Thursday, January 22, 2009

Today

video
This was video was taken around a month or so ago. Thought you might want to hear her sweet voice.
I have so many emotions running through me today. God gave us an absolutely beautiful day. 70 degrees and sunny. My mom and I took Caroline to the park this afternoon. I knew it would be good for all of us to get outside the house for an hour or so. Caroline had the best time swinging, climbing and sliding. I was so happy to see her be happy and at the same time I am so sad. One of my favorite authors-thanks to Aunt B, is Karen Kingsbury. She describes some of her characters at hard times in their lives as (and I'm paraphrasing) "smiling, but it doesn't meet their eyes." That's how I felt while watching Caroline be so happy on the swings. I'm smiling for her sake so she thinks I am having fun too, but inside I feel so awful that her daddy isn't there swinging her like he loved to do. This just isn't fair. We should all three be going to Tim's pizza tonight and watching Caroline dip her crackers in ranch dressing.
As I write that I remember how often in the past I have said that life isn't fair. I always knew it wasn't, this isn't supposed to be heaven. But, wow, do I really know it now. God also reminds me that everyone's days are numbered already and that Thomas was not meant to be here past January 5th, and this was the plan He had for me. I can't say that it makes it easier knowing that, but it is the truth. But I am still sad. Please don't think I am spiraling into a depression, I know that I cannot do that. I will have God's strength to be strong for Caroline and the new baby, for me and for Thomas.

We have had a ladies bible study going for around four years on Thursday nights that meets in homes. It has been such a blessing. Ladies from all denominations or some who are still looking for church homes attend. Tonight we being Beth Moore's "Esther: It's Tough Being a Woman." Please pray that we all grow and learn from this study. I know that it will be good for me.

Video below from my phone just after Thomas took our Christmas pictures. This is also the place where we had our wedding reception 4 and 1/2 years ago.
video

40 comments:

  1. We have never met, but I am following your blog and praying my heart out for you. Please know that there are people out there who are covering you and your sweet babies in prayer. I am praying that the God of comfort sends people and certain scriptures into your life at just the right time.

    Love, Rachel

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  2. Bonnie,
    My prayers, all the way from Portland, Oregon, are with you, my sister in Christ! I am one of Tara Newby's friends, she just told me your story this morning. I've watched as Tara has clung to the Word for strength and watched as He has provided sometimes more than expected, sometimes only just enough... I pray the same to you.

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  3. Bonnie,

    Caroline is so precious and beautiful!! I love her sweet little voice. Thanks for sharing such sweet videos. I have really wanted to start a blog for Xander (He will be 5 months old on the 28th). They sure do grow up fast. Seeing your special blog has really given me the incentive to get started and preserve Xander's precious memories for him.

    Good luck with your Bible study and I pray that you and all the other ladies learn from it what the Lord wants you to.

    I wish I had gotten to know you better in school and in college. But thank you so much for being such a wonderful friend to my sister, Raven. She thinks the world of you. :)

    Jeff and I continue to pray for you, Caroline, and new baby.

    Peace be with you,

    Roxy Smith

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  4. I've struggled with feeling like this is not fair too, Bonnie. I have really had to sit and chat with God about this because it's a hard, hard thing He's asked of you.

    I am reminded of the simple thing you taught Vin that you seem to be living out:

    "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit."

    ((Hug))

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  5. Bonnie...
    My husband and I are RFC alumni and I think you might know my brother..but I just wanted to say that we are honored to hold your family up in prayer before God and ask that His love and peace will fill your home!!

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  6. Hi Bonnie,
    I started reading your blog from my friend Kristina's blog. Even though I don't know you, I am praying for you, Caroline, and the wonderful miracle growing inside of you!

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  7. Oh, Bonnie...I see so much of both of you in your daughter. She is beautiful. I could picture exactly what you meant about your smile today... I am sad for you. I cannot grasp how sad your heart must be. And that is okay. God made us with all of these emotions, like it or not (and most of the time, I don't) And even if you do plummet into a depression (and I hope you don't), anybody here (including God) would understand that too. It isn't fair. I have said that a few thousand times. I don't understand why. I will never truly understand why God lets things like this happen to His children. I know that ultimately He has a plan, but it doesn't mean I understand it. (When I keep calling out how unfair that life is, God seems to remind me that me, in all of my sinfulness, going to heaven is ALSO not fair but in my favor :) I don't think I am saying any of this right. I just want you to know that it is okay to be sad. We all understand. I just wish I could take away some of the sadness. Hugs and prayers.

