First let me say I am sorry it has taken me so long to give this update. As you will see opening up in this way really does place Mike and I both back into a spin some. That is not always bad. It gives us more perspective into Scott’s death and also allows us to process it more. It is just hard and painful…
So the benefit was AMAZING!!! I know I will not do it justice BUT I will try. First off this church was transformed into the most lovely and classy dining experience. Sharon’s team is amazing. It was elegant and beautiful without being over kill. Mike and I were both so impressed how they turned this room into such a place of beauty. It was also comfortable and the food was delicious. We were seated with Diane Smith and her husband Bill. Two dear friends of the Betters and another couple who’s daughter had just been murdered a month before. That was a challenge for Mike and I to show this couple that there is hope and healing in God’s grace. We did speak with both of them and I pray that we were able to point them towards the great healer. I just need to say here that Diane Smith spoke about the breast cancer CD and did such an amazing job. She was poised and very clear and it was very evident that her strength and hope come from God. She just did an amazing job and I was blessed by her. Michael Card was incredible. We sat right in the front because we were speaking at the intermission. He is an awesome musician and funny. Very entertaining. Mike, my hubby, loved watching him play. It was such an honor to be there with him. At intermission Chuck Betters called us up. He wanted to “interview” us instead of just having me speak. Chuck really wanted Mike to speak. Mike agreed…Now those of you who know my hubby know he does not like to speak. Really at all he is not much of a talker…well so he says. There are times he just runs with it…LOL Those are actually the times when God is controlling what he is saying. That is what happened this night. Mike was amazing…he was honest and transparent. He cried while talking about Scott he gave God the glory BUT was honest with his struggle to trust God…It really was a Holy Spirit moment. I actually said very little. Believe it or not…LOL Mike just said it all so wonderfully when Chuck asked me to share I was at a loss for words. I fumbled through something in the midst of my tears…It was just so powerful for me to see my husbands heart soften and say he still does not understand why God allowed Scott to die maybe it was just for this…meaning the ministry. The whole night was very surreal and you could actually feel God among us. The benefit was a great success. Here is a comment Sharon wrote on my blog. I just wanted to share her perspective of the night with you…Remember to God be the Glory!
Donna, I just found your blog! For all your friends, you and Mike were absolutely wonderful at the MARKINC Ministries Spring Benefit! My husband, Chuck “interviewed” Mike and Donna. I knew we were seeing God do an amazing work as Mike took the lead in answering the questions! He went from being Donna’s chauffeur to speaking! His strength was supernatural. The men in the audience were especially moved by his transparency. We had pictures of Scott and the family in the background. We consider Mike and Donna treasured friends as a result of this connection. I imagined our boys high-fiving each other when I got my first BIG bear hug from Donna, knowing God was going to weave us together. We raised over $126,000 in pledges and gifts that night! The most ever. We are now working on production of a Coming Home from War CD for returning military and their families. Thank you, Mike and Donna!
Much love, Sharon Betters
Now since that night Mike and I both have been missing Scott so much it hurts to breath. Now of course we have had Father’s Day and my birthday. We went away just the two of us for a week. All of those things add to the missing. BUT sharing our story does require that we relive it some. We are always, well maybe not always, willing to talk about Scott and his death because we know that God will use it to help others. We have seen that and we know that is our “ministry”. Is any ministry without sacrifice? No whether it is changing diapers or potty training or walking a teen through “life” or trying desperately to get adult children to see their need for the Lord. It all requires sacrifice. So we will continue to share as God asks us and we will continue to miss our son. We will want to always bring God the glory for we truly know that there is NOTHING in us that wants any of this to be.
