A Prayer Legacy
by Joyce Poet
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The following link will cause the music to a special song to open for you, if you have the correct software, to listen to as background music as you read: ‘In My Life, Lord, Be Glorified’ Truly, The Lord is glorified in Barbara’s life.
Barbara Thompson-Young’s Profile at FaithWriters
Barbara and her firstborn grandchild, Nicole.
Thousands of years ago, even in the beginning, Elohim, The Beginning, The Creator of all things great and small envisioned an intricate tapestry in perfect detail. Upon studying His vision, He saw a very close resemblance of Himself. That vision was so beautiful and He fell in love with it so immediately that He wrote all about that tapestry in His Book of Life and chose the perfect date to begin turning that vision into tangible form.
On that predetermined date, (that of approximately May 24, 1945) The Creator set every other agenda aside to give His full and undivided attention to the joy of His heart. He picked up His perfect pattern and divinely chosen needles and He went about the loving process of bringing His vision into being. He bound the crimson borders of mercy to corners of royal purple, entwining threads of the most compassionate blue, joyful, bright orange, subtle, but sure, Life-giving green, and loving rose. He wove in golden and silvery twines of strength and light. He folded in the pure scent of snow white linen and the beauty of deep red rose petals. And then, He whispered, “Let there be,” and there was. And it was good in His sight.
Psalm 139:13-18 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.
Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
On February 28, 1946, in Ironton, Ohio, near the Ohio River, The Creator breathed the breath of Life into His work of art and thus, Barbara Anne Thompson took her first breath. Throughout the heavens, hosts of angels were heard rejoicing, “Hallelujah! Magnificent are You, oh God, and wonderful are the works of Your hands!” And Jehovah God danced the dance of perfect love and sang a song of peace over the apple of His eye.
God saw the totality of Barbara’s life long before He knit her together in her mother’s womb. He thought about her and everyone whose life she would ever touch in any way whatsoever, and even about the lives of those who would touch her. As He was thinking about the entirety of her life and those who would have a part in it, He envisioned an altogether different tapestry whom Barbara would one day come to know as Norman.
Of Norman, this is what she had to say: “You know how some kids bring home puppies? My brother brought home my future husband. He decided on someone else, first, but in the end, I got him!” And on this day, July 25, 1964, Norman and Barbara Thompson-Young became as one in the eyes of Almighty God.
It is a wonderful thing in this day and time to see people stay married as long as Norman and Barbara have. Barbara, also known as Mom, Mama, B-bop, Rhubarb, and Mary, but most commonly as Barb, (Although, were she to choose a nickname for herself, it would be “Stormie”) has a bit of wisdom for those who might wonder how the fabric of that marriage has remained intact. And it is so timely of our Lord to have helped me to put all of this together on her anniversary and for her earliest post at FaithWriters to have been ‘20/40’ -- a list of twenty things Barb surely knew well after forty years of marriage!
In getting to know Barbara on a deeper level through this interview, I have come to see her as the epitome of a woman who fits into the role our Heavenly Father requires of a woman-child as defined in Titus 2:3-5. We do tend to make a habit of admiring the best of ourselves and most easily judging the worst of ourselves when we see those attributes in others. So, I found Barb’s answer to the question “Who is your personal (not biblical) role model?” as no big surprise. Perhaps she simply needs to take a long look into a mirror and she will find that she, herself, has become, albeit through the tests and trials of this human life, a role model for multitudes.
“I can't say I have a personal role model. I have known a few women in my life, older than me whom I admired for their ‘above reproach’ character, and their godly wisdom. And I admire anyone who has principles and sticks to them.”
Titus 2:3-5 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
It’s true -- Barb’s Godly character does not cease to exist beyond her gift of creative writing. She is kind and giving and compassionate. She has taken all of the rocks that the world has ever thrown in her direction and placed them strategically at the foot of the cross. Now, after all these years, she has an altar on which she has lain herself. There, she picks up the things she has learned and gives them to whomever she finds in need, expecting nothing in return. You see, I never thought once about why I would write such a thing for Barbara except that I felt led of the Lord to do so. But the Lord is a Lord of sowing and reaping. And Barbara has sown much into me.
At one time, I read a simple, but oh, so very meaningful poem she wrote called ‘In-Between.’ I left a comment there for her about how I saw her poem displayed in my mind’s eye. Barb, out of the depths of her extraordinary heart, reached far out there and blessed me in a way I could never have expected. See, I went to the Post Office one day and picked up a rather large box. Inside of it was a platinum-colored, heavily matted, double-sided picture frame. I was in awe that anyone would send me something so beautiful and well thought out with a message of such encouragement to keep my eyes focused on the joy that is set before me. But that’s Barbara! That’s who she is -- an encourager, a light in the shadows, a prime example of Our Father’s Love.
