Thursday, October 11, 2012

Heartbroken

I've sat down so many times in the past few days to write this post, but have been at such a loss as to what to say. And honestly, I still am. 

Around 12:30 Sunday morning I received a phone call that no person ever wants to receive. On the other end of the phone was my best friend, Julee, informing me that her husband had been killed in a car accident earlier that evening.

As we both sat speechless on the phone, I began praying that the Lord would be Julee's strength in the days, weeks, and months to come. In the sleepless hours that followed, I prayed that the Lord would meet every need that she had during this time, whatever that looked like.

The Lord has been so gracious to answer that prayer already and met so many needs in ways we never imagined possible. The outpouring of love for the Bell and Turner families will literally leave you speechless.

As I spent time with Julee and her family this week, I couldn't help but be amazed at the way the Lord has used people to minister to and love on this family, as well as speak truth to their broken and grieving hearts.

The most amazing thing to me is that not only are these individuals friends and family of the Turners, but many of these people are individuals that have never met Matt or Julee, but have been impacted by their story.

Many of you are already aware of the ways you can help the Turner Family, but in case you are not, you can visit here for a list

This week has been full of heartbreaking and painful moments, as well as joyful and lighthearted moments as we remembered Matt and celebrated his life. 

I don't think anything can ever prepare you to walk alongside a friend in such a tragic and heartbreaking situation. I would do anything to take this pain from Julee. Thank you to those of you who have emailed, Facebook messaged, Tweeted, text messaged and called to say that you are praying not only for Julee, but for me. Those prayers are so appreciated. 

I have had SO many people asking how Julee is doing. She is doing as well as can be expected in a situation like this. She is heartbroken and devastated, but she has a strong faith that the Lord will see her through. I know the hardest days for her are still ahead, so please continue to pray for Julee and Preslee each time the Lord brings them to your mind. I have no doubt that the Lord will continue to be so faithful to them. 

Thank you again for all you have done to support this sweet, sweet family! Most of all, thank you for your prayers for them! 


61 comments:

The Taffs said...

I pray the Lord gives you strength to minister to her and wisdom to know what your friend needs! Praying for her and you!

Lauren said...

Gosh, she and Preslee have been on my mind so much the last few days. I found both of your blogs through Kelly's and love keeping up with your beautiful families. My heart has been so heavy for her and I have been praying so hard for them. It's just unfathomable and unfair for her and her precious daughter to go through this but I know that they have an amazing host of family and friends to get them through the next days, weeks, and months. I'm praying God gives Julee the strength she needs to carry on and that He gives you the guidance to be there for her the way she needs you to be. There's so much love, prayers, and support going out to you all.

Jennifer said...

I will add you to my prayer list. It must be so hard to see your best friend hurting and wishing you could take away that hurt.

Praying for you all-- Jennifer from Virginia

Ashley said...

I just can't even imagine what you just went through. I am so thankful you have been a best friend to her Jennifer & that you have kept our group of friends/blogger world in the loop of this tragedy. Our hearts are broken for Julee. I thank you for taking care of her & for being there for her, you are just so special. It was hard seeing her yesterday but my prayer is the same as yours, that God will show her through this and strengthen her. Im always here, will check in again tomorrow. Love you my sweet friend!

lsunursekim said...

Julee is SO blessed to have a friend like you. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you, and will continue to be with all of you in the hard days to come.

Charity said...

Jenn I've been praying for you and Jill during this time. I can't imgaine if something like this happened to my best friend.

I only know Julee through blog world, but I have been so devestated for her. Matt seemed like an amazing man, even more so after I watched his memorial service, after i bawled thru the first 20 mins. I was amazed at Julee's quiet strength during that service.

My prayers are with her during the days, weeks and months to come, and you and Jill as well as you walk this new path with your best friend.

Sara said...

Julee is lucky to have the support system she has right now. Praying that God is with you all so you all can be there for her.

Hugs and Prayers.

Kodi said...

I literally cannot stop thinking about Julee. I think this is good because I've just been in constant prayer for her and the whole family. You've been in many of those prayers too friend. Julee is so blessed to have a friend like you to walk her through this hard time. To be honest, I don't have that, so I know how blessed she is to have you. I will continue to pray for y'all.

Siân said...

I am still praying for Julee - especially in the weeks and months ahead. Also for you, that you would also know God's Peace as you are the hands and feet of Jesus to her and her family.

Lacy said...

I just can't image how Julee feels. You are such a wonderful friend and you both are so blessed to have each other. My heart hurts so much for Julee, Preslee, you and the family. I will continue to pray for y'all.

Meg said...

