Wednesday, December 15, 2010

December 15, 2010

As this long day draws to a close, I can’t help but reflect on how incredibly blessed we are as a family. We are so grateful for all of you contributing in different ways making this day, mixed with heartache and sorrow, one that was special and to be treasured for a long time.

Some of you were unable to attend Bonnie’s memorial service due to various reasons, but were still with us in spirit praying fervently that God would be glorified through the remembrance of how He used Bonnie for His will. Thank you for those prayers and for continued prayer for our family. Based on the number of comments shared following the service, this prayer was answered tenfold.

Those of you who could attend, thank you for being a part of our rejoicing and celebration of Bonnie’s life. Thank you for your encouraging words, offer of support and continued prayer.

Thank you to Trinity Church and all the many volunteers who donated of their time and talent to assist with coordinating everything from A/V, ushering, food preparation, and overall coordination. What a blessing it was to all of us to be able to spend more time with family and friends during this difficult time.

Today was the essence of who Bonnie was and how God challenged her and used her. Through the tears we had smiles in our hearts. God has healed Bonnie and that in and of itself is an answer to the prayers of thousands. You may say though, but God didn’t heal how we wanted Him to heal her. God is mysterious and unfathomable and we cannot even being to fully grasp His purpos in a situation like this, but we trust him that he knows best.

And now we move forward attempting to learn a new normal of life without mom. Bonnie will be missed, but the seeds she planted and the seedlings she has been nurturing in our kids have been watered by your prayers. If you are looking for a tangible answer to your prayers here is one. I know many of you, including myself; have been praying for the spiritual strength of our children. Back during the week of Thanksgiving, my mother brought to my attention that my 15 year old (Callie) had a blog. So like all responsible parents who don’t know their child has a blog, I searched for it and found it and was stunned by some of her posts I read.

As I read Callie’s blog, tears of joy were running down my face because of God’s mercy in answering our prayer that our kids were persevering throughout this trial and were willing to accept one of the most challenging emotionally painful events a teenager probably has to endure. With Callie’s permission, I have pasted one of her blog posts. I do this not as a proud father, but as evidence of answered prayer. The depth of thought in this post is nothing Bonnie or I can take credit for. As I said in the previous paragraph, seeds were planted, but were watered and fertilized with your prayers and the fruit of those prayers is one example from a November 12th blog entry from Callie’s site:

Friday, November 12, 2010
Recently, I had a friend ask me how I could stay a Christian and still love God, even through my circumstances. This came as a huge shock to me, especially from a Christian Homeschooler that would ask me this. I continued on to tell this friend that it's not my choice what circumstances come my way, and that it’s ALL up to God. The conversation continued on and went down a path that I didn't expect. Basically to sum up what went on without mentioning names, this friend said to me: "I just can't imagine how anyone could not be angry at God for making life so terrible..I can't even do it and my life isn't as half as bad as yours." I realized that this was the PERFECT opportunity for me to share one of the closest things to my heart.

I started to explain that God will never give us more than we can handle. Sure, it’s extremely hard having cancer in your family but that doesn't mean we just forget about God, put him in a drawer and only open it if life is going great. We have to take the good with the bad and THANK God constantly for whatever he is doing in our lives. It's for his ultimate good and purpose. I know sometimes a lot of people don't seem to understand this topic. I have found that you truly don't understand the idea of fully relying and trusting the Lord until you go through trials. Before any of our family trials happened, I used to always think "Oh I get the whole idea of relying on the Lord." But I didn't fully realize until my parents got cancer, how much God wants us to trust Him. It’s amazing to see. I've learned so much through this situation.

The other day I was reading this book by Elisabeth Elliot about suffering. One of my favorite quotes by her was this: "He is not all that we would ask for (if we were honest), but it is precisely when we do not have what we ask for, and only then, that we can clearly perceive His all-sufficiency. It is when the sea is moonless that the Lord has become my light." I have that quote taped on my mirror. It daily reminds me that at times we might want something more, but the only thing we really need is God and his all sufficient self.

The basic name to label this is Faith. If we don't have faith, we don't have God in our lives. If we don't trust him no matter what comes our way, we don't have God. He is the ULTIMATE way, truth and life. A really important Bible verse that puts faith into perspective for me is Matthew 17:20: "I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this to this mountain: 'Move from here to there.' And it will move."

Basically to sum up this post, never stop trusting God, no matter what comes your way. He sustains you and holds you up through the hardest times. He is our ultimate hope, and King.

Posted by Callie Marie

Thank you for the many ways of expressing love to our family during this very difficult period in our lives. Today’s service was like a dissipating storm cloud with the bold rays of the sun shining brightly through. We will be forever grateful for your care and concern.


Steve, Cassandra, Caleb and Callie


  1. Today's service was a huge blessing and God spoke so strongly to my heart. I was just overcome by the passionate Bonnie loved Jesus and how that loved motivated her to act and serve and pass on that love in so many ways to so many people. I walked away thinking, I want to love Jesus more, I really do. I know that if I died today that I don't think I would have such amazing testimonies said about me, I don't know. And not that an amazing memorial service is the goal, but today I decided that i want my life to be different than it is. I know that i want to love Jesus more and deepen my love for him and BE A BLESSING. I am so glad I came.

  2. Thanks again for taking the time to share your heart and soul with us Steve! The service was truly glorifying to God, and as Andrea said, inspired all of us to live more selfless, loving lives! Thanks for sharing Callie's post- a great reminder that the very things we want to protect our children from- hardships and trials- are the very things that are answers to our deepest prayers for them- that they will love Jesus passionately, with all of their heart, soul, mind and strength and truly surrender their lives to Him. I am sure that God has bestowed great grace on your family that has carried you all through to this day and that is the same hope and strength He will continue to carry you "one day at a time". My favorite verse is Lamentations 3:21-24 and this will be one of my prayers for you and the kids...
    "But this I call to mind and therefore I have HOPE- because of the Lord's great love we are NOT consumed. His compassions never fail, they are new EVERY morning! I say to myself, the Lord is my portion, therefore I will wait for Him."

  3. Steve, Cassandra, Callie and Caleb,
    The perfect healing of Bonnie helps me realize we are part of God's Family, that He always has our best in mind, even if we don't see it. Bonnie's life will bring eternal results still waiting for us to see. My disappointment at being unable to attend still stings my heart. But, when I read your Blog, Steve, I'm reminded of the little boy I once knew and the fun we had, and being able to pray for you as you matured...I am as impressed by your depth in your Blog as you are about Callie's. Then to add to it, I see your children (young adults) and thank my Father that I know all of you. To have been a small part of your life at it's most difficult time, and have the opportunity to pray for you all. My prayers will are part of me, mind, and soul. God will guide you, Steve, as you seek out His best for your family. By your side, Bonnie will be in your heart, cherish the moments that brought you together as a couple and as Christians. I am proud to know you and blessed by each of you. Sandy