Hello Beloved Ones,
I’m honored that you stopped by! My prayer is that this ministry might be glorifying to the Father, that every aspect might be Holy Spirit filled, and that the name of Jesus would be proclaimed to the nations through the journey I have traveled.
Officially, I was born with the name Bethany, although as soon as I was out of utero the nickname “Bep” just seemed to stick…like super glue! It takes some getting used to if you don’t know me, but if all else fails, I’m a quick learner, and I’ll eventually catch on and answer to “Hey, you!” So…who am I? I was born in 1982 in a small Iowa town, but I believe I have been given a big life story to share! As the youngest of 5 children, my parents were incredible influences in my life. They love the Lord, and prayed that their children would grow to love Him too. I was a middle school English teacher for five years before leaving the teaching world to pursue a Master of Divinity degree from the Sioux Falls Seminary. I was ordained in the Reformed Church in America and currently serve as a full-time pastor at the Meredith Drive Reformed Church in the city of Des Moines, Iowa where my new husband, my two step-children, and I make our home.
A Glimpse of my testimony…
Just four days past my 23rd birthday I married my best friend, and at the age of 25 I was thrust into the world of widowhood when my late husband Justin – oh Lord, haste the day – met Jesus face to face. While all of these things give you a glimpse about who I am, the most important thing I can tell you is that I have been washed, for Jesus has sanctified me by his blood. I love you, Jesus, for you are the best thing about me…
(Above photo-Bep holding a picture of her late husband Justin Bousema. Photo credit to Aesthetic Essence Photog.)
Marrying my late husband Justin was without question one of the best decisions I have ever made. We stood at the altar, high school sweethearts, who grew into adulthood together, vowing our lives to one another, “to have and to hold in sickness and in health, until death do us part.” I could never have imagined that just 22 months later God would choose to put our vows to the test.
On April 27, 2007 Justin was diagnosed with a bone marrow failure called Aplastic Anemia. It’s rare…three in every one million people are diagnosed with it each year worldwide. I was in my first year of teaching, and Justin was in his first year of seminary. In the first five minutes after diagnosis Justin spoke the following words to me. “Baby, I don’t understand this. I don’t understand what God is doing here, but we need to remember that if one person is brought to the glory of God’s kingdom, if one person’s life is brought to the blood of Christ because of this…it will all be worth it.” I have tried to live out those words these past three years, albeit, I have failed many, many times.
During the 11 months in which Justin was sick he chose to continue ministering to God’s people, all the while enduring treatments, transfusions, side effects and a slew of other truly unspeakable and indescribable torments. The suffering cannot be described. Likewise, the way the Holy Spirit showed himself through my 25 year old husband’s unwavering faith is also hard to put into words. Justin was humble in nature, and he would never want me to put him on a pedestal, and so, glory be to God for the faith He allowed Justin to display. The months when Justin walked the valley of the shadow will forever be etched in who I have become. God allowed Justin’s faith to be made sight on April 3, 2008 after a grueling stem cell transplant. Justin once told me that if God called his name, he had no fear for he knew he would see the glories of Heaven. The words echo in my mind as I write, “…and when I get there, I know I am going to love it!” I praise God that Justin is indeed healed from his wounds by the blood of Christ, and that he indeed “loves it.”
(Above photo-Picture of Bep and her new husband Corbett as they married in 2014. Photo Credit to Aesthetic Essence.)
Now, six years after I submitted my earthly beloved, Justin, to the feet of my heavenly beloved, Jesus Christ, I have been called to deliver a message of beauty and hope in the midst of ash and mourning, not because I am so extravagant, but because the power of the Holy Spirit within me is. The past six years have been an utter display of God’s faithfulness in my life in the numerous ways he has given me beauty for my ashes.
My life story and testimony are still being written daily by the author of time. Literally, the ink of his holiness is still wet on this very page of my life! In January of 2014 I was blessed to be married and vow my life once again, in sickness and in health, till death do us part, to my new husband, Corbett Reeves. Corbett previously worked in full-time ministry for 17 years before we met. He now works in the insurance industry in Des Moines. We met leading worship together at a networking day for pastors in 2013, and I saw God continue to script my story with this man and his two children who have become a son and daughter of my heart! God is the author of my past, and who I once was. God is the author of my present, and who I am now. God is the author of my future, and who I have yet to become in his likeness. His redemption and restoration, beauty for ashes, continue to spill over into my life with such sweet HOPE! It is the hope that is synonymous with one name and one name only…JESUS CHRIST! I pray anyone who encounters me either in a personal or speaking/ministry related setting would know that same sweet name of hope through a glimpse of my life story as well as their own!
For a more detailed, day by day look of my past please visit my late husband Justin’s CaringBridge site.
Download: Bep’s Speaker Profile