I have been in constant prayer for Julee! Often times even in the middle of the night. I awake and she is the first thing that comes to my mind. I have included you in so many of those prayers as well, knowing just how much this sweet family means to you. Words certainly fail me at a time such as this so I continuously pray that God blankets you all with a peace that surpasses all human understanding. That he warms you all with his presence. That he gives you tears when you need them and that he takes them when you don't. Much love to you all from my heart to yours!

McKeever Cobia said...

My little girl and I prayed for her and Preslee. My heart aches for them!!

Maryellen said...

Jennifer I can tell from your blog that you will comfort Julee well.
You area lovely Godly young woman.
She is blessed to have a best friend like you. God will give you what you need to minister.
As you are greiving as well.
I will add you to my prayers as I already am thinking of and praying for Julee and Preslee.

Crystal said...

Julee has been on my heart all week. I've been praying constantly for her and Preslee. The have been on my mind non stop. I hate this for her, but she is so lucky to have a best friend like you to help her get through it. You have been on my mind too and my prayers!

Brandi said...

Praying for Julee and Preslee. I can't get this situation off my mind. HORRIBLE tragedy!!!!!!

Jill said...

Even when I awaken in the night, I pray for your sweet Julee...she is on my heart and mind!

Amy said...

praying for you and for julee! praying that the Lord will guide you and help you to know how to minister to julee during this time. i know you are heartbroken and i can't imagine how hard it is hard to walk beside a friend going through a tragedy when you're feeling the pain, too. praying for your heart and your strength during this time! may the Glory of our God shine brighter than ever before. xoxo

Susy said...

Jennifer, this is such a perfect post. We've all said it several times- Julee is so lucky to have you. I will keep Julee and Preslee in my prayers, as well as those surrounding them right now. It will be a long road to a somewhat normal life for everyone, and I know our prayers will be coveted in the coming months just as they are now. I'm so glad that I can call you a friend as well! Take care and God bless!

Kelly said...

You may be younger than me - but I have always looked up to you and admired you as a person and as a mom and as a friend since I have known you. You are someone who just has a rock solid foundation and you are so wise beyond your years and so kind.
You are an amazing friend and I'm thankful God put you in Julee's life. You were exactly what she needed. I'm praying for you still as well as Julee.
Praying for the day that we get to see the sparkle in Julee's eyes again. I know it will come!

Shauna said...

What a sweet, precious friend you are! I have been praying for Julee and Preslee everyday. I started following yall's blogs a few years ago and I feel like I know all of you. Julee is blessed to have a friend like you. I will continue to pray for all of you.

Love & Prayers from Louisiana

Lois said...

May I view the memorial service now since I missed the live broadcast? Thank you!

Mandy Rose said...

Oh my goodness, I am just now seeing this. I feel so terrible. I will be praying for all of you and clicking over to see what I can do to help! HUGS!

Katie said...

Jennifer, you've been on my heart this week as well as you've been with Julee. I know you've been a healing presence to her!

I'm here if you ever need me.

Mallory said...

My heart hurts for Julee and Preslee along with the rest of their family. What a great friend you are. I've been in constant prayer for all y'all and will continue. May God bless you!!

Jennifer said...

I've never met Julee but I actually stumbled on her blog years ago and was drawn to her story because my husband and I also struggled with infertility. I bookmarked her blog and checked in from time to time over the last few years. I was sick to read about Matt's death.....I know all too well the sudden loss of a spouse. My husband died very unexpectedly and I can say that there is NOTHING that can ever prepare you for that. I will be honest and say that her worst days are still ahead. God gives us the gift of shock..allowing the body to be protected because we simply can't process it at that moment. I will pray for you as well because being on that side is brutal. I've watched my closest family and friends struggle with how to help me best. It's evident that Julee loves the Lord and her faith will be tested like never before. My motto this last year has been "choose joy..not matter what" and that has literally changed my life. I love seeing the love and support that she is getting.....it's so amazing to see even strangers come to help. I have been in awe at how strangers have supported and loved me through this time. They have truly been the face of Christ this last year. Sorry to ramble....I just wanted to reach out and say that I'm so so sad for Julee and Preslee. Prayers to you all!

www.mom2hudsonandcooper.blogspot.com

Mer said...

I will be praying for you Jennifer. I'm so so sorry. It is all too familiar...two years ago receiving the call that Faber's best friend had died leaving a wife and 2 babies. God has provided for his wife over and beyond what we could have ever imagined. We will never understand this side of Heaven why the Lord would take a daddy and husband home. I still ask God why. I do know after watching his family for 2 years, the Lord has met all their needs. I will pray for Julee to feel God's presence so strongly that she would know every day that God is going to provide. I'm so so sorry for your loss:(

Stephanie Houghton said...

