Bethany Hunter Hardman

bethany2On May 9th, Bethany Hunter Hardman was killed in a tragic car accident. She was 29, a loving wife to Randy, a great mother to Noah (3) and Lilly (6 mo), my sister and brother-in-law’s only daughter and sister to four brothers.

She loved Jesus, cared deeply for troubled women and the life of children in the womb. Our family can’t express the degree of pain we feel.

I keep focusing on two things: mystery and miracle. There is no side-stepping mystery in our faith. I can’t imagine why this happened. There is no way to make any sense of it.

I’ve been thinking about the scene in the book of Acts where Peter is miraculously released from prison. God opens doors and chains just fall off Peter. It is an amazing display of God’s power. When he arrives at the house where the believers are praying, I can’t help but think of John. What must it have felt like for John to hear about Peter’s miracle from God?

Earlier in the same chapter, James, John’s brother, has been beheaded for his faith in Christ. What a loss for John.
John must have embraced the mystery. It didn’t cause him to falter. He wasn’t emotionally paralyzed or made numb. He weathered the confusion and came through it tender for Jesus.

We can move through this mysterious loss and stay tender toward Jesus too.

I’m also focusing on miracle. The power of God is being displayed on several levels. First, Jesus is the firstborn from the dead! Just the first…there are more to follow. And Bethany will live again in a glorified, eternal body just like Jesus displayed after the resurrection.

Miracles are all around us as the Body of Christ shares the love of Jesus. We are seeing miracles of love and generosity. The presence of Jesus is tangible through the love of family and friends.

Maybe the most important miracle is the felt presence of Jesus in each of our hearts. He really is a peace that passes all understanding. He is a strong tower. He is an ever present help in our time of need. I am amazed as I watch my sister walk through this loss of her daughter. What we say we believe about Christ is proving to be true in the midst of the fire.

Jesus is real. There is both mystery and miracle in following Him.

Sent from my iPhone

 

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About Rich Stevenson

Rich is the Executive Director of The Malachi Network (www.malachinetwork.org), a ministry focused on making the name of the LORD great among the nations. This network serves young leaders in missions and church planting. Prior to his present ministry, Rich pastored in Southern New Jersey, planted a church in Wilmore, KY, established a network of churches, served as an adjunct professor at Asbury College and was a senior leader at The International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO as well as The International House of Prayer in Atlanta, GA. Rich is the author of two books: Secrets of the Spiritual Life—10 Lessons from the One Thing Passages (Baker Books, 2003) A Voice from Home—The Words You Long to Hear from Your Father (WaterBrook Press, 2005) He graduated from Asbury College in 1984 with a BA degree in Philosophy of Religion and Asbury Theological Seminary in 1987 with a Master of Divinity degree. In 2010, Rich received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Union Biblical Seminary in Yangon, Myanmar. Rich has been married to Tania since 1982 and they have been blessed by amazing children: Zachary and his wife Meghan, Jacob and his wife Lena, Jessica and Corrie Emma.
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23 Responses to Bethany Hunter Hardman

  1. Lori Buckner says:

    So beautiful…He will carry you through. Love you all and praying.

  2. Dave Horsman says:

    Praying for peace for you and your family today, Rich.

  3. Nancy Hoffman says:

    Oh Rich, I am so sorry for your family’s loss. May God comfort your family in this time. I will pray especially for Randy as he is left alone with 2 small children. God Bless You All!

  4. tara says:

    Rich….
    I’m not sure if you’ll remember us or not, but my husband, Andy, and I attended GCF when we were students at Asbury from ’97-2000.

    Bethany was in a small group of girls that I loved dearly for the 3 1/2 years we lived there. I’m praying for all of you as you grieve the loss of her precious life.

  5. tangerina00 says:

    Great things to focus on. She is beautiful Rich. So sorry for your loss. We are praying for all of you. Grace, peace and mercy over you and your family during this time. Love you guys.

  6. tangerina00 says:

    Great things to focus on. She is beautiful Rich. You and your family are in our prayers. Grace, peace and love over you and your family during this time. Love you guys.

    The Fecis

  7. jessica honsalek says:

    Beautifully written. We are praying for your family. Please let us know how we can help you and tania or the rest of her family.

  8. Ike and Sharon Adams says:

    Rich – Thank you for sharing this with the public. It is so comforting that we have HOPE especially in this situation. Goodness and mercy truly do follow us every day. Be assured that we standing in the gap for “the tribe”. “Blessed are they that mourn, for they will be comforted.” HE PROMISES. Ike and I have wanted to visit and hug and cry with each of you. It seems as though the many layers of friends that you have are the ones to minister right now. We will not forget though and will be the quiet support later on. We truly love each of you.
    Sharon and Ike Adams

  9. Sarah Rapach says:

    This is such a beautiful tribute to a beautiful girl, her amazing family, and our loving Jesus. You are all in our prayers. We love you.

    The Rapaches

  10. all4gals says:

    Rich, Joe and I are praying for all if you. We are so saddened by this huge loss.

  11. Collins and Bonnie patrick says:

    Richie. Thank you for sharing your heart. Ours are breaking for you and your family. We love your family and are praying at every thought of them and the pain they are bearing in their loss of Bethany. In His Love, Bonnie and Collins

  12. Richee says:

    Praying for you all Rich. I just saw this and was struck to the core. May his grace and peace be with you all as you weather the storm of this loss. Love you brother and was so blessed to see you in MN.

  13. Renee Loux says:

    Rich,
    I am so very sorry for your family’s priceless loss. We will be praying for you and trusting Jesus to wrap you in a blanket of his most precious love. Hugs, love and grace to you all as you walk through the valley of the shadow……
    Renee’ Loux and tribe

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