bonar crump

bonar crump
husband - father - reader - runner - picker - grinner - lover - sinner

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

About The Author

I really never had any idea who I was until after I left Lubbock, TX. I was working full-time for an exterminator in Frederick, OK, for three years when it dawned on me—”I can’t stay in a rural town of 4,000 working with poison for the rest of my life.” God’s voice spoke to my heart very clearly one day sitting on the swings at the park near my house. I became acutely aware of the fact that what I did from that point (20 years old) until I was 25 was going to shape the entire direction of the rest of my life. This is where the journey begins—on a swing.

I enrolled in Cameron University (Lawton, OK) the following week, transferred to Oklahoma Baptist University after finishing my freshman year, met my wife, graduated with a Bachelors in English in ’94, was married in ’95, moved to Dallas for five years, North to Tulsa in ’99 and we had our daughter in ’05.

The English/History degree was something I fell into based on interests more so than a drive toward a specific goal. I intended to go on to Law School at OU, but I never developed the interest for law that I knew would be important to my success. I still struggle with investing in things I’m not interested in or passionate about—I mean, come on, what’s the fun in that!

My wife, Margaret, is so much of a perfectionist and over-achiever that she mocks me for considering myself one. The metaphor I use often to describe our relationship is
 that she’s a race horse and I’m a plow horse. Yoke us together and we can either compromise to plow the field or just go in circles all day long. I want to methodically plow perfectly straight rows—she wants to plow as many rows as possible. It really is quite a ride!

Spiritually, I’ve learned a few things on this journey so far. A big one for me was understanding that the leading of the Holy Spirit is more akin to a rudder than anything else. That rudder can switch directions all it wants, but nothing significant happens unless you are moving forward. I spent too many years sitting on my hands waiting to hear from God—not moving forward because I hadn’t received my orders yet. I wish I could get back that wasted time!

I’m not as captivated by the destinations anymore—I’m all about the journey. I haven’t made it yet. I don’t understand how my relationship with God is supposed to work. I’m not the reflection of God I hope to be—I’m not the perfect husband, the perfect father, or the perfect friend. I’m just me—that’s all I advertise—the only promise I make is to be real and never to betray a trust. My goals in life are simple—to learn to love as Christ loved, to be the best husband imaginable, to be the best dad imaginable, and to learn to love the journey. I’m not defined by the job, by the money, or by the influence I wield—I’m just the guy who is learning that life is about the relationships, not the stuff.

I’ve got to love deeper, live fuller, serve more, respond more, encourage more, act more, and find a way to interject gentleness and humility into all of it. I like spice in my life—I abhor the bland, the boring, and the mundane. Pour kerosene on it, set it on fire, and let’s ride that sucker down the mountain! And yet, I’ve discovered that I’m never more alive than when I weep over the suffering of a friend or the sadness of my daughter when she gets those great big ole tears and says, “Daddy, can you fix this?” Sensitivity to others is more challenging and invigorating than any other experience. It proves to me that life isn’t all about what you do—it’s about who you are and who you are going to be able to love in a way that they know it’s God and not you—no agendas—no strings attached.

I don’t say any of this as a description of my heart as much as a means of pointing to that which God is in the process of doing with my heart.


Margaret and I had been married for 9 years before we decided to have kids. We were going to kick it off right with an impromptu trip to Vegas to commemorate this new journey we were embarking on. Well, what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. Praise God, my boys were Olympic swimmers! What a glorious time the pregnancy was—we were planning things, decorating, praying, shopping, exercising, and doing everything we could think of to make this the most perfect experience of all time.

Three weeks to the day before Sid was born, God put a prayer in my heart (I’d never had such an experience before and never since). I began to tell God every day that I understood Margaret wasn’t mine and Sidney wasn’t mine but that they were being placed in my care to look over and protect as best I could with all the strength in my soul. I also began to tell God that I understood this was all on loan from Him. I didn’t really understand the significance of that prayer until later…

Textbook pregnancy, induce labor at 40 weeks, healthy baby, joy and celebration…except for one thing—they can’t get Margaret to stop bleeding. I’m sitting in this delivery room holding my newborn and it’s obvious that we’ve got a problem—it looks like a MASH unit—that delivery bag is filling up with blood—like 3 liters worth of blood and her BP is 74 over 50 when I last looked. The OB asks me to leave and follow the baby to the nursery to be cleaned up, and I realize that these people need to do what they do without a husband in the room—so I leave. After kissing Margaret goodbye, I walk out the door with Sid in the bassinette and there are about 12 people and loads of equipment waiting in the hall—they all rush in as soon as I clear the doorway.

She died!

She saw the light.

She asked God if she could come back.

But she was dead!

Now I’ll spare you the gut-wrenching details of what that experience looked like from inside my heart, but it got pretty dark in there. Scenarios started to form and a darkness that went far beyond the color of black began to work its way in my direction.

I have a very close friend I went to school with who is a Pediatric Cardiologist here in Tulsa. I called his wife and told her I needed Matt right away. He left the clinic, came striding into the waiting room in his white coat and sat down next to me. I said two things to him, “What’s the worst case scenario and can you see me through this day if that scenario unfolds?” He assured me that we would ride it out together and he was pretty sure that God had a fix on the situation. That’s when the prayer came back to me—she wasn’t mine—I had to accept that she belonged to God and that if He took her I still had a little girl I needed to care for with all my heart and soul.

Two and a half hours of trusting God with every part of my being was the most intense crash course in humility, love, peace, wisdom, and discernment I think I could have endured. But He gave her back! He gave her back fully restored, no brain damage, no organ failure, nothing to show from the experience except that it took an emergency hysterectomy to stop the bleeding once they were able to bring her back and get her stabilized.

This is my success story and it didn’t have anything to do with my abilities, my efforts, my obedience, or my failures. It was God’s grace and abundance and an unmistakable reminder of His capacity to heal, redeem, and sanctify all that is given to Him.

I hope I learned my lesson because I don’t think I could take another one!


So far that swing in Frederick, OK, and that delivery room form the picture frame which holds my life. I’m pretty sure that there is more to come and I dig it! I dig the ups, downs, sideways. I dig the healthy relationships in my life as well as the funky ones. I even dig dealing with the things I still struggle with like pride and arrogance and anger and forgiveness. But I’m alive! I’m alive and living—Praise God! It would certainly be boring if all the ducks were in a row and stayed there.

One of my favorite lines from the Wizard of Oz happens when the man comes out from behind the curtain and is granting each their desire. When he presents the tin man with his heart necklace he says, “Remember that a man’s heart is not judged by how much he loves—but how much he is loved by others.” If that is true, then I am a very lucky man, indeed.

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