Lives Affected by Rachael
In Loving Memory of
I realize we won't know all the good news in this arena while yet in this life, but hope to post as many as we can learn about. If you know of any situations or ways in which Rachael's life had (or continues to have) a positive impact on one or more people, please do share.
know it's been years and this is long overdue, but i suppose the old saying "better
late than never" applies in certain situations, this being one of them. My name is
Erin, and I knew your daughter for a short while. She and my brother attended the Honor
Academy at the same time, and in the fall of 2003 I went down with my parents to visit
during alumni weekend. At the time, I was considering going to the HA, so my parents
thought it would be neat if my brother could find a friend for me to stay with for a
night. I think Rachael was in my brother's sister-core, and she volunteered to take me
under her wing. It was truly a blessing spending even that short amount of time with
Rachael. She gave up her bed for me and made me feel loved and welcomed. I was a sophomore
in high school at the time, kind of in that awkward stage where you're trying to figure
out your place in the world and who you are and what life is all about. I had been having
doubts and just questioning God and my faith, but Rachael's walk with the Lord really
encouraged me. She was loving and genuine, she looked beyond imperfections... Rachael was
truly an inspiration. I wanted to have the kind of faith she had, to have that kind of
relationship with the Lord.
Anyways, I just wanted to tell you what an amazing woman of God your daughter was. I'm sure you know that, but I'm sure it's nice to hear it from a stranger!! Thanks for the opportunity I had to meet her and the ways she blessed my life!
|(online) "It's been almost a year...wow. Every time I see a car anywhere close to yours I think about you...and how sorry I am that I never took the opportunity to open up and really get to know you. Still I feel a strange connection to you...maybe because we are sisters no matter how little I know you...or maybe because after your accident I wasn't so afraid anymore. I wasn't afraid to let people in any more, to be vulnerable with people, to allow God into so many places to heal my broken heart and spirt....and I guess I really just want to say thank you, Rachael. For the legacy that you have left...you are still touching lives even now. I'm working with the youth group at my church now and I know that if it weren't for your life I wouldn't be doing what I do now...I wouldn't have the relationship with the Lord that I have now...so thank you my dear sister. I miss you."|
Dear Dr. Tom,
I didn't know her very well or personally...just though Terra Nova.
And as I was reading your xanga site and Rachael's memorial site...I came arcoss something several times: You love pictures of her..seeing new glimpses of her. I would, too. At that moment I wished that I had some for you. THEN, I remembered that I did! :)
In the spring around January/February we offered January (January arriving interns) and some August (arriving) interns the chance to apply and join Terra Nova for the remainder of the year. Rachael was already on TN, but she still had to attend all the training sessions and group activities that we had planned for all the new and current members. We had changed a lot of policies and so everyone was required to come to these sessions....at 8 in the morning. I have one picture of her at that session.
After everyone completed all these sessions, we had a fancy formal induction ceremony and everyone officially commited to be a part of TN...all the new memebers that is. And AFTER that...we all changed back into our jeans and drove out to Tyler to get ice cream at Marble Slab. I took 3 pictures of her there...or tried to. lol. One is of the top of her head as she ducked the camera, the other is of her hands shielding her face and the final one she actually relented and let me take, so it's actually of her face. It was too funny. She thought she looked all tired and messy...but she was beautiful. She always was.
So here they are. I hope you enjoy them and I hope that you don't already have them! :) (click here to see the 4 photos mentioned)
I will always remember Rachael. I was a second year intern as a Leadership Professional in ATF (Acquire the Fire) Promotions and she was the second intern to be killed in a car accident in the two years that I had been there. Around the same time the year before, a boy Michael died driving back to the HA after a visit home with his family. I'm sure you've heard about him. It was a shock for all of us and from the minute I heard about the "family meeting" I knew something bad had happened. We had only ever had one other family meeting....and that was when Michael died. It was hard for us, but I truly can't imagine how hard it has been for you and your family. So know that your girl is not forgotten....and that she was very appreciated and respected. We loved her.
