This year marks the 10th anniversary of our son Bowen’s passing. In 2011, our lives have been changed forever. We wanted to share, how he has impacted our life over the past 10 years. We wouldn’t be where we are today nor would we be doing what we’re doing if it weren’t for our son Bowen and what God has done in our lives.
Here are 10 lessons Our Son’s Life Has Taught Us:
Lesson #10- HOPE is for REAL. We named our son Bowen, because of its meaning, ‘small victorious one.’ He truly lives us to his name in heaven where the victory has already been won. Because of Bowen, we founded Bowen’s Hope in 2013, where we helped kidney kids who had kidney disease and their families at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. We came up with the acronym for Bowen’s Hope B- Bringing, O- Others, W-What, E-Everyone, N- Needs, HOPE!!!!! Because of what we went through, we realized there were other families who deal with their child who has kidney disease, which can be so demanding mentally and physically. God used our pain for HIS greater purpose to help at the kids’ kidney camp, called Camp Maska, get families sponsored for Christmas, and hold toiletry drives to help with some of their needs. God showed us the true meaning of coming alongside others in their hurt. When we set out to help others, they end up helping us more than we help them.
“who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:4
Lesson #9- The Joy of Less. We have more when we have Less. Bowen taught us how precious life really is, every life matters, and to cherish every moment. Life is too short to be filled with things and stuff that doesn’t matter. To live simply and have less, is to have more time for adventure, making memories and spending time together. Our stuff taught us you don’t own stuff, stuff owns you. You can read more of our story in “Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Joy of Less.”
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroy and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 NASB
Lesson #8- We can do hard things in Christ. Bowen’s life taught us not to let the pain of suffering consume us but to pour it into something positive for the greater good. His life took us to places we never imagined or thought were possible. After Bowen, I started running and training and qualified for the Boston Marathon in 2013. Sadly that was the same year the Boston bombing occurred.'I can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.' Philippians 4:13Click To Tweet
Lesson #7- Kindness Matters. Our Son’s life taught us every life matters and is valuable. Everyone deserves kindness no matter who they are. Kindness is a gift from God. If no one received kindness no one would know the love of Jesus. Bowen’s life challenged us to extend kindness to others by doing a 13 Day Kindness challenge for everyday he was alive. Doing acts of kindness was so healing, and allowed the legacy of Bowen’s life to live on. Giving kindness to someone can be the key to their breakthrough and the very thing they need. Be the kindness this world needs. Kindness is contagious. Pass it on.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another.” Ephesians 4:13
Lesson #6- Life is Better together. Even though we didn’t choose for our son’s life to be taken by this horrible disease, time and time again, every race we ran, every fundraiser, every event put on in honor of Bowen, brought people TOGETHER. Life is meant to do and LIVE TOGETHER in UNITY with one another. Matthew 18:20- “For where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them.”
1 Peter 4:8-9 “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.”
Lesson #5- How Beautiful are the Feet that Bring Good News. If there is One thing God is able to do is bring Beauty out of Ashes. Here are beautiful works of art people made for me after Bowen died. One is a beautiful portrait of our son where his his body is preserved untouched by his disease. Another is the Beautiful feet picture of the Bible verse in Romans 10:15. Another is a picture someone painted I didn’t even know, God placed in her heart to paint and give us this picture with the verse By His Stripes we are healed Isaiah 53:5. The last picture is a Bowen’s beautiful name tattooed on my foot, (thank goodness we will have beautiful feet in heaven LOL) for anyone who asks I can tell them how beautiful are the feet that bring good news—His name indeed brings good news, that we will see Him again One day in heaven. God is able to turn our Tests into Testimonies our Misery into His Message our Trials into Treasures.
Lesson #3- Be Thankful. Our son’s Life taught us to Be Thankful for what you have, it could always Be Worse. There is always something to Be thankful for no matter what your circumstances. Thankfulness helped us get through some very tough times—when we were grateful it turned what we had into enough and more than we ever needed. You never know when will be the last time to see a loved one or be here on this earth. Spending our time being grateful is time well spent.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Lesson #1-God Can Turn UnAnswered prayers Into Something Better. God doesn’t always answer our prayers the way we want them but answers them in a bigger way than we could ever imagine. We prayed for Bowen to be healed and for him to come home. When he died, at first I thought God didn’t answer our prayers, Why? But then I realized God did answer our prayers, just not in the way we wanted. He indeed heal Bowen and brought him home to heaven.
God is good all the time no matter what our circumstances or trials we go through. I hope and pray these lessons we’ve learned can be applies to our everyday lives and never forget why we are here–to love one another and allow our trials to grow us.
To celebrate and honor our son’s life for his 10 year anniversary, our goal is to have 10 kids through Compassion International be sponsored. So far 3 kids have been sponsored and need 7 more families to reach our goal! We have really enjoyed sponsoring Victor, who we started sponsoring after Bowen died. Would you consider sponsoring a child? To read our story visit instagram to read more.
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