Thursday, April 3, 2008

Thankful Thursday - Facing the Giants





Facing the Giants...

I chose to remember our local public school system on this Thankful Thursday. The East Webster Wolverines' support was AMAZING when we faced the biggest GIANT of our lives. (The possibility of losing Brent) The elementary students held a "Math-A-Thon" for St. Jude in memory of Brent. (I think I remember that some other local schools did too) There were so many sweet people getting involved in the fight and so much support, that it's just hard to remember everything. (Especially with all the mental burden we had on us at the time) Our community support was encouraging and humbling.

We remember hearing that EWHS prayed over the intercom each morning and always included prayer for Brent. (I could be wrong, I apologize if I'm misleading. We were in HEAVY treatment, literally battling for Brent's life when I heard this)

The football team dedicated their season to Brent... GOD blessed their hearts and gave them an AMAZING season. (I wish I could remember the wins)

One afternoon the football team made Brent feel VERY SPECIAL! They came over for a visit, hung out for a while, then surrounded him in prayer.











This pic was made inside the gym -





"FCA" (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) came to Memphis to visit us at St. Jude....




This is how they greeted Brent/us...




Giving him LOTS of goodies...





Brent with a few of his heroes...






After we recently watched the movie, "Facing the Giants" I remembered how selfish and prideful many young people can be. (I remember how it was when I was growing up)

Our young people were so selfless. They gave their time, energy, prayer, and support to a kid that didn't even go to their school. (Remember, Brent was homeschooled his entire life) I can't say enough about the blessings we received from them. They sure made Brent feel SPECIAL!

Those "big ole boys" honored us by being Brent's honorary Paul-Bearers at the funeral. They were with us from beginning to end and we love them for it.

Yes, today I'm incredibly THANKFUL for our community and the love and encouragement they extended to our family. We're SO BLESSED to be surrounded by so many WONDERFUL people.

I'd wanted to end by sharing a slide show FULL of pictures from "Brent Nason Day." Yes, that was declared a holiday here in the state of Mississippi. (September 30) Unfortunately, for some reason it WILL NOT load on here. If you'd like to see photos from this AMAZING day click HERE. There was also an article in a local newspaper. To read what they had to say about this special day click HERE. The captions on the pictures (slide show) were put there just days after they were taken. Madelyn Beamon (listed on slide as a survivor) is no longer with us. She too won her earthly battle and is now resting and worshiping at the feet of JESUS!



For more posts on this Thankful Thursday visit Iris at Sting My Heart.


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26 comments:

Denise said...

So awesomely beautiful sweetie.

Kelley at Aroma of Joy said...

Oh Tonya, this is such an incredible story! After seeing what is in the newspapers and all of the negative stuff in the media, this a great encouragement and reminder that there are some wonderful, caring people out there. I am so glad that you have been loved throughout this ordeal, feeling the love of Jesus through your community. That's what it's all about!

Love,
Kelley

Susan said...

Oh Tonya,

This was so special! I know these young men felt so honored to pray, play for as a team and get to know Brent.

I'm sure Brent taught them all more about staying in the game and being courageous, then anything they ever learned on the field or in practice.

I just read Iris's post, and was in tears. Gosh, Brent's life CONTINUES to make such an impact on so many lives.

God ONLY knows how many he touched, and you and your entire family as well.

I'm just so honored I got to met my hero and get to know him. He became such a close friend to Jordan, a friendship that will never end.

Blessings to you my friend on this Thankful Thursday!

Faith Hope Love Mama said...

What a wonderful post. Your son has made an important impact on so many. What a gift and a reason to smile everyday. Blessings special one.

eph2810 said...

Wow - that is so neat. Especially since you hear that prayers are no longer allowed in schools and people are getting angry when prayers are raised - that is so cool. Brent was blessed to have such a supportive community :) I am sure he gave it back hundred-fold with his witness of his love for our Lord.

Thank you so much for sharing about the wonderful Christian community you live in.

(((hugs)))love and blessings this Thursday and always...

Shari said...

You and your family are so blessed to have the support and prayers of your community. Those kids were just awesome. I love this generation of kids. They are so neat and caring. This brought tears of joy to my eyes.

Johnson Party of seven! said...