5 comments June 30, 2008
OK…Here is the deal. When Scott died I was told by the insurance co. that a family member should not go and clean out the car. They said that the tow truck driver did not think it would be a good idea. So we asked a dear friend of ours to do this task for us. He is a Baltimore City Police Officer and we felt that he had probably seen worse. Mike did however tell him to take pictures of the car. He did and he has had them ever since. I found out recently that Mike asked for them. He did this several months ago and looked at them. Now I have been asking to see them for 5 years. I must admit I was a little A LOT upset when he told me this. I felt betrayed somehow and I felt like Mike had lied to me. We have worked that part out. Seriously we cried and talk and each asked for forgiveness we are fine. I however am still a mess. This really threw me into a tailspin. Now I am wrestling with should I see them or shouldn’t I see them. It is strange and I will probably sound like a complete crazy person BUT I feel as if Mike now has a part of Scott that I don’t. Told ya…crazy!!! He has seen the car that Scott took his last breathe in. I am just really struggling with what to do. I have asked all of my on line angel moms. I have gotten so many mixed opinions I just thought I would ask the few of you that read this. So what do you think? Should I or shouldn’t I see the pics???
3 comments May 21, 2008
Several years after Scott died we received a CD from a precious sister in Christ. It was from http://www.markinc.org/ The Betters’ had lost their son Mark in a car accident at the age of 16. I must say this Cd was sent from God’s heart to our ears. Seriously!!!
Now we have been asked to share our experience about Scott’s death and how the CD helped us at a fund raising dinner. The purpose of the dinner is to raise money so the Cd’s can be made available to people from Dr’s office, clinics etc. free of charge. So I figured I would share what my thoughts are here. Please feel free to let me know if this sounds wrong or off base etc. I appreciate your in put. Did I mention Michael Card will be there? So no pressure to have to get up and speak in front of famous Christians…LOL
Good Evening etc…
On November 1,2002 our 17 year old son Scott was killed in a car accident. Needless to say we were devastated and greatly in need of something anything to help us in our time of extreme pain and loss. We walked around in a fog and we were questioning everything in our lives. Our church family was a great blessing and still are however we really needed to hear from someone who had been there. Someone who would get “it”. By God’s grace a friend of mine had heard Sharon Betters speak several years before and remembered about her loss of Mark. My friend went to the Markinc web site and ordered the CD “The loss of a loved one”. We must say that this was from God’s heart to our ears. To listen to this couples humble and real account of what they had walked through was amazing. To know that stronger Christians than ourselves had questioned God and had struggled with the same things we struggle with was just what we needed to hear. To hear their journey and to know without a doubt that God can be trusted again and that He would see us through was a great source of encouragement and it was like someone had thrown us a lifeline. Someone was ahead of us on this road looking back saying…I know that this road is hard and long come take my hand we can do this with God’s grace and each other. We had never met Chuck and Sharon but we felt like we had known them for years. We cried listening to them tell about the night Mark died. We understood their pain. The things they share on the CD are real and we can not really put into words how powerful and helpful this was to us. We must say that this is one of the best resources we received. It is real, powerful and Gospel centered without being “preachy”. It was and still is our lifeline.