(local) After our first church service at home since Rachael's passing, a dear sister from our church came up to me and share how, after the "celebration" we had for Rachael's triumphant life and godly legacy last thursday, that testimony of Rachael was being shared by two women who were at the celebration...a spiritual experience that then led to a person giving their life to Jesus!
situation occurred when a work acquaintance gave me a letter saying that inspiration about
how Rachael lived her life, as well as none of us knowing just how quickly our loved ones
can leave us, combined to move her to get her children to church and to grow in faith to
the point of having the complete peace of knowing, as do we, where their children would be
if something tragic happened.
(local)Our church's Women's Ministry leader, who shared about Rachael at the celebration her life on June 24, 2004, reports that one comment in Rachael's 10-page letter to her stated, "This letter, I believe, is going to affect eternity. Not sure how, but it will!" is something that is already coming to pass. She goes on to state that "a lady came up to me after the memorial service and asked if she could have a copy of what I had shared (at Rachael's celebration). I gave her the paragraphs of the letter that I read. I saw her in a restaurant a few days later and she told me she had e-mailed them to her daughter in California who works with youth in her church. One young man who was usually a cut-up in class responded that he was going to try to get his life back on track. Don't know all that meant, but obviously he was changed for the better by Rachael's words. She also told me that she had read the paragraphs in her church the past Sunday as well and people were awed and moved to tears by the statement in her letter 'If my life depended on your prayer, would I still be alive?' that Rachael's Core Advisor had said to her.
from an email:
truly are a blessed man to have such an incredible reflection of Christ as a daughter.
Her life has ministered to so many and I know that she is rejoicing in heaven as
God continues to use her life to bring encouragement to this earth through your lives.
Bless you brother...know that you are in our prayers. To God Be the Glory for
the things He has done."
was a blessing to me through her smile and selfless attitude. I never got to know
her really well, but I worked with her on a campus work day. She was so full of life
and couldn't stop talking about the core she was going to have in the fall and everything
she was going to do with them. After that day, whenever we would pass each other she
would always smile at me.... they really brightened my day! :-) Rachael not only
left an amazing memory, she left a legacy. Something that we can all strive to be.
Memories will die, but a legacy will live on forever, and a legacy will change
lives. She has already changed mine. Your family is in my prayers!"
you Dr.Barlow for your words of encouragement. Thank you for seeking God in your
pain. Letting Him console you when there is no where to turn and no one can truly
understand the pain of a loss such as this. I look at Rachael's life and see how she
had the "walk" that most people strive for. I found myself
grieving. I didnt know her very well, i live down the hall and i remember her smile and
how i could hear her laugh down the hall, I grieved for those that didnt know her, i
grieve for the Core she was going to have for they didn't get to know the Rachael Barlow
that impacted so many lives, Oh how she would have been used to lead many of those girls
down the right road of seeking and dieing to themselves. i have said so much and yet still
there is much to say but i will stop here. Thanks again, you were truly blessed to
have a daughter with such a passion i only hope that i could live up to that.
Good-bye and God bless"
so much for your encourging and uplifting words (at the memorial service for Rachael on
campus). Thanks for allowing Rachael to come to TM and be a part of my life. She had
inspired me to seek after the Lord with everything I have and not to give up. To show the
same love to everyone that she showed to me and others. She had such a passion to
know him more with every passing day and I could see that. She really did die to herself
everyday. Yeah, I'm going to miss walking across the hall and seeing her face, hearing her
laugh and her voice but she is where she is the most happy and that makes me smile and be
able to have the joy and the peace that I do have. Again thanks so much and keep
letting the joy of the Lord be your strength."
from one of the girls Rachael brought to our home on a holiday because they could not go
to their own home) "Words like "thank you" seem so
inadequate for how I feel towards you. In you pouring love into your precious
daughter, the Spirit of God being on your household, opening your home to me when I could
not go and be with my own family, pouring out love, you were that and so much
more. Rachael meant a lot to me. She showed courage and boldness and had such
an understanding, knowing how to comfort not just in words b/c words are not the
love, but a mere action of it. I thank God He allowed me the little time I knew
her to be involved with her life. I am forever changed and in a beautiful way.