Many thoughts & prayers go out to Julee, you & the families. I can't even imagine what she is going through. My heart just breaks. So glad that she has her faith & friends like you to hold her hand as she goes through this.

Alyssa said...

I just have to tell you what an amazing friend you are to Julee. I know that it must have been a great comfort to her to have you by her side. I've been praying for them so many times in the past few days, even waking during the night feeling the need to pray. I will keep you in my prayers as well to continue being strong for Julee.

Leslie Ball said...

Jennifer,

I have never "met" either one of you in person but feel like I know you both so well from reading your blogs. On Sunday, I thought about you as well and what a hard thing for any best friend to see their very own go through something so tragic. So in saying that, my prayers are with all of you girls who are there with Julee and who will continue to give her the strength and inspiration to move forward and heal. I know the road will be long and not be easy, but I just know God puts special people in our lives to help during these times. This is one of those times. For you. And I know from how Julee has spoke of you before on her blog, she knows you will give her the shoulder she needs and the ears to listen. May God continue to give you the strength to encourage her and just be the friend I feel you have always been to her. What a special bond between two people. And may God bless Julee, sweet Preslee, the family and all of those so close to dear Matt.

sarah @ life {sweet} life said...

I'm still at a loss for words over this. I am so thankful she has you to walk through this with. I have been praying constantly for both of you, as I literally think about this dozens of times a day. I know the Lord is using you to minister to not only Julee, but thousands of people seeing your witness for the Lord's faithfulness even in the darkest of hours. The Lord will bless you for being a blessing. xo

Keri said...

Jennifer,

I actually live across the street from you & know of your sister. I've been heartbroken since I heard this news & am praying for everyone!

Keri (keridlotz@hotmail.com)

Megan said...

I can only imagine how awful it was to receive that phone call from your best friend, and I am so thankful that she has someone like you to turn to. I would only hope that we would all have a strong, Godly sister in Christ who could help us through our hardest, most challenging, unfathomable moments. I am still praying for Julee all the time, hoping that she is still feeling the prayers. I know there are hard days ahead for her, but with her strong relationship with Christ, and God using other's in her life (like you) I know she will come out victorious. Thank you for being an example of what a Christ-centered relationship looks like.

Colleen said...

I know that Matt's passing has a ripple effect and that your family is hurting as hard as Julee's--that's true BFF love. As awful as the pain for everyone is, how wonderful that you are in Julee and Preslee's life to help her through it. My continued prayers to you all, including your Josh and sweet children, I know they must hurt to see you in such a sad place as well.

Melissa said...

I've thought about you often this week, knowing that you were such close friends with Julee and what this situation would mean to you as well. I pray that God will give you the strength and compassion to be exactly what she needs during this time. You are being a great friend!

Emily B said...

Both your post and Julee's have brought me to tears this week. I just can't imagine being in the position of losing the love of your life so young and in such an instant. I'm praying for all of y'all! You and Julee both have been great inspirations through this, I know I've been encouraged so much to hold fast in The Lord and direct my eyes towards him in every situation.

. said...

Again another poster that does not "know" either you or Julee, but please know my heart aches for all involved in the situation. May god hold you all. Prayers for all involved.

Rachel said...

As so many others have said, Julee is so lucky to have you by her side at this time. Jullee, her sweet baby girl, and you will all continue to be in my prayers.

Jenn Prather said...

Julee is so lucky to have friends that intercede for her when she needs it most. I have prayed for you since the second I saw you tweet that you were headed to be with her in Arkadelphia. Continuing to pray for all of you.

Kathryn said...

Julee, Preslee and all of Matt's family and friends have weighed heavy on my mind since I first read the news on Monday morning. They will all continue to be in my thoughts and prayers for many many days and weeks to come.

I was able to watch Matt's service online and am honored that Julee allowed it to be shared with us. While I don't know them personally I got a great sense of the amazing wonderful man that Matt was. What a great legacy he has left behind.

Jill said...

Julee, Preslee, their families, as well as you, have been in my prayers since we learned of Matt's passing. Continuing to pray for all of you. God Bless You!

Sarah said...

You were the second person I thought of after hearing the news. You are a wonderful friend!!

Lisa said...

You have been on my mind almost as much as The Bell and Turner families. I can only imagine how tough and heartbreaking this is for you as well; I know I would be devastated if this situation happened to my best friend. Please know that my family is praying for all of you. Keegan has been helping me at night and last night she said "and we pray for Preslee with two ee's!" So sweet to hear "babies" pray.(Her friend Presley is spelled differently) May the Lord be with all of you. Lots of HUGS!!!!!!

