April 15, 2018

James 1:2-3, Romans 5:3-5

Shirley Bewley

I grew up in a loving and caring Christian family, and for 20 years, my parents always took care of me. Then, I married Kenneth—a wonderful, Christian man. For 38 years, he took care of me and our two children. Kenneth was a kind and unselfish man who loved helping others. He did everything for his family because he wanted to. My children and I depended on him for everything. When there were tough times, we knew he would be the one to worry and figure things out.

Then on the evening of July 28, 2007, our lives changed forever—just like that, with no warning. Kenneth had a motorcycle accident about a mile from our house and was pronounced dead on the helicopter pad at Parkland. I was in Tyler at my aunt’s home, having a family girls’ weekend. I don’t remember much after receiving the awful news. What I do remember as we traveled from Tyler to Dallas was feeling God’s presence with me. I remember praying for my children to not be alone in that cold hospital. I had family with me but knew they wouldn’t because we didn’t have family that lived close by. I felt God letting me know they were not alone. When we arrived at the hospital, there were church family and friends there with them. In the midst of our pain and suffering, God was blessing us with a loving family, friends, and FBCL to get us through the rough days ahead of us.

It has been almost 11 years now since this tragedy in my life, but God has continued to be faithfully with me this whole time. Through all of this, I have learned so much. The most important thing I have learned is I don’t have to depend on anyone but God. He wants to be with me every minute of the day, and He is. He wants me to depend on Him every minute of the day, and I do. I know I will have many more sufferings in my life, but I can rejoice in those sufferings because I know they produce perseverance and give me hope. I am thankful, grateful, and blessed to have a loving, heavenly Father who loves me and will take care of me forever.