6 comments May 14, 2008
OK here is the thing…I am a sinner who needs grace. I know you all are shocked…LOL I am really struggling with something and I need some input. What do you ladies do when someone has offended your husbands. I know I am not called to carry my husband’s offense BUT this really hurt him and me. My hubby does not like conflict and can honestly let things go. Seriously….He can let it roll off and I am not wired like that. Not at all. Plus this person was just wrong and mean…in my opinion. The comment that was made was not in love nor was it encouraging. Well at least I do not think it was. Mike has told me not to say anything to the person. I am trying hard to submit and I ahve submitted…I ahve not said anything BUT I am still angry and hurt. What do I do with that? I know what I am suppose to do…but come on ladies I need some practical advise here. Should I say something to the wife or should I even talk to the guy? Please pray for me because I need to check my heart that the reason I want to do this is to help the other person know how harsh their words can be. I really think this person is clueless and that breaks my heart. I mean we have had so many people say hurtful terrible things to us since Scott died..*sigh*. God has been faithful to use them to heal my heart and to drive me to Him. I know He will be faithful again. I just need to figure this out that is all. So if anyone has any words of wisdom I use could use them…
2 comments February 9, 2008
Roger Pryor,a dear friend and true warrior for Christ went home to be with the Lord 2 weeks ago. This past weekend was his viewing and funeral. As we as a church family were preparing for this my dear friend and pastor’s wife, Daryl told me that if it would be too difficult to go to the funeral home that Debbie would understand. I told her that was not an option. When I told Mike he said the same thing…that’s not an option. So him and I were on the same page. Plus God was encouraging me through a precious gift I received for Christmas. More Precious Than Silverby Joni Eareckson Tada. Joni writes:
Loaves and FishesHere is a boy with 5 small barley loaves and two small fishes, but how far will they go among so many? John 6:9
Remember the heart warming story of how Jesus took the loaves, broke them, multiplied the fish, and gave everybody lots to eat with lots left over? Jesus even said “Let nothing be wasted.” They gather baskets full of bread so nothing would be thrown away.
I think about that story when I watch a Christian go through tough times yet hang onto God’s grace. Maybe you’re such a person. Day-to-day heartache is your routine, and problems seem to have a permanent place in God’s plan for you. Yet you’re faithful-or should I say, you hold onto God’s faithfulness. What God is doing with you is like what he did with the barley loaves and fish. Jesus broke the bread. And out of the brokenness, he multiplied the blessing so thousands would be nourished.
Yes, it hurts to be broken. But sometimes that’s part of God’s plan, especially if he wants to use you to feed others. It’s a way your faithfulness can be multiplied. Out of your brokenness, the blessing can be bestowed on more people than you ever dreamed possible. And here’s the thing: If you’ve been broken by the hand of God, you can be certain nothing will be wasted. God will gather up and use all the hurt; not a bit of it will be discarded or cast aside.
That little boy with the small loaves and fish must have been amazed to watch Jesus do such marvelous things through his little lunch. Be sure that God knows what little you have to offer. Is it a bit of obedience? God will multiply it. Is it a weak prayer? A small word of testimony? A feeble effort to encourage others in their pain? I promise you(no, God promises you) that he will expand your offering. It will not be wasted.
Here is her prayer at the end: Brokenness is something you know all about, Jesus, for your body was broken for me. Today remind me of how close you are to me in my brokenness, and soothe my heart with your nearness. Multiply the blessing to many through me
As I stood in the funeral home hugging Debbie with tears streaming down both of our faces I was reminded of God’s goodness to use my brokenness to help this precious sister. As I looked around the same room my son laid in with a lot of the same people there I was freshly convicted of God’s love and care for me and my family over the last 5 years. As I met Rogers’ mother and realized that this was her second son she had buried I was grateful to God’s mercy and grace on my life. I was so very grateful for this woman and her example to me. As I made food and help set up and take down for the reception after the funeral I was touched by how many hands had done this for us and how awesome my God is to use me to Pay It Forward. As people asked how was I doing through all of this I was granted a peace and grace that surpasses all understanding. Plus I was reminded a fresh of how God uses His body as His arms and legs to hold us up and love us through. As I have talked to Debbie since Saturday I am overwhelmed with God’s grace and love on her life and mine. Even as I write this I am just in awe of God and all that He is and all that He does for those who love Him. So please remember that no matter what your trial and no matter what your brokenness God will use it for your good and His glory. It was good for me and Mike to serve and be there for our precious sister and God was glorified in the whole process…
Remember to God Be the Glory Always and in all ways!!!!
2 comments February 5, 2008
As I sit and reflect on the past year I am so amazed by God’s love for me. The fact that He desired for my heart to heal is precious and overwhelming to me. You see when Scott died I thought I would never move forward from the excruciating pain of it all. In fact I know other moms who have held onto the pain. Not to say I am better then them. I just have a grace that is boundless and powerful. Plus I serve the God of the universe and in my weakness He is made strong. Going through the bible study “Lord Heal my Hurts” by Kay Arthur was life changing for me. There was something that Kay said early in here book that really allowed me to work the process of healing.