I have been left smelling sweeter after being involved in Rachael's life and will take the
love recieved from her life and share it with others. Thanks."
knew your daughter from work. I usually went up to her desk and distracted her and then
got in trouble for causing ruckus in the office. ~laughs~ Your Daughter was and
continues to be an amazing friend and example of Christ....and you Dr. Barlow... I can
only pray to God to give me the grace to be the man of God that you are. I hope to have
the love of a father that you posess. you have blessed my heart through your
strength....even joy... in this last week. YOU of all people... gave an aquaintance like
me peace about her death. Thank you. I'm praying for you and lifting your whole family up.
you can lean on this honor academy family member if you ever need to"
am so touched by the words you wrote to your daughter. I just read them and here I
am sitting hundreds of miles away from the HA and where your family lives tearing up.
Teen Mania has always been family to me - when I heard there was a 1:30 AM meeting
from a friend my heart sunk - even when I didn't know the situation, even when I wasn't
there. My parents lost their first child, my brother. I still see
their pain today when he is mentioned - I hope that you and your family heal. I am
praying for healing. I also hope that my father could speak the same words of
love as you did to Rachael - I hope that I live that kind of life, honorable - always
reaching out. She must have but an amazing woman. My prayers are with you.
In everyway take care."
celebration of Rachael's life today (in Tahlequah, June 24, 2004) was amazing. I think God
was very pleased. I never had the opportunity to meet Rachael, but working with
Sheryl and being friends with Ed and Alan, I always felt like I knew her. They
always spoke so highly of her. Today at the service I was even more amazed by the
life that she lived. I am so thankful that you are able to find joy during this
time. You and your family are in my prayers."
strength is truly amazing and such a blessing to see. Rachael was my roommate and it
has been so hard for the other girls and myself but to see how much joy you can have
blesses us and helps us. I miss her a lot in the room but the Lord spoke to me the
other day. He told me here at Honor Academy I would have lived with her for only one
year, but in Heaven I will be able to live with her for an eternity! Praise the Lord
we have so much to look forward to. You will always be in my prayers, you and the
rest of your family! God Bless!"
I just love you man.... I hope I can be like that if that ever happend to me. You've
inspired me so much...and you helped bring about a peace in me about her passing away into
her new life. I thank you so much for letting me get to know your wonderfull daughter, and
for letting her impact my life like she did. Thanks for being a great dad and bringing her
up like you did."
"I sit here in tears, no i didn't get to know Rachel personaly,
but i knew her. A few of my friends still at teen mania told me that you spoke, and my
heart was filled with joy. I think about Rachel just looking down with the biggest smile
knowing that her father loved her so much but most of all loved the creator. Thanks for
being an example. Thanks for loving your daughter! Thanks for allowing her to be apart of
this amazing TM family. Thanks for raising her up to be an amazing woman of God. Thanks
for her life!"
"I had wanted to speak to you on Thursday but didn't have time -
really all I wanted to say is simply thank you. Thank you for being an amazing Dad
for Rachael, thank you for being an encouragement to those of us in her brother/sister
core and/or friends of hers, and most importantly thank you for being a willing servant of
the Lord. Your words about Rachael have inspired me and encouraged me to take a
deeper look at my relationship with the Lord and He is beginning to do amazing things not
only in my life but at Teen Mania as a whole through your daughter's amazing life.
Thank you so much for the privelege of allowing me to know her."