That’s not the only way Barbara has blessed me. I own a book that she self published entitled ‘A Light Shines Through.’ That book is filled from to cover to cover with comfort and encouragement. Upon reading her book, I was inspired to write ‘Dancing in Fields of Daisies.’ I don’t believe that God allows Barb to truly understand just how much that Light really does “shine through.” It shines through from a willing vessel whose carefully mended seams allow much, much Light to radiate from within. However, someday ... some glorious day, the Lord will show her the effect of her life on others and the two of them, Jesus and Barbara, will rejoice together for eternity.
After reading all of her work, the answers she gave to a multitude of questions, and the testimonies that she so generously shared with me, I found that the best way to really see a person is through the eyes of someone who knows them personally. If I already believed Barb to be strong in her faith, determined to follow Christ without waver, and a true “Proverbs 31 woman,” then my opinions were confirmed by her daughter, Amy’s description of what it was like to grow up with her as “Mom.” An example for younger women to live by? I tell you, I fell to my knees in tears of repentance after reading Amy’s letter and cried out to the Lord. I prayed that the Lord would be quick to fill in the voids I was responsible for filling when I was raising my own small children, that I would be a better example for my grandchildren, and that He would help me to become the more consistent prayer warrior, even today, that I know full well I was called to be.
Edited bits and pieces from a letter written by Amy:
“If something was going on at church, we were there. [We were there for] Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night services. And, if there was a revival going on, we were there every night of the week for that! When I was around the age of eight to twelve, I started to not want to go to church. She made me go! For that I am thankful. She made sure the Word of God was our foundation, that we heard it and we saw her live it.
My mother prayed all the time. We would go to a friend’s house out in the country. This friend had, I think at that time, about eight kids. We would all go outside and play while they would be in the house praying ... for hours! Praying and praising God! Us kids thought they were lunatics!
There were prayer meetings at our house. Other women brought their children and we would [all] go into a bedroom or the backyard to play, while mom and the others would be in the living room holding a prayer meeting. They prayed for hours too. We thought they were lunatics as well.
However, what that did, without us kids realizing it, was showed us the importance of prayer, not to be ashamed of it, that it was very serious business and it set an example.
When I was about four years old, I remember my mom would go to her bedroom, get on her knees at the foot of the bed and pray. I wanted her attention so I would wrap my arms around her neck and practically swing on her, chattering, wanting her attention. I didn't understand at that time the importance of what she was doing. I believe, for the most part, she ignored me while she kept talking to God. I am so thankful that my mom didn't stop praying because of me. I bet those were prayers that got her through each day. Had she of stopped for me, she may not be the woman of faith that she is today.
She pressed on and [as a result] showed me that, no matter what I did, I was not drawing her away from her time with Jesus. It was her time with Him and I would have to wait. She wasn't mean and didn't yell at me and her ignoring me wasn't rude of her. She was showing me, really, that no matter what goes on around you, you have to make time for talking with the Lord. Everything else can wait. Obviously I could... I was just being a kid wanting her to pay attention to me and not her bedspread! I am so thankful she didn't stop for me. I'm thankful that she pressed on and showed me that prayer was an important part of her day, her life. She loves to pray!
I'm thankful that my mother knew truth and made sure we went to church where the Full Gospel was preached, where they believed in healing. I am thankful that she is the woman of faith that she is. I'm thankful that she sought Truth, found Truth, and taught it to us.
I'm so thankful that she taught us about Jesus and took us to church to be taught. I'm so thankful that she taught us to realize that Jesus comes first and that her time with Him was precious. I'm thankful she shared Him with us. What if she wouldn't have? Where would I be?”
Upon sharing ‘My Prayer Journey’ with me, (an account of her prayer life through time that I hope to see posted at FaithWriters soon) Barb, herself, drives home the importance of prayer. But she doesn’t leave out the fact that we should pray with childlike faith, no matter our age:
“My heart aches, at times, for the children of this generation. I wonder, are they hearing prayers prayed? Are they seeing the results? Do they know God as a miracle-working God? We can lavish every conceivable toy and luxury on them, but are we teaching them how to pray? A prayer legacy will effect generations, for eternity!
Many years have come and gone since my prayer journey first began. Still, I feel I’ve only “scratched the surface” concerning prayer. At times, I find it necessary to take my eyes off my own inadequacies, and do what God has told all Christians to do....”PRAY”. I love to read books on prayer; especially the greatest book of all, “The Bible”. Within it’s pages, I see how great men of God prayed, and I see their humanity. I see how they needed to know Him more than they needed to know how to pray.”
