This community that we had only been a part of for 4 years embraced us and held us up at a time when we couldn’t even think for ourselves. They held our hands and walked us through the most difficult time in our lives. I’ve often wondered if things would have been different if we had never moved to Oklahoma, but I know that the Father is sovereign and that the fact of the matter is that Aaron had fulfilled all that the Father had for him to do on earth. I hate that fact and it has been something that has been very hard to come to terms with, but my faith in this Father that loves me has never wavered even through all of the questioning. I know that He loves us and that He loved Aaron. I can’t say that I’ve never been angry at the situation because I have. I would really rather NOT have to be living without my son here with us. I wonder what he would have accomplished in college and college rodeo as well as in life. I wonder if he would have a girlfriend or would have even found the woman he was marry. Would he have children? All of those questions will never be answered and while I hate it, I’ve come to terms with the reality of it. Most would say that this move to Oklahoma wasn’t worth it because of us losing Aaron, but I can’t say that. Aaron, Lacey and Brett were and are living full, productive lives. Aaron was doing everything he had wanted. He had successful high school sports and rodeo careers and was going on to college rodeo. We have heard story after story of how Aaron had touched their lives and what an amazing person he was. I really don’t think all of that would of come to fruition in his life had we not moved to Oklahoma. He grew so much in his relationship with the Father and was a wonderful man.

 Brett, Stacey and Aaron

Brett, Stacey and Aaron