Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Three Years

How can it have been three years since that terrible day?
Becky and I have talked lately about how our minds(sin?) try to take us back to re-living the entire nightmarish day. I didn't realize other people go through that struggle as well (it's not something anyone wants to really talk about, you know?) I cannot see any good at all in walking through those memories so we both have found it very effective to just say "Stop!" (out loud if need be) and start praying and reciting scripture. Maybe no one else has this problem, but I thought I'd let others who do know what works for us. It re-focuses me, I can break free from that day and move on to the happy memories or being grateful for where we are now.

Reflecting on the last three years, I cannot believe all that has happened. I joke (although it is all too true) that according to the life stress test we take in Intro to Psychology, I should be in a mental hospital or worse...but somehow I have managed to make it. And not just make it, but thrive. Thanks be to God from whom all blessings flow.

Tyler and I have been organizing our house which feels so great and yet, the timing is a little off with the high emotions of this week and stumbling onto tons of old pictures and memorabilia.
Then as I think about it, I don't think the timing is off at all. I'm tired of waving things off as coincidence when of course God is in control and knows what I need at all times. (Why is this so hard to remember?!)
He decided to give me several gifts this week of times when He was transparent; such a rare gift it seems: As I was flipping through pictures of high school trips with Thomas, early college years and then our wedding pics, right when I thought I'd slip into the pit of despair, the next picture was of Hannah Grace at one year old. How in the world did that picture end up in that pile of pictures I will never know this side of heaven, but I don't have to know how. I know why. God was yelling at me "Bonnie--Don't go to that sadness pit, they (thomas and hannah) are fine! You and all that are still living are the ones dealing with the pain! Not them. EVERYONE will suffer loss of a loved one, Be still child and know that I am GOD, I am with you!"
I immediately felt a peace that shoved out the darkness which was threatening to overtake me. Thank you God for this miracle moment.
It's the way He works, through moments big and small. Thank you, God, that I can recognize you in ways I never did before we began our REAL relationship 12 years ago.

I read on Tara Newby's blog recently that 10 out of 10 people die. It's a fact. (She didn't cite her sources, but I find them to be true...) Why do some die too early or in certain ways, we don't understand, but as I said before, we don't need to understand. I'm trusting the bible and it says that God knows, and we just need to grieve like we have hope.
"And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope." 1 Thessalonians 4:13

As God continues to answer your prayers this week, I just had another miracle moment of my own. I found in another box of keepsakes, the bible that was given to Thomas from our Razorbacks for Christ campus minister when he graduated from college. In that so familiar, Thomas scrawl handwriting, I found a card he had left in his bible

 Thomas wrote "1 Thess 4:1 How to live your life Sept 8 2002"
The verse God brought to my mind today (see above) was from the same chapter as the verse Thomas referred to on this card. Awesomeness.

 Looking it up, 4:1 reads (this is the Message version, it sounds like Thomas):
"One final word, friends. We ask you—urge is more like it—that you keep on doing what we told you to do to please God, not in a dogged religious plod, but in a living, spirited dance. You know the guidelines we laid out for you from the Master Jesus. God wants you to live a pure life."

Here's the link to the whole section which speaks to me in so many ways tonight. 

As I think about what I've learned in my bible studies this past year, God is telling me to listen (read His words,) believe, and LIVE!

Proverbs 4:20-22 (msg)
"Dear friend, listen well to my words;
   tune your ears to my voice.
Keep my message in plain view at all times.
   Concentrate! Learn it by heart!
Those who discover these words live, really live;
   body and soul, they're bursting with health."

I want to live, really live--so all of you help me stay accountable to concentrating on God's word.
Happy 2012--make it count!
Love, Bonnie

(a BIG) PS: (it wouldn't be a post from me with several parentheses and a "PS" at the end, would it?)
I debated on whether or not to post this picture again, and then the answer was given to me.
As "mom of the year 2012", I let Thomas play with my iphone. As I was going through pictures to post on this blog, I came across one I strangely hadn't noticed. Thomas had taken pictures of himself at some point this week! I'll let you see why I decided to post them (both are completely unedited.)

Link to original post about this awesome pic


  1. Awesomeness! Thank you for sharing. I am blessed by your words this evening. I have a story to share with you sometime in the future. :-)

  2. you are a blessing to so many, bonnie. i feel enriched to have met you, even for an hour, and to have spent time soaking up life with such a spirit filled child of God. i hope 2012 rains down blessings on you and tyler and caroline and thomas. much love, meryl (one of dori's "buns")

  3. I need to try the "Stop" and pray theory. I'm still working on the book you gave me. I appreciate that gesture more than any words could ever convey! Prayers for many blessings for you and your family in 2012!

  4. Yes, we have those "happenings" all the time. Yesterday my dear aunt (her husband died a week before Thomas)sent me an email which contained the following: I would rather live my life as if there is a God, and Die to find out there isn't, Than live my life as if there isn't, and die to find out there is.
    I Peter 1:8 "Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible."

  5. The last set of pictures reminded me of the following Psalms.

    Psalm 89:15
    Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD.

    Psalm 97:11
    Light is shed upon the righteous and joy on the upright in heart.

    Thakyou for sharing your thoughts.

  6. Beautiful post and WOW !! to the picture Thomas Jr took of himself :)

  7. You have been in my prayers since I first read your blog 3 years ago. I am so glad that you have found LOVE and happiness again! You look so beautiful and happy in your wedding pictures! This post is beautiful; and the photo of little Thomas?? What a coincidence! :)

  8. Hey! I tagged you in a post over on my blog today. If you’re interested, you should check it out! http://mrsclarkbar.blogspot.com/2012/01/11.html

  9. Great pictures and blog.

    I came to your blog from Jon Acuff’s site. He has created a tremendous forum for sharing our blogs and impacting more people with them.

    I hope my blog can be an encouragement to you also.

    I write it for encouragement and motivation daily.


    Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to watching the connections grow!

  10. wow..i just wanted to say, "thank you." thank you for being one of the most amazing witnesses of faith in the Lord that i've ever come across. truly, the Lord is holding you and your family in the palm of his hand, and he is delighted in the beauty of your humble submission to his will. again, thank you; you and your family will be in my prayers.
    peace and blessings.