Truly, no matter how great the man, the only way to truly know the heart of God is through the reading of His Word and time spent in fellowship with Him -- prayer. What is fellowship, however, but a communion between more than one party. It is important that we know that praying involves listening as much as speaking. But we know that personal relationship, growth, and our own needs and agendas are not the only reasons that it is so important to live a life of prayer. We have a responsibility to pray for others. In fact, I wonder what would happen if every child of God really considered that much of the world’s very existence hangs on the balance of the prayers of the saints.
Asked about her views on Israel, Barb replied: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. I believe the Bible says, "Woe to the nation that forgets Israel." Good or bad, they are still God's chosen ones. So am I!
Barbara isn’t just a prayer warrior and one of strong faith, however. And she isn’t just a wonderful encourager and generous giver. She knows the meaning of humility and expresses it openly. Her life has had its ups and downs, its good times and bad, its tears of both deep sorrow and abundant joy, its horrible tragedies and abundant blessings. Barbara is more than a conqueror. She overcomes by the words of her testimony and the blood of the Lamb.
As I read of the more traumatic events in Barbara’s life, both those she has shared in articles and those that were “for my eyes only,” it became very clear to me that I am not alone. I am not the only one who truly knows where the source of my strength comes from. I am not the only one who truly knows that there is no weapon, no matter how traumatic the results may have appeared to be, how they were seemingly prosperous against me, that Almighty God cannot use together for my good. Just as He works all things together for the good of those of us who love Him, He saw them before they came to pass and He formed her in her mother’s womb with all that she needed to withstand them. What a generous, most thoughtful Father we have in God! And what a beautiful work of art He envisioned and brought forth.
Barbara is in the early stages of writing her next book, ‘If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again.’ If you would like to inquire of that book, her published book, ‘A Light Shines Through,’ or about her artwork -- that of placing her wonderful poetry along with appropriate prints into double-sided frames, she may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Having been hard at work on this interview lately, I haven’t had time to do anything but a quick once-over at Barb’s blogspot. But from what I could see, there are numerous things there that she has not posted at FaithWriters. I am very anxious to spend time mulling those things over. I know that I’ll come away blessed. Go visit her blogspot and come away blessed too! Desperate for Jesus!
Links to some of Barbara’s articles that blessed me immensely: Love Covers, May Apples and Banana Flips, Woman in the Mirror, The Dance, The Fragrance of Friendship
Following is a link to one of my personal favorites. Were Barbara to take a look at herself through another’s eyes, she would find that she really is, in so many ways, a “Dooley” to others. And she encourages all of us to be a “Dooley” for one another. A Woman Called Dooley
I am very fortunate to call Barbara my friend. Whether she realizes it or not, her own legacy has left its tender fingerprints on my heart and, I pray, that it will result in my own loved ones being effected positively (through my own prayer legacy) to generations, for eternity.
Well, it’s not exactly an infamous painting. And I don’t think I could ever write well enough to honor you as you so deserve. But I pray that my little portrait has blessed you. Perhaps I will learn WITH you, someday, to properly load film into a camera ... :::wink::: ... and then, we won’t have to worry about whether our brushstrokes are sufficient.
I love you!
copyright © July 25, 2006 by Joyce Pool
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What a beautiful tribute to Barbara Thompson-Young. It is truly an honor and a goal as a parent to inspire our children and guide them in service to the Lord. Congratulations to Barbara for doing just that! Best wishes in all your writing. Kindest regards. Matt5verse6.blogspot.com
Wow!!! Treava what a great article and what a great subject you have chosen to start this project. Barbara has blessed me in the past, but I could never paint the picture you have done here. I can see God in this project and in each of your lives. Happy Anniversary to Barbara and Norman. I pray that this (and you) continues to bless on until Our Lord's return. Keep serving. In Christ, Christian
Barb is truly a light that shines in the world. Treava, you have painted a glimpse of her so beautifully. I am so blessed to know the two of you. You both have poured into my life more than you ever realize. Love you lots, ladies. Blessings.
Oh Treava, How beautiful you speak of our Barb. The Bibles tells us the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and he delights in their way. That be our barb. From what I know of barb, I have also, been blessed by her. You did a wonderful job of letting us all know more of someone we all admire. Great job with the html! Much love from Trish and I.
Treava, your gift of expression amazes me. I only pray I am half the person you have painted me to be! Love, Barbara Thompson-Young
OH,TREAVA!!!!!! You have, indeed, painted a WONDERFUL 'painting' of this lovely lady! You make us want to get to know her even better - she is so very special and you have captured her with your 'brushstrokes' that you so lovingly put to your canvas of words! "Happy Anniversary, Barb and Norman!" What a wonderful couple, and what a JOY to read about Barb's life! May God bless you, Treava, for this incredibly special gift to your dear friend. You are a blessing to so many of us! Love, Peggy
Congratulations, Treava! This is a splendid interview. We look forward to seeing more of your work. Thank you for painting such a lovely picture of Barbara's life.God bless,Miriam.