Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Jennifer...A Life That Gave Eternity a Reality

In 1989 I was 9 months pregnant with my firstborn, Alyssa. On December 17th I was sitting in the back of the Sunday school class when a young lady stood up in front of everyone crying. She told of a young couple who had been in a car crash Saturday night. The girl asked us to pray for the families of the victims. The young woman had been killed and her boyfriend was in a coma.

So, collectively as a class we prayed for the teenagers and their families. After class, my friend Beth came and hugged me and with tears in her eyes asked me, "You were close friends with Jennifer weren't you?"
"Jennifer who?" I asked her.
"Workman. She was the girl we just prayed for that was killed last night".

I had missed hearing the name of the couple we had prayed for and so I had no idea I was praying for my BFF from junior high and her parents, Bob and Carol.
I remember feeling instantly sick and breaking out in tears as Beth held me.
At that time cell phones were scarce, so I found a land line and called home.
I could barely tell my Mom, but when I finally could, she cried along with me.

On the morning of Saturday, December 16th Jennifer had driven to her childhood home. Her parents have the neatest house and I have many memories stored in my heart from spending nights with Jen.

It was her Mom's 40th birthday that day and Jennifer went to her parents' home. She had told her Mom that she needed to bake goodies for her boyfriend Dana's office Christmas party. Little did Carol know the treats they would make together were actually for her own birthday party. Jennifer had organized a surprise party to take place that evening.

As planned, her Dad took her Mom out for dinner while their house filled up with people Jen knew loved her Mom. A night of laughter, food and great fellowship surrounded the Workman family as they celebrated.

Around 9:45 Jennifer and her boyfriend Dana decided it was time to head back to town to study for the finals they would be taking in college the following week. Jen said her goodbyes to her family and the friends still there and she walked out of her home for what would be the last time.

Less than 2 miles from where Jennifer grew up she would die when her car was hit by a drunk driver.
Instantly Jennifer's life on earth would end.
At just 18 years old.
A week before Christmas.
On her Mom's birthday.
So young.
So beautiful.
So gone.
Such a senseless death caused by a man thinking he needed a few more drinks. When the bartender wouldn't serve him because he had left his license at home, he left his friends at the bar to drive home and get it. Already drunk and behind the wheel of a truck. Mark as we would learn is his name, never made it back to the bar and Jennifer didn't make it home to study with Dana. With just a scratch on his head, he eventually went to trial and served less than a year for ending my friends' precious life. A life worth so much that no amount of time behind bars could equal her value. After 2 weeks in a coma, her boyfriend Dana eventually recovered.

This past December marked 20 years since Jennifer's life ended and April 6th she would have turned 39.
Over the last twenty years I have kept in contact with her parents, wanting them to know I think of her often and will never forget her. She was not only beautiful, but she was funny, caring and so loving. And she loves Jesus.

I have sat many times across a table from Carol while we shared stories, tears and memories of her girl. We have wondered out loud what Jennifer would've been when she grew up, how many grandchildren she would have given them and who she would have married. And we have talked about how Carol has coped through the years of missing her daughter and the only way she has been able to survive this all is because of...


Bob and Carol never took their eyes off of Jesus.
When they had to pick out a coffin for her...Jesus.
The first time they stared down at her lifeless body...Jesus.
When they opened the Christmas presents from her a week later...Jesus.
When they picked out her headstone...Jesus.
When they realized it's been 20 years without hearing her laugh...


Although their faith was shaken to the core, it never wavered.
They know the Way, the Truth and Who is the Life and they know Jennifer is with Jesus today.

Jennifer is a loss that cut into the hearts of many, but knowing she is with our Savior is what gave us hope. Hope to see her again. Hope on those days Carol's reality was so dark.
He is the One she called out to, cried to and clung to.
God is who her Dad Bob called upon in the middle of the night, father to Father.
He is Who saw and sees them through their days.

That cold December night the driver of the truck caused a crash that took the life of a young lady who had much promise, but his selfish choice didn't take the Promise out of the girl.
When Jesus tells us that He will never leave us, He meant it.
Jennifer died having accepted Jesus in her life as a young girl and because of that choice, she slipped right into the arms of her awaiting Savior.

I have no idea where you are with Jesus Christ.
Perhaps you've had Him in your life since you were a young girl, but you feel distant from Him or maybe you don't know a thing about Him.
If you fit into one of those categories, then read on.

I believe if I could have Jennifer be a guest blogger that this is what she would say:

Jesus Christ is the best choice I ever made.
There is nobody like Him.
There is nothing on earth that could give you the satisfaction that only He can.
The thing with Jesus is that He really loves me and you.
Just look at the way He died.
The cross is so much more than a pendant hanging on a chain around your neck; it's His gift to us.
He gave His life so that we could live.
My life on earth was great, but it does not compare with eternal life with my King.
I love praising Him. I wish you could see His reaction when you pray and when you take the time to praise Him. It's so amazing.
The days you think you are worthless, you should open your Bible to Psalm 45:11...the king is enthralled by your beauty...He adores you enough to have endured the cross.
For 20 years I've had access to being able to fall at His feet.
You have the same access. Fall before Him and just worship Him.
Surrender your life to Him because believe me you do not go unnoticed by Him.
In Jeremiah 29 verse 13 He tells us that you will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart and in verse 14 He starts the verse with I will be found by you.
Find Him my friend, for He is the only thing worth seeking.
Trust me in this, I know.
I love what was written in the 84th psalm...
Better is one day in your courts then a thousand elsewhere.