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  8. These videos are so precious. I find myself praying that I, a complete stranger, would know the words to say to you, but I know that is something that even close friends and family are probably struggling with. I see your faith. I see your strength. My heart is so touched, and I pray for you. laurie

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  9. Lifting You, Caroline and baby up in my prayers daily. I am so glad you guys were able to get out today and spend some time at the park with Sweet Caroline.

    I have no words to ease your pain, but please just know I am praying and my prayer warriors are praying for you as well.

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  10. Hi there! Like some on here, we have never met. I found your blog through another blog and have had you on my mind for days. I am not a crier at all, but each time I read your updates, tears pour down my cheeks and my heart literally aches for you. I can not even imagine what you are going through, but am so glad that you have a strong faith. Without God, I am not sure how anyone could begin to get through such a tough situation. I am sure you can't even begin to imagine what it is now, but I am confident God has a plan for you and your sweet children. Each time I hear of someone who has lost a spouse, I automatically think of a man by the name of Ridley Barron. He is a local pastor (I live in Nashville, TN) that used to the youth minister at my current church. He has an amazing testimony and while I don't know him personally I had the honor of emailing with him last year when we had a loss in our family.

    I am going to attempt to paste an article about him below that you may find interesting:

    Just over two years ago, Ridley Barron, his wife Sarah Ellen, and their three, young children were driving back home to Georgia after a week’s vacation in South Carolina. In an instant, a motor vehicle running a stop sign changed their lives forever. Sarah Ellen, who was driving the family’s van, was killed instantly and their 17-month-old son, Josh, who suffered head injuries, died five days later after being administered an adult-strength overdose of seizure medication while in the hospital.

    Barron, a graduate of Southwestern Seminary, recounted his story in chapel Nov. 15. A video tribute of his family before and after the accident moved many seminarians to tears.

    “For four months, I had to sleep in a recliner due to a broken shoulder, and that recliner became an altar for me,” Barron said. “I would lie awake at night and would have these debates with God. I would scream at Him and pray to Him and talk to Him and I would say, ‘God, what are you doing? Where are you?’”

    It was during this time that Barron, now a single parent to two young children, Abby and Harrison, felt God beginning to change him.

    “Instead of feeling sorry for myself and my family and questioning God, the prayer of my heart became ‘Help me to live a life that is fruitful and productive and will take me to where my wife and son are,’” Barron said. “And then I prayed, ‘God use me.’”

    Once Barron gave control over to God, opportunities began presenting themselves for him to share his story across the country.

    “God opened a door for a little country preacher to go stand before the administration at secular hospitals and talk about his faith,” Barron said. “I recently spoke at the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutes in Boston and was able to share how my faith had enabled me to pick up the pieces and continue forward and that there is great hope found in Jesus Christ.”

    Shortly after the accident, Barron moved his two children to Tennessee from Georgia where he became the pastor of Ridgeview Community Church in Franklin.

    “Our church was selected as the church-of-the-week by the local radio station one week before the church launched,” Barron said. “I was allowed to share my family’s story on the radio one morning and by that afternoon, I was getting e-mails and phone calls from people all over the United States who had heard the message and received hope and healing from it.”

    Even though Barron was blessed to have so many opportunities to share, he still wasn’t sure what it was God was trying to show him through all of it.

    “One morning I sat down and asked God to show me what really matters,” Barron said. “Then I opened my Bible to 1 Corinthians 13 and felt God saying ‘Ridley, you asked, you pleaded and here it is, here is the most excellent way.’”

    Barron said he came to truly understand that the three most important things in the world are faith, hope and love in any situation.

    “My prayer is that we will be recognized as a people of love; people of compassion; people with endless grace and endless forgiveness and endless mercy for a world that is desperately in need of it,” Barron said. “My prayer is that what I’ve said and what you’ve seen this morning will pierce through to your heart and will help you understand that what you are preparing for is not a greater education and not greater ministry, but it is for God’s greater glory.”

    Me again....if you want to learn more about Ridley and maybe even email him, you can Google him. I am sure he would be a great source of comfort and knows what you are going through.

    Please know you are in my prayers.

    Love, Stacey
    staceydmerrill@gmail.com

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  11. I just stumbled across your blog and want to say that I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. I cannot begin to imagine the enormous amount of pain you are in. Please know that though we have never met, you are in my prayers. I am hoping that God is finding small ways to comfort you.

    Praying in Dallas, TX.

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  12. Hi Bonnie,

    Just wanted to drop in again and let you know that prayers are being lifted up for you in Kansas City, MO. God will bless your faithfulness to Him through this terrible mourning period. Just the same, I'm so incredibly sorry that you have to go through this. I'm also praying for your sweet daughter Caroline and for the health of your little one on the way.

