4. Chris Thompson, Gold Star Mother: “God wants you to keep on living”


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On the evening of Jan. 23, 2015, Marine Corps Maj Elizabeth Betsy Kealey and Capt Adam Satterfield were piloting their helicopter above the high desert landscape of Twentynine Palms, Calif., when a catastrophic malfunction caused the Huey to plummet to the ground. Both Marines died in the crash.

Kealey graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with honors in 2005, and she received her pilot's wings in September of 2007. She deployed twice with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit and once in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Kealey's mother, Chris Thompson, said Betsy was remembered by many as a woman devoted to her faith, to her family, and to her friends. Chris shared a couple of entries from Betsy's journal:

“This quote is from Betsy's journal when she was on the trek during Rocky Mountain High at Spring Canyon. She said, ‘I pray that my focus on this trek is hearing from you and loving all of your people. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’

“Another quotation from her journal was how to witness, and this was later that same year, 2005. She was asking questions in her journal: ‘How can I witness. How can I be more than just righteous? I can look for opportunities to talk about the Lord, have faith in the Lord's plan for my life, let others see me spending time with the Word.’”

In this episode, Chris shares her story of military life at the intersection of faith, family, and profession by telling Betsy’s story and offering insights on life as a Gold Star Mother.

As you listen to her story, here are a few questions to ponder:

  1. Based on her journal entry, Betsy endeavored to do three things as a Christian serving in the military: “I can look for opportunities to talk about the Lord, have faith in the Lord's plan for my life, let others see me spending time in the Word.” How about you? What things define your witness as you serve in uniform?
  2. Betsy left a legacy of living out her faith everywhere that she went and allowing her faith to affect those around her. What would your legacy be?
  3. If you’re a Gold Star Mother, have you seen God at work? How has he revealed himself to you?
  4. If you know a Gold Star Mother, when’s the last time you reached out to them just to talk or pray? If it’s been a while, consider contacting them today.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Email me at podcast@ocfusa.org or josh.jackson@ocfusa.org.

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