“You can be healed. When I say healed, I don’t mean you’ll never experience pain again. Nor do I mean that the past will never again rear it’s ugly head. I mean you will be able to deal with your hurt in such a way that you will “live as more than a conqueror.” You will have God’s answer on how to deal with your hurt so that it doesn’t harm you but works together for your good.”
Isn’t that powerful? I mean think about it…”more than a conqueror”. I would be more than a mom who has “survived” burying her child. I would be healed….This really was a huge piece of the healing puzzle for me. I kept thinking that if I am healed or if I ask God to heal me does that mean I will never be sad about Scott dying? Does it mean people will forget him? Does it mean life is just peachy? When I read the above from her book I was filled with hope and a future that only God can bring. I knew that no matter whether I was having a good day or a bad day I would be healed of the hopelessness and the anger and the bitterness. Plus I had always said I could be sad and joyful at the same time. I felt like I was being faithless when I had a bad day because God should be able to sustain me so I would not have bad days. I felt like here was someone that understood that. Most people would look at me like I was crazy when I would say that “I can be joyful and sad at the same time.” So knowing that even once God healed my hurts I would still have “bad” days was so encouraging to me. I also knew that it was OK to miss my son and have bad days….Oh such sweet hope for a future that would be filled with joy and contentment….
So my friend know that no matter what pain or hurts you have God can heal them for you. Just ask…
To God Be The Glory!!!!
2 comments January 31, 2008
I am not sure if you all are thinking this is good or bad…LOL BUT I am back…for now.
I really could not believe how long it had been since I last blogged. Over a year. WOW! Time flies…
So this past year has been an amazing year for me. When we were asked at care-group what we thought God’s theme was for the past year and for this year my first thought was Heal my hurts….Pay it forward.
So I will start with last year of Heal my hurts. God has been so good to me this past year. It will be a year ago February 26 that I received my Cochlear Implant. What a miracle that has been. I do not even think I have the words to describe the difference in my life. The surgery went amazingly well. The recovery was difficult but not as painful as I was anticipating…Praise God!!! After the first month they activated the implant. It was sarcastically referred to in my house as my turn on date…LOL Adult kids can be so funny. Any way the first day I could not really tolerate a lot of sound. By the time I got home I had a headache and felt sick to my stomach. By the next morning it sounded to quiet already. I went back the next day and they turned it up a lot. By the end of the weekend it was to quiet again. I went back 6 more times over the next 6 months. Each time they would adjust it. The last couple of visits they tested my hearing with the implant in and I was in the normal range. That is just so amazing to me. They did word recognition and I was above normal for that. Meaning I could recognize words without reading lips. Thank you Lord!!! It had been years like 6-10 since I could do that. This was really life changing and a miracle. Since I could hear again it just opened a whole new world for me. Seriously I could hear the whole message on Sundays. I could go to care-group and catch almost all that was being said. I could have a date with my hubby that included a movie. Funny side note here. We did not take advantage of that til about 2 weeks ago. we were just so used to not being able to go to the movies that we forgot that I could go now…LOL I could hear my great nieces laugh and call me Aunt Donna. It was all so precious and so amazing to me. One of the most blessed things was I could do the ladies bible study and hear the video. God has healed so much of my heart with this amazing miracle. It was life changing for me to be able to take the bible study and be able to participate and hear everything. God used it to heal my heart about loosing my hearing and about Scott. Than to top it off Sharon Betters came to speak at one of our ladies meetings. That was like the cherry on top. She is an incredibly faithful powerful woman who has been on the road I am on. She too lost her son in a car accident at 16. Just to see another woman that was on this road longer calling back to me saying “It’s OK you can do this with God’s grace” was food for my soul. I must say that I feel like a new woman because of all that God has blessed me with this past year. My prayer is that I will be reminded daily of His goodness and be thankful continually. That is a big prayer for me and I already have failed terribly BUT I know that there is new grace for me each morning. So that is a little update from the past year. I do plan to write about specific things as God places them on my heart. It is good to be back and as always “To God Be the Glory!!!”