    In Him,
    Sarah Walker

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  13. your daughter is precious. When times get difficult, just breathe.
    Praying for you.

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  14. We've never met but you have been in my prayers. I pray that you would have strength for each day and that God would wrap His loving arms around you.

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  15. Bonnie! Keep writing everything you remember down. I did that after my grandpa passed away. Make sure you write it clear with lots of details too. I have a note book with a few pages full. Some of it doesn't make too much sense now, so thats why I say write it clear and detailed. I'm sure you are a much better writer than when I was twelve. I love you, we all love you and miss you. Take care of your selve and those babies. Keep being as strong as you can be. Love you

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  16. I think of you and little Caroline and baby on the way every day, and hope you will find peace and happiness again one day!

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  17. We have never met, But I am praying for you, and asking the Lord to show himself BIG to you. We serve a big God, who is FAITHFUL. And asking him to surround you today with His peace, and joy!

    www.simplyheidi.com

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  18. We continue to pray for you, Caroline, and your little blessing. Although I personally did not have the privilege of meeting Thomas, i look foward to meeting him in Heaven. Your faith in Christ and His grace in your life is a real blessing for us to witness. May He continue to shower you with His grace and love.

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  19. I don't know how I stumbled to your site, but I wanted to share a friend's blog with you.
    She lost her husband when she was 8 months pregnant with their first baby...maybe you can get in touch with her...
    www.holdentracks.blogspot.com
    I am praying for you and your beautiful family

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  20. I came across your blog and just wanted to say I'm praying for you and your sweet babies. I'm so glad you take comfort in God and know he's in control of it all.

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  21. I know exactly what you mean about that "smile". Since my brother died suddenly Feb. 20th of last year, I feel like I have experienced that "smile" A LOT. It gets easier to genuinely smile but it's still hard. I know your whole world has changed and I'm sorry that you have to go through this. It's not fair. I've had many conversations with God since last year because I didn't understand why he would take my brother when there are so many bad people in this world. But I guess God only wants the best. I hope that you feel peace and comfort that Thomas is safe in Heaven. May you continue to have prayers sent to Heaven for you.

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  22. I just came across your blog tonight. I have sat here and read your last few entries as tears have poured down my face. Please know that you will be in my prayers. Continue to lean on God he will always be your strength when you do not have enough. Love and Prayers your way from Little Rock!

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  23. Bonnie,

    I go to Sharon's blog everyday so that I can connect to yours. It is a harsh reminder of how precious life is. I think and pray for you every single day...often several times a day. You have made such an impact on so many people that you don't even know.

    God bless you.

    Betsy

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  24. Bonnie,
    So many women are gaining strength through you. You, just like Thomas, are a blessing from God. Through your tear-filled eyes we too are learning to cope. We are learning to cope without Thomas, we are learning to cope with the struggles we each face every day and most importantly we are learning we need God, our Lord to cope throughout our live.
    Bless you, Caroline and Baby.
    Much love and prayers,
    Sherrie (Mason's mom)

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  25. Bonnie ~ Not sure how I found your blog - clicking on one and then another, then another...but I feel God led me to you. I am so deeply sorry for your loss, I can't even imagine. Please know you and your sweet Caroline and baby will be in my thoughts and prayers. Your are in my heart.

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  26. Hi Bonnie, I know that you have a ton of these things to read, but I too have been praying for you since my friend from high school, Leah (Evan)Smith posted about your husbands accident. My heart is breaking for you and your precious little children.
    May God continue to comfort you,
    Beth Munger

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  27. Hi Bonnie, I don't know if you remember me, but this is Melissa (Swan) Griggs. I taught at Holcomb when you were there doing your internship. I have been out of teaching for 6 years since I had my first child, but I am pretty sure that you were at Holcomb when I was there. I either was teaching K, 1st, or Title I reading at the time. A friend of mine sent your blog to me. I had heard about your husband's accident on the news but I didn't know that he was 'your' husband. Until I saw your blog, I didn't realize any of this. I can't imagine what you must be going through or how you're handling all of this. I just want you to know that I will continue to pray for you and your family. I was so sad to hear about Thomas on the news but I am even more sad when I learned that he was your husband. Your little Caroline is just precious. I've got 2 girls of my own. Please know that God will be with you and that you will have lots of people praying for you. Let me know if there is anything that i can ever do for you. I am still in Fayetteville. My email is MelissaSGriggs@aol.com if you need anything.
    love,
    Melissa