Tonya-
I remember when those sweet kids did that! Oh how special! I know Brent loved it. I miss him. Coop and I speak of Brent often. I still use Brent as a role model for Coop. He was such an awesome boy with the best manners! You are such a good mama! We are going to have to plan another trip to Mississippi as soon as Hutton gets out of the woods. Cooper is wanting to see Gabe and Zach and I missin' my Mississippi friend!
Love,
Jill

valerie said...

Tonya, that is just precious!
What a great group of kids.
Valerie

Melanie said...

Tonya, How very fortunate you are to live in a community that shows so much love and support. I remember reading on Brent's Caringbridge page when the football team spent time with Brent and "Brent Nason Day" (I may have mentioned it in a post before.. not sure, but I found Brent's website about a year or so before he passed on to heaven from another Caringbridge page. Oh, how blessed I was everytime I visited!). At the time (and still now) I was so impressed by the outpouring and love and support they showed to your family.... especially the school since Brent didn't attend that school. Oh, how God works in people's lives for such wonderful reasons and purposes!

May God bless you and your family in a special way today!

Amy S. said...

Happy Thursday to you! I enjoyed your Thankful Thursday post.

Have a great day and I will visit you tomorrow.

Love and Hugs.....

Kim said...

Tonya~
WOW...what an amazing example of GOD'S love!!!

I have Holy Ghost bumps!!!

Truly amazing my sweet friend.

Kim~

Jenileigh said...

Great story! Happy TT!

godisincontrol said...

What an incredible post! As always you are very inspiring! Thank you for being so transparent and letting God use your story!
Blessings

MrsJoeB said...

what a beautiful memory!! I was blessed reading your post today-again! Thank you!

In His Graces~Pamela

Peggie said...

I read your post and then read about Brent in the sidebar. WOW, God has allowed you to go through a lot.

You are a blessing to others as you tell HIS story in your life.

BP said...

It is so wonderful and uplifting to hear stories of support from the community. God bless your family.

Tracy Berta-daughter to the King, wife, mother, speaker, writer said...

Tonya, thanks for sharing the pictures and more of Brent's story. It is so neat to see how these young men/women became Jesus "with skin on" for your family.

....very encouraging and uplifting.

Blessings on this TT!
Love,
Tracy

beckyjomama said...

Oh my Heavens - the picture of those big tough boys praying over Brent - it did me in!!! I was on the edge before, but that put right over!
That is one of those "stay in my heart FOREVER" kinda pictures.

Thank you for sharing!
Becky jo

Stephanie said...

Wow, isn't it great that so many young people got together to encourage others. I love to hear instances of youth that ARE NOT a reflection of the Paris Hilton, Britney Spears example. That is a wonderful gift of love that the team showed your family.

Thanks for sharing such a sweet, uplifting story!

lori said...

WOW.....It gives me so much HOPE to see that...you hear so much about kids doing bad stuff...what GOOD stuff they did!! The best pic was the team PRAYING together...I wouldn't have held it together...

THAT was such a blessing to share....thank you for sharing it with us....

We gotta care...we just gotta!!

awesome...
I can't see the screen between the tears...that means its time to go...

:)

Cheryl said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful story with us. Sounds like you have a great community! Everyone coming together for Brent, and praying, and not being afraid or ashamed to do it in public! I love hearing this. Hope you have a great Thankful Thursday friend! Your writing is awesome!

Milk Mama said...

Wow! What an amazing group of young people! My heart soars when I see young men and women like that! God bless them all. :) You are so blessed to live in a community like yours! Wow! :D

Love, Sarah

Tiffany Stuart said...

Tears..

The pictures alone spoke words of life.

Wow!

Elisa said...

What a precious story about the unexpected side of community love. Thanks so much for sharing about how the school and boys blessed you and Brent in such a real way!

Faithful Froggers said...

Tonya,
We do face some big giants in this life, don't we? But what a blessing to face them with so much love and support! There is no picture more touching than the one of those football players praying over Brent. The thought of that brings tears to my eyes everytime - what a wonderful group of guys. Isn't it awesome how God continues to use Brent to touch lives? He surely touched mine.

Love & FROG . . .

Vicki said...

This post moved me to tears...thank you for sharing your life with us. I know you'll miss Brent. I'm overwhelmed by the love God showed him and your family through such a caring community. God is so good.

hugs,
Vicki