Twenty years ago when I left my parents home, I had no idea I'd meet my Savior just 2 miles down a gravel road.
I hope if your life ends today you have chosen Jesus.
Bottom line is that you will spend your eternity somewhere.
And I can testify that one day with my Savior is better than a thousand somewhere else...even earth.

I am with Jesus...are you?


I'm glad Jen knows Jesus.
I'm glad Bob and Carol know Jesus.
Twenty years ago they were put on a path of the unknown.
Every parents' worst nightmare came true for them.
And I must say having watched them walk this path for the last 20 years I have seen much leaning on Jesus.
Their marriage stayed in tact while statistics show when faced with the death of a child, most marriages crumble.
Their love for Jesus grew while some turn their backs on Him out of anger.
During the hardest time of their lives they kept their eyes on Jesus.
And this childhood friend of their daughter noticed every time He was chosen by them.

Missing Jennifer Lee Workman is an understatement, but the knowledge that she chose Jesus while alive on earth makes her death different.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

More Surgery

This morning I bent down to pick up this piece of paper lying on the floor in front of the refrigerator. I wondered how it ended up there as it used to be attached to a paper Gene received from his surgeon's office back in October.

This is what it reads:

Please find enclosed a disclosure letter regarding the instrumentation your surgeon may select to use in your back. Please sign the letter and return it in the enclosed envelope. If you have any questions regarding the letter, you may present these to your surgeon at the time of your pre-surgical conference or call the office and request to speak with your surgeon.

So as I was getting ready to have some eggs and bacon, my mind started thinking about this little piece of paper I was about to throw in the garbage and so I re-read it instead of tossing it.

When God makes changes with us in our lives sometimes we don't like the way He goes about doing it. Who He uses or what He uses may not be the way WE would have done things.
But with God, He doesn't do things the way the Nebraska Spine surgeons do.
He doesn't ask our permission to do what He thinks is best in our lives.
He already knows what He wants to do with us and who or what He wants to use to get our attention.

Our pre-conferences with Him is when we choose to kneel down before Him and pray. A time of reaching out in confidence to Him. A time of talking, being quiet and shutting our mouths so we can hear Him.
But if we received a letter from the Almighty One I wonder if it would say something like this....

Please find enclosed a letter, or better known as the Bible, regarding the instrumentation that I, your Surgeon may select to use in your life.
If you have any questions regarding My letter, you may present these to Me at the time of your pre-surgical conference when you humble yourself and call upon My Name.
Request to speak to your Surgeon, child.

We need to trust God and what He wants to do in our lives. He knows us better than anyone on this earth will ever be able to and He knows the perfect instruments He needs to use in order for us to experience some real change. Let's believe in Him and allow our Holy Surgeon to open us up and perform some heart surgery on us, shall we? I bet the recovery room post op will be an amazing time of praise and worship!

Have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Whole new level of Bed Hog

I took this last night when I checked on the girls.
I have no other words except to nominate Alivia for "The Best Aunt Ever" award.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Let's Encourage One Another, Shall We?

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up,
just as in fact you are doing.

Last week I was in the kitchen cooking with Alivia,
my used-to-be-favorite-8-year-old-in the world.
The TV in the living room was on and there was a commercial from some weight loss place with a woman giving her testimony of how she has changed her life. With much enthusiasm as she dropped her big pants she used to wear to reveal her new small body she said, "I lost a hundred pounds!".
With those dark beautiful eyes in her head, Alivia looked at me and said,
"Mom, you can do that too."

Yes, your Momma needs to lose weight, but not 100 pounds!!!
Ewww, if I dropped a hundred Gene would be married to the Lea Jane...the girl I was in high school.
And people would think I was his daughter because I'd buy all my clothes from the junior section.
And then I would be judged for trying to be a teenager by all the grown up acting Mom's at Alivia's school.
To save myself from any ribs showing and causing other Mom's to stumble from being jealous, I refuse to drop 3 digits.
Double digits, definitely, but trying to fit into my acid washed jeans from '88...neva.

Bless her confused little heart. Took me back to when I read her journal entry titled "My Mom" where she so lovingly described me in two words: white and thick.
Oh my.
Anyway, if she hadn't been so sweet and sincere, I would've crossed her name off all my gift lists for 2010 because of her twisted encouragement. Instead, I'm going to be more holy and mature than that and she is not coming out of her room until she has the verse above out of Thessalonians memorized.

Okay...I need your help, but only if God prompts you to do so.
Awhile back, I received this email:

Hello, My name is Nancy. I live in NC and just recently retired at the age of 62. I have arthritis in my hands and had to retire early. I have been peeking at your blog for some time now and you really inspire me. I was wondering if you had any Bible studies or books you would like to get rid of. I am starting a "closer walk with Thee" and I need all the help I can get. Please let me hear from you.
Nancy in NC

I have been in contact with Nancy and I have some books set aside to send her, but I wanted to include you in on this. If you feel led to send Nancy some books, a book, a devotional, whatever God puts on your heart if anything, can you please email me at
I know how it is to want more of God, but unsure of what to read or do. So, I want to help this Sister of Christ of ours out. If you are unable to send anything, please keep Nancy in North Carolina in your prayers OR leave her a word of encouragement in the comments below and I'll forward them to her.

You all are such wonderful women of the Lord and I thank God we have crossed paths in such an usual way, via blogging.
Have a blessed Monday!