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  28. I am a close friend of Christye H. She said that she shared some of my story with you. I will add you to my prayers. I remember there were days that I couldn't find it in me to pray. I didn't want to pray. I just wanted life to go back...to my normal. I am so thankful for those who carried me when I just couldn't do it. I Know that their prayers were there when I couldn't even begin to find the words to tell God about my broken heart. So, know that all these people who have promised to hold you and your daughter and baby in their prayers, will do so!
    I also remember what it is like to be overwhelmed by people who offered to visit with me so I will give you my email. If you want to visit, feel free. I promise...I understand!
    One thing I did was to get a journal. I wrote my hurts, my joys for the day (yes, there are joys like the smile of your daughter), my rambling thoughts, and memories of my husband. It was a great release and something for my children to read at some point. I recommend it hightly.
    You have just been lifted up as I close this.
    southdakota2410@sbcglobal.net

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  29. Bonnie,

    I am so sorry that you are having to go through this. Please know that you will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. Caroline is a beautiful little girl!

    Kelly (Allen) Grady

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  30. Bonnie, I am a friend of Tara's friends in Texas and also an Arkansan. Your family has been in our prayers. I lost my dad at a young age and I am familiar with the struggles a family goes through after a tragic death. I am so sorry for your loss and pray that God continues to give you peace and to surround you with precious friends and family.

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  31. I found your blog this evening. I am so sorry for your lost. I lost my son in May 2007 and the grieving is still hard for me. I read your blog...your photos are beautiful of your young family. You are very lucky to have the support of family, church, and your friends. I will include you in my prayers. Sharon

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  32. Dear Bonnie, I just came over from Tardevil because I noticed your photo about your loss. It took me a few minutes to realize that it was your dh that lost his life. My heart is broken for you and Caroline. I pray for you and the new baby you are expecting. I pray for you to be strong when everything seems to be wrong with this world. I pray for you to be uplifted by the wonderful loved ones and friends who care for you so much. We are strangers but my love and concern go with you today and each day here after. May Gods blessings give you hope for the future.

    Love from my heart...Jeanne

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  33. I keep coming back to your blog to see how you are doing and how God is working in your life. We continue to pray for you and your family everyday. I know God is holding you up and will continue to do so. All these comments on your blog are a reminder of all the love and community in this world.
    Love, Jennifer

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  34. You said "But I am still sad. Please don't think I am spiraling into a depression, I know that I cannot do that."
    As a Christian you will be praised by others who will say "you are so strong"...that puts a lot of pressure on you to put on that "strong" face. Always remember YOU are weak. God is strong! It's ok to be sad, it's ok to be depressed...it's not ok to pretend otherwise...ALWAYS lean on God for His strength and he will carry you through this.
    It's been almost 20 years since my first husband died. I know the unconected smile you are talking about...don't worry, the genuine smile will come back...and when it does, you'll cry...but you'll cry less each time you feel joy. Always remember, this is YOUR grief. Others may go through the same thing in different ways but this experience belongs to only YOU! Don't ever worry about not doing something right, there is no wrong way. Of course there are unhealthy ways of dealing with grief but I can tell by your posts that you have a personal relationship with Jesus and you will make it...it won't be easy...but you'll make it. It's been 20 years and I'm still on the journey. God's peace to you and your family!
    In Christ,
    Sarah

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  35. Hey Bonnie, it's Janice (I just started this whole Blogging thing.) I wanted to let you girls know that Beth Moore has a blog!! http://livingproofministries.blogspot.com/
    I am so excited about this Ester study (or the ESTERgen group as Greg calls it). Hope you have power. Let me know if you need groceries or anything. Hopefully, I'll see you Thursday.
    Janice

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  36. Just found your blog and am praying for you and your sweet babies. May God continue to give you the strength to make it through each day without your precious husband. May you feel his love and God's love in your life as others love on and take care of you during this time.
    Hugs and Prayers
    Rachel in PA

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  37. Just wanted you to know I'm thinking about you and your family.

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  38. This is my second time visiting your blog. I was wondering how you are doing. I am so glad that you know how much god loves you. And he will give you the strength you need to make it through this. Caroline is so precious. I can't wait to see the new baby. I am praying for your family.
    Hugs, Terrie

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  39. You and the children are being lifted in prayer every day. Tom and I pray, as do others who read the prayer list on our blog.

    ~Blessings,
    Jan

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  40. I stumbled across your site and have read it and felt so moved by your faith that remains steady in face of this horrible time. Just want you to know I'm praying for you and your family. Hope all is going well with the pregnancy.

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