It is hard to capture the affect someone can have on your life. Your encounters may have been brief, but the impact was lasting. I know someone like that. I was honored to know her.

I have had a few careers in my adult life. I work in data management now. Once upon a time I was an insurance adjuster and an office manager. Before that I slung pizza and sprayed yards. However, the job that started my career in the adult big leagues was as a music and youth pastor at a small church in Oklahoma City.

I was 20 years old when I took the job. I was two weeks from getting married to the love of my life and figured I needed to be gainfully employed if I was going to be successful as a husband. So, when the church offered me the position I was ready and eager.

Let’s be honest here, I had no idea what I was doing. It was all on the job training. I did not know that I was about to undergo one of the greatest learning curves of my life. I held on as tight as I could for a bumpy ride.

I wasn’t without help. Here enters one of the many wonderful people that helped me along my way, Bonnie – the most awesome church secretary.

It is always easier to do a job when you know you have people on your side. Every time I walked into the office Bonnie greeted me warmly. She showed care and concern. She helped show me the ropes. She made the atmosphere brighter because of who she was.

I could say many things about Bonnie. I admired her work at the church. She did what she did with excellence. She stood up for what she believed in. She made people feel welcome, including me. (She was also camp cook for both summers we took teenagers to camp! Good food!!)

She also gave me a great gift. I have had the honor for over 23 years of calling Bonnie’s son one of my best friends. We have been through a lot of life together and I am beyond grateful.

Bonnie passed away last Thursday. She had lived a long full life and was tired and ready to join her husband in Heaven. She is now free of pain and in a place that I look forward to one day being, with Jesus.

We will celebrate her tomorrow at her service. I am so thankful for her life and her impact on me. Her influence has been one of the factors that has helped me be who I am today. I am thankful for her and for the friendships/family I have because of her. She will be missed.

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