6 comments January 27, 2008
I know I have not posted in a long time. I am back…I think. I will be posting about this year later. But first I have been tagged by Karen….So here goes. These are in no particular order.
1.) I love hospitals. Really I am very comfortable in them and they make me feel peaceful. I guess that is because my mom was a nurse and I loved to go visit her at work.
2.) I have to have the toilet paper coming from the top. Now I am not as bad as Briana, I do not change other peoples. I will change mine in the house if someone else changed it. Yeah like that will happen.
3.) I eat cold food. Like leftovers. I love them cold. I think that is because I am not patient enough to wait for them to heat up.
4.) I think I would like to work in a funeral-home…Weird I know I just would love to comfort people and be there for them at their most difficult time.
5.) Now that I can hear I dance…Anywhere there is music. the grocery store, Big Lots, Elevators…It is actually funny. People look at me like I am crazy but I could not hear for so long now when I hear music i just move.
6.) I talk to God out loud. No matter where I am if I have to say something to God I say it out loud. Well I do not shout it but if you ever see me mumbling that usually means God and I are talking…or I have completely lost it…LOL
7.) Mike thinks the weirdest thing about me is I have a computer chip in my head so I can hear…I will be posting about that later….
So I tag…Karen H if she is still blogging and KT my daughter.
3 comments January 26, 2008
Today January 15,2006 my oldest son turns…..25 AAAAAAA!!!!! I can not believe he is 25. One quarter of a century. Where does the time go????? I am just so impacted by how fast time flies and how slow it moves. The slow part will be another post. The fast part is my baby Nicholas is 25. As I reflect back over the past 25 years I am amazed at how much my life has changed. I was a 19 year old babe!!! In both meanings of the word , when Nick was born. I was so young and so foolish. It is by God’s grace alone that Nick has survived me as a mom especially in his younger years. Nick was my first born and no baby could have been loved more at the time. Mike and I were so young and stupid we did not even comprehend enough to be scared. We just thought oh we can do this. Well “this” is hard and challenging. Nick being the first born is our trial and error baby. We tried it all on Nick, if it was not right for him than Scott and Katie lucked out…if it worked than Scott and Katie got the same thing. We were not saved when Nick was born and he really got the brunt of our sinful parenting. He remembers it ALL. Scott and Katie were still fairly young when we were saved so they do not really remember. One of the nicest compliments Nick has given me was when I asked him “how do you know I am saved?” Meaning me his response was so simple “mom, I remember when you were not saved.” That spoke volumes to me. Thank God that He gave Nick that memory so he could see the difference. Those of you who know Nick, know this has not been an easy walk for him. He struggles every day with his brothers death and his mere purpose in this life. But if you know Nick well you also know that he has many evidences of God’s grace upon him. Nick loves his family so very much. He values our opinion and sometimes even thinks we are right. Ha ha He will tell you that his dad is his best friend. He has a relationship with Mike that most adult children of the world do not have with their dads. Nick is very protective of Katie and me. He truly looks out for our well being and our safety. He was really starting to have a great relationship with Scott. They really were coming together as young adults. He has cousins that he considers siblings and would do anything for them. Nick is so very sensitive. He is not a macho man as some would think. He is very loving and caring especially where his family is concerned. Nick will tell you that him and God have issues about Scott’s death. He is working through them and he, I am confident , will wrestle them out. He is very gifted in prayer. If Nick prays you just feel the Holy Spirit there. His prayers are simple but they have power behind them. I believe that God is going to use that one day as he has in the past. Nick is so very warm and his friends love him so much. He will be there for them no matter what. I see so many Godly fingerprints on Nick and I am so very thankful to God for the blessing of my son. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY NICHOLAS!!!! I love you so very deeply.