The Burgess Family said...

While I do not know you or Julee, I have been following both of your blogs for some time now. I have been praying for you both. I am so glad that you have been able to be with her. It is so special to have that close friend with you during the darkest of times. Praying for you all.

Lauren said...

Jennifer, I have no doubt in my mind that we'll all look back at this time and never be the same. Alot of us didn't know Matt personally, but his story, legacy and testimony of the kind of life he lived has impacted us and will stay with us forever. Continuing to pray for Julee, you and both families!! Xo.

Alisha said...

I have just been so sick and heartbroken over this. I've prayed for them consistently the past few days and you have certainly been on my mind too - maybe just as much! I know I can't even imagine how difficult this situation has been for all involved and closely affected. How blessed are you girls to have each other and I'm sure you being there has meant so much to Julee. Hang tight to each other and I pray the Lord guides each of you through this and wraps you all up in His arms!

Corinne said...

Hi Jennifer,

I read your blog, but I don't usually comment. As soon as I heard about Matt, I also began praying for your family. I know this week has undoubtedly been tough on you all as well.

I hope you are able to find peace, comfort, and strength in the coming weeks and months. I know Julee will need friends like you now more than ever.

Best wishes,
Corinne

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

They are all I have thought about all week.....Prayers and love to you too

Teresa

Jenna said...

We've been keeping all of you in our prayers. I'm so glad you were able to be there with her and minister to her during this awful time. Continuing to pray!

Christy said...

Jennifer, you have constantly been on my mind and in my prayers. Julee is truely blessed to have a best friend like you. We never think that our duties as a best friend means standing beside them during some of their darkest days. Praying for you and your family as well.

Janette Johanson said...

Aw, Jennifer, I am so glad you could be there for Julee. I have been a blog fan of yours, Julee's and so many of your Arkansas crew since the day I started blogging and while I don't know any of you, I was always so amazed and in love with the fact that you are all such good friends and support each other.. from friends who have lost children, to infertility to just celebrating each others milestones-- I am heartbroken for you all and have relief too that Julee is surrounded by amazing friends. I wrote a blog post to help spread the word as best I could and wish I could do more. I send prayers and strength to you as I know you need them too for support of your friend. xoxo.

Kelly said...

What an absolute blessing you have been to Julee~the true definition of friendship~being there through the good times and hard times also. I am praying for you and Julee and your families during the days ahead. Covering you all in prayer.
Kelly

Lynsey said...

I have been thinking about and praying for Julee, Preslee and you ever since I heard the news. Julee is lucky to have such a wonderful friend as you. I will continue to keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers.

Angie said...

I cannot imagine the feelings y'all are going through. It aches my heart and I have been fervently praying. I watched the funeral and just sobbed. Such a heartbreaking tragedy. Praying constantly for everyone, especially that sweet baby girl and Julee

Tamara said...

I have been following your blog along with Julee's and Kelly's for some time now. What a wonderful group of friends you all are to one another. I admire you so much, Jennifer and know you will be a huge blessing to Julee as she travels this hard road. I am heartbroken for Julee and Preslee but so thankful she is surrounded by such amazing women of God during this difficult time. Praying for you all.

Sara said...

Jennifer-

I will be keeping you and Julee in my prayers in the days, weeks, and months to come.

You have an amazing friendship that will provide her the comfort she needs.

Blessings!

Perfectly Imperfect said...

It absolutely breaks my heart that Julee and Preslee are going through this. I cannot even imagine.. They have been in my prayers constantly since I heard. And so have you. For your strength and your heart as you are there for your best friend in a time no one should go through. Julee is truly blessed to have a friend like you. Thinking of you all... and sending big hugs all the way from South Carolina

Kristen said...

Praying for you - and of course Julee's family as well!

Melissa said...

What a precious friend you are Jennifer. I am still stunned by Matt's accident and am praying. I am sure you are helping Julee's life in ways you cannot comprehend.

xoxo,
Melissa

Carmen Gathmann said...

Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers. Praying for strength and comfort for Julee and her family as they face the future, as well as for you and your family as you stand by their side. Sending love and {hugs} across the ocean xx

LME said...

Hi Jennifer, I have read yours and Julee's blogs for several years now and I am saddened for both of you. The one comforting thought I have about all of this is that you both know the Lord and the two of you have each other. I know you will be the best friend she can have in a time like this. Please keep us updated on how all of you are doing and we will be faithful to pray for you all!

Heather said...

Been wondering how you were doing...thinking about you and constantly have Julee in my thoughts/prayers!