Monday, May 23, 2011

HARD Life Lessons

I know our children have to grow up, but I really don’t like it.

I know it’s our job as parents to train our children in the way they should go… (Proverbs 2:6).

And I know it’s so important to help them through difficult times, but it’s hard.

HARD when the world is so ugly and mean and full of evil.

That’s what we’ve had to face with our 12-year old this past week. One of his sweet friends was not just killed in a house fire. And not just sweet Guinevere but her younger brother and her mom too. Authorities say it was not just a house fire but a “brutal triple homicide.”

Not something that I can even wrap my mind around, much less help a 12-year old wrap his mind around! And the news continues to bring it up OVER and OVER and OVER. At first, we tried to keep him from watching it, but the more we talked with him, the more he wanted to talk. And then he said he wanted to go to the funeral. He NEVER wants to attend visitations or funerals (something we do have to do more often than a lot of people with his daddy being in the ministry).

So we decided to do whatever we could to make that happen. Fortunately, the timing worked out for us to travel to Texarkana to go. And we were so thankful we did. To hear some of the miraculous stories of God’s timing and hope made it more bearable.

Let me first introduce you to sweet Guinevere from Evan’s point of view.

Evan first met Guinevere in his kindergarten class…he, Guinevere, and Desean became instant best buddies for the next 3 years! Even if they were not in the same class, they still played together every day on the playground. She made Evan homemade Valentine & birthday cards because she said he was the only boy that wasn’t “mean and gross.”

Two special memories stick out for me…when she came to his 8th birthday party…all dolled up with his special birthday card & gift. She was a little sweet on him, I think. J

In 3rd grade, they ended up going to different schools, but they didn’t forget each other. She called him one time because she missed him. And then Evan wanted to invite her to his birthday party. She couldn’t come that day, so she called & asked him to play putt-putt with her at the mall.

Being the very conservative parents that we are, we were really debating but we thought it would be ok. It turned out that I had something to do, so Daddy had to take him. He had to sit & visit with her mom the whole time they played. They had the best time! Sweet memories!

That was the last time they saw each other because we moved out of town that summer. But every once in a while, we would talk about her…we’d find a card or letter or see a picture that reminded us of his precious friend.

And then last Wednesday morning, we got the call from my parents that there had been a horrible house fire…that’s all we knew at the time. I’m so glad Daddy got the call at work & then called me. I don’t think I would have handled it by myself really well. I knew something was wrong when his voice was quivering & he started crying… “It’s Guinevere,” he said.

My thoughts couldn’t focus much the rest of the day. We talked to Evan at lunch. He was pretty much in shock until the next day when his emotions got the best of him.

Such a hard life lesson to learn at such a young age!

I remember one of my band friends dying in a car wreck when I was a junior. I can still remember where I was when I learned the news. I will never forget it.

So back to the funeral…two stories will stick with us forever! Testimonies of God’s sovereignty.

First, one of the preachers told us that Guinevere just got baptized on Easter Sunday! Just 17 days before the tragedy! God was working on her! She was so active in Awana, learning about God and memorizing scriptures! Praise the Lord!

But that story pales in comparison to this one…

Within hours of the fire starting, all sorts of investigators set up camp at the scene…not only local authorities but the Texas Rangers and the ATF. They combed the ashes foot by foot, scooping up the ashes & taking them to the back yard & sifting them to see if they could possibly find any “evidence” to help them solve this crime. It was only AFTER every square inch of the house was combed by the investigators that the family got to walk around the remains of the house. It was during that time that Guinevere’s stepdad kicked over a pile of ashes and a bag fell over. The drawstring bag disintegrated from the heat, but inside was a t-shirt with something wrapped up inside of it…Guinevere’s Bible and her little green Gideon Bible that she got at school as a 5th grader!

God’s word was NOT destroyed! A little wet from the water from the fire fighters…but both were completely intact!

(I can't help but wonder how those Bibles got wrapped in the t-shirt and placed in that bag. I wonder if she had it ready for Awana that night...we'll never know.)

Bro. Farrin said that her stepdad had been praying and pleading with God to give them some sign that He was with them…and there it was! Guinevere’s Bibles!

Matthew 24:35 says, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my WORDS will never pass away!”

HOPE for the family. HOPE for us!

When we think there is no hope, no peace, we can rest assured that God’s WORDS are “alive and active.” His WORD will always give us hope! His WORD will help us through any trial or trouble…no matter how hard they are!

Thank you, dear Lord, for giving us a glimpse of Your presence in the midst of this horrible tragedy!

Guinevere, so many people will miss your sweet friendship. But we pray that your testimony and God’s gift to your family of His HOPE through your Bible surviving the fire will bring many others to His saving grace!

“And we know that in all things God works for the GOOD of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28


  1. So sorry for so many reasons but glad she knew Christ. Praying for y'all.

  2. very sad, but oh very strong. I am glad Evan has parents like you & Eric to comfort him with ya'lls love but most of all living in a christian home makes things alot easier to handle. Sorry for Evan's loss & I know it hurts most of all when parents have to see their children hurt. Your family as well as Guinevere's will be in my prayers. Love & Miss you guys, Tracey Hoskins

  3. What a sweet testimony about a sweet girl. It is so hard to understand why some things happen the way that they do. So thankful that God is a God who comforts His children. Praying for you guys and for the family through this time!

  4. What a sweet tribute to a precious child of GOD. I am so glad she accepted him into her life. I pray Evan will be comforted and given peace as he remembers his sweet friend.

  5. Oh Kim, I am with you in wanting them to glow up slower, but it is these life lessons that they really build their faith. It is only when we question what we believe that it grows stronger. Evan will navigate this season in life alongside his two parents who love him and are so capable to assist him! Praying for your family!

  6. This is so heart breaking! My mom and Jay go to First Baptist Texarkana and mom was in the back helping Guinevere the morning of her baptism. PRAISE GOD that she came to know him and I think it's so awesome that God's word was not destroyed by the fire. I will say a prayer for Evan...I know this must be so hard.


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