4 comments January 15, 2007
I recently wrote a poem for an angel moms group I belong to on line. All of us in this group have lost a child or children. They are of all ages and all kinds of deaths. I sent a copy to Laurie and she suggested I put it on my blog. She felt it helped her to understand how to respond to a grieving parent. I also found a Parents Bill or Rights. I think this is good information for people to have. If you will be around any one who has lost someone close to them this Christmas think about this post. Maybe God will use you to help ease their pain and brighten their day. One of the biggest things I acn say is to listen. No matter how long it has been we all miss our loved ones around the holidays. So if you are with someone let them talk about their loved one. Tell them a story or memory about their loved one. I know here in my house we love to hear Scott stories. It is good for us and yes sometimes we may cry but that is OK. You are not reminding us that Scott is gone. I know many people that have said they do not want to mention him because it will upset us. Please know it is FAR more upsetting when people act like he never existed or change the subject when we talk about him. I pray that this information will help make you more comfortable around the grieving and that God will use you to bless someone that is hurting this Christmas! Here are the poem and Bill of Rights
Let me be real
Please don’t tell me you understand
How can you if you never had to let go of his hand
Don’t say I should move on get on with my life
I know I am still a mother and wife
You just don’t realize how deep the pain goes
How horrible the hurt how severe the blows
When you say I should be happy and smile
I say to you, have you buried your child
A child you thought would be a man
A child who would always take a stand
He stood up for all God said
How can that child be dead
The one who’s smile lit up a room
Is now the memory that encases this tomb
The tomb is my heart full of pain and sorrow
No, at times I really do not care about tomorrow
Please do not tell me he would not want me this way
He is in heaven and does not get a say
So if it bothers you that I am sad
Go hug your children and be glad
Be glad you do not understand
Be glad you can still hold their hand
Be glad you life is moving on
Be glad you still have your precious daughter or son
Do not feel sorry for me
Just try to listen and let me be
The mother who has lost her son
The mother who at times may be undone
I have peace only God can provide
Your job is to be a comfort so I do not hide
All of the pain and loss I feel
Your job is to let me be real
Holiday Bill of Rights for Grieving Parents
************ ***I HAVE THE RIGHT******* *********
I have the right to go from ecstatic to tears in 30 seconds.
I have the right to be excited about going holiday shopping, only to
get there & need to leave because of a panic attack.
I have the right to not be joyful (I say happy)every single moment or day of the
I have the right to not send out Christmas cards.
I have the right to NOT listen to Christmas music when I can’t bear
I have the right to be quiet, continue to grieve my child & be alone
when I need to.
I have the right to choose not to participate in gift exchanges and
holiday celebrations at my place of work, worship, or anywhere else.
I have the right to look for & feel joy & love in the holidays & my
life, just please don’t try & force it on me. I’ll find it on my own.
I have the right to want to buy my child a Christmas present and take
it to the “Angel Park”
(cemetery, site, or other place)
I have the right to buy the present and decide that I can’t bear to
take it to the “Angel Park”
I have the right to get to my family’s house late and leave early.
I have the right to walk outside and get away for a bit of fresh air
when it gets to be too overwhelming.
I have the right to include my child in any activity that I want
without getting the “funny looks”.
I have the right to be angry. (this one is not my favorite but it is true people may be angry)
I have the right to be alone with my child and not have to explain
why I want to be alone.
I have the right to laugh at unexpected times and hug a pillow and
talk to myself when I am remembering.
I have the right to long to have my child back, to have the life I
I have the right to find a way to honor and remember my child during
the holidays by whatever ritual I feel comfortable with.
I JUST HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE ME…
I pray your Christmas is Christ centered and that you truly feel and share the love of Jesus this season.
MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
10 comments December 17, 2006