A New Beginning The Bontragers

A New Beginning

By Lori

August 29, 2012

In thinking of what we could write in our blog, we felt it was important to share our story about why we chose the name " A New
Beginning".   Its a journey marked with joy, love, pain, suffering and sometimes many tears, a journey where we have all had to learn to trust in the only one who was able to see us through, Jesus.  Our desire is to serve God with all we have , to be a help and an encouragement to others and to always give God the glory for what He has done for us.  

 In October 2011,   I had a dream where I was surrounded by 9 young pregnant girls  and that was it.  I really had no idea what it meant.
  I guess I thought maybe it meant that God was sending a young pregnant girl my way.  Since we've been married, we've had quite a few
young girls come live with us.  Some needed love and some came to take care of my family during the times when I was too sick and weak during my battle with Lyme disease.

I shared the dream with a good friend of mine.  She later sent me an email  and told me what she felt the dream meant,   I sensed
immediately that God had helped her with it.  I didn't see how she could come up with all that on her own .  Now don't get me wrong, shes
an amazing woman, but I could see the hand of God in it.  Here is the email...

    Forgive me for pursuing your dream but I know that you are spiritually in tune and this was not just any dream.
I believe this was a prophetic dream.  They are usually short.  I don't remember if you said how you were feeling during the dream.  I'm
thinking the 9 represents your family (You, Sean and the children). And that you are all expectant of a new beginning.  Only you can know
what God is telling you through the dream.

Some research:
Pregnancy - a.) New beginning, b.) confident

The number nine:
The number nine has always been associated with the terms longevity. 
 It is considered to be a very positive and favorable number.   Appearing in your dream, the number nine can represent long lasting friendships and relationships. It can also indicate you are at a prolific stage in your life. With a fecund imagination and inspiration, you hope to ameliorate yourself and others around you.

fe·cund/'fek?nd/   Adjective:
Producing or capable of producing an abundance of offspring or new growth; fertile.

a·me·lio·rate/?'mely??rat/     Verb:
Make (something bad or unsatisfactory) better.

    Leading up to the dream,   I had spent most of the summer and fall season in bed, too weak to be up. The lyme disease had affected my
heart and other organs. My hands and feet would often be a purple blue color, I was wearing sweat pants in the middle of summer in FL !  I had trouble breathing, my arms and legs were numb and tingly, and I was dizzy from lack of oxygen.  If I managed to make it down the stairs, I often didn't have the strength to get back up.  My husband had to carry me up the stairs and put me back in my bed  many times.  

 It had also caused  some brain , nerve and neurological damage, and because of that  I couldn't tolerate loud noises. For at least 2 1/2 mos. or more, it was very hard for me to be in the same room as our 7 children. I loved the children so much but the pain in my head and the weakness was to much.

I battled severe depression for months at a time.  During those times of extreme weakness and pain,  I often felt very much alone.
The hopelessness of my battle with lyme was at times to much to bear. My marriage seemed to be falling apart, something was terribly  wrong, but I couldn't figure out what.

     I began to blame myself.   I became angry because God had answered so many of my prayers and given me much more than I had ever
dreamed or asked  for. I began to question God.... Why did He give us a raw milk dairy business ?

  Four years earlier I had prayed for something that our family could do together so that  my husband could stay home and spend
more time with the children and I, but why did God give us cows, when my husband thought they were the dumbest creatures on earth ? ( not that I blamed him, I sometimes felt the same way :)      And why, if cows were what  I loved, why did He allow me to get so sick that I couldn't begin to take care of them ?  Nothing made sense to me anymore.

       If I could speak for all the people out there who battle chronic lyme, I think I could safely say that one of the hardest things about the disease is the fact that you somehow manage to look quite healthy on the outside, but inside you feel as though your dying.  I quit going to the medical doctors 11 years ago when the Dr. knelt down in front of me and said, " Honey, your the picture of health, come back when something really hurts ".  I already felt like I was loosing my mind,  it didn't help that he had so kindly confirmed that fact .

     During those long, lonely summer and fall months , I had no where to turn except to Jesus.   I spent countless hours alone in the dark
nights and long days , weeping , crying out to Him,  " Oh God...are you there ? do you care, why, why , WHY ?" I honestly believe that
God has carried me through many of these times when I didn't have the strength to go on.  He has never  let me down , and through it all, He
has become my everything.   My only desire is to serve Him , holding nothing back.   I don't care anymore if people think I'm crazy. I love
Jesus and that's all that matters to me !

God has done so many wonderful, and amazing things.  When I was a very young teenager, I remember feeling desperate for God, I had a deep longing within my heart, I wanted the same kind of relationship with Him that the people in the Bible times had. 

Unfortunately my teen years were a horrible mess of insecurities, much anger, emotional pain and being misunderstood by most who knew me. ( I will share more of that journey in a future blog).  Eventually I found the God that I wasn't sure even existed. 

   The bible says that God is still the same today as He was way back in the Bible times,  I so often wondered, why don't we see more of those supernatural works of the  power of God ?  If God talked to them, does He talk to us ?

    Through my journey called "life", I have discovered that God is indeed the same today as He was then.   He hasn't changed, He still
works miracles today and the part I love so much is that He talks to me if I take the time to listen. He is there.   He wants to talk to all of us, if only we would take the time to be still and listen.

    I have found that  He loves me very much,  He holds me when I cry,  He bends down and picks me up when I fall down, weary from the battles I have to face.  He tenderly and lovingly brushes the dirt off of my bloody knees and helps me to stand again.   I have learned that He never leaves me , I can trust Him in all things,  small or big, it doesn't matter, Hes got it covered .      And I love Him for it all  !

To be cont....


Kim Stoll said:

Wow, Lori! Blessings to you & your family as you continue looking to our Heavenly Father! He knows all about us & is always on time! God just recently answered prayer for our family, and we're praising the Lord!

Cheryl Martin said:

Hey girl....thank you for sharing your heart. What a beautiful testimony!! So glad to connect with you the other day...looking forward to getting to know you better. Keep on keeping on!!

Jeri Weaver said:

Hearing your story has blessed my heart! I too so many times have felt alone and desperately wanted and needed HIM to "show off" in my life/situation. HE is faithful and HE is more than worthy of our praise! I pray HE continues to bless you and each of your beautiful family and the work you have called to do!

Ada Martin ;o) said:

WOW! your story brings tears to my eyes as i see how JESUS is working and how willing you are to bless others with your BEAUTIFUL voices!!!! Christa just told me about your website and i haven't been able to move an inch- listening to all the music...i feel uplifted just 'seeing' you all- GROWN UP! i pray Gods hugest blessings as you sing and travel- come to lancaster??!! ;o)

Shelly Hambrick (Underwood) said:

Wow Lori...I'm so excited for your family...I had no idea that you all were singers...What an amazing testimony you have...I know you have been through so much with your health...You have a beautiful family...Paul and I send our best wishes to you all!!! I love your music!