"Dr. Barlow,you raised an amazing daughter...we will all miss her so much.
you really have it right in your comment on my site, 'while we know,
without a doubt, that the loss is ours while it's Rachael's and heaven's gain, we still
hurt and need to lift up each other prayerfully, spiritually, to endure the pain and
remain focused on Him and continue to posses the joy He offers.' thank you for
inspiring us to continue in the Lord's joy. When you spoke last sunday night,
you really touched some hearts with your words and prayers. Know also that you and
your family really are in our prayers."
and I were on a committee together and we were going to be core advisors together. I just
wanted to let you know, if I get the finances for next year (to stay as a CA), I am going
to take a part of Rachael into my year. She and I had talks about her passions, her
dreams, her desires and so forth. I feel like I have a strong enough understanding
of some of the things that she had to offer. I just wanted you to know that I am
going to do this for her, for me, and for the Lord most of all. I am always with
Rachael and she is always with me."
"One of the things I strive for is to have a living testimony
that last long after I'm gone. I want people getting saved at my funeral. I didnt
know Rachael, but I am apart of her extended Teen Mania family. What joy it must
bring to know that she was doing God's will all the way up to her last breath. Man
thats awesome! She is an amazing woman. I pray your family will grow closer to each
other and to the Lord. That you will have peace and comfort. And the Rachaels
living testimony will continue to shine and bring more people to Christ!"
you so much for allowing Rachael to come here to the Honor Academy to in turn impact the
lives of so many interns here. I believe God used her to an extent that our minds cannot
comprehend. I truly believe Rachael's depth of love for her Jehovah has inspired us all to
dig into His presence with a passion that has been unsurpassed. I pray God's blessing upon
you and Alan and Ed as you continue to rest in Christ's arms."
had our weekly Bible study wednesday night..I spoke about you and Rachael..you have
inspired me. Glory Be to Him indeed...I thank God truly for faith like yours. I
strive to have faith like that. I just wanted you to know that her Legacy and your
faith....endurance and peace has truly Blessed, encouraged and insipired a lot of people.
My family and I are in prayers for you and your family. God Bless you today, may you be
filled with an incredible Touch of Our Beautiful King!"
post from Rachael's website)
Held so dear to me
You were a friend for life, you see
Looking at you as you searched for God
You were such an encouragement to me
Rachael, you were amazing. And now in Heaven, you are perfectly amazing. I love you girl. See you in Heaven.
post from Rachael's website)
Wow, I am so touched by your words, words that seem to mean more after your death than before. You are truly an example and it shows by the lives you have touched!! I didnt know you but I definitely cryed for the loss of you to those whom you have touched. I grieve cuz you are so young but all in all we all know that where you are is the happiest place of all. My prayers to your family and friends."
post from Rachael's website)
"Wow what do I say? We lived not more than a few feet apart and now we live worlds apart. Although we were never the closest of friends you will never know just how much you've poured into my life & how much you are loved. I miss seeing your smiling face already. Thanks for being real - even when it sometimes stung. I thank the Lord for the example you were for me - I can only pray that the Lord will bring me to that place. Your family loves you Rach and we're so excited for you that you're with your Eternal Lover now. Keep singing and dancing!!! Enjoy a dance or two for me as well. I love you girl and look forward to living with you forever - have a party going for the rest of us when we get there."
post from Rachael's website)
"Barlow! I'm gonna miss you calling my name and looking at me like I was crazy. I'll always remember our spider adventure and your face when you saw it... riding the carts at Walmart and you yelling at me like a mom and telling me to get back in the car... making me listen to that one song over and over again and sharing a blanket with me on the tribal retreat. I miss you Barlow and it makes me so mad that I had been so selfish the past 3 weeks with my time and didn't get to even really talk with you. You made me realize how focused I was on myself. You kicked my booty about so many things and I thank you for that. I can't wait to see you again. I'm really looking forward to it. I love you, Barlow."
post from Rachael's website)
"I didn't know Rachael, but seeing all of these postings lets me know that she was one awesome person in Christ. I also wanted to say that in a way she did make her journey home for father's day. She did not get to be with her earthly father, but she was able to be with her Heavenly Father on father's day. I know it is hard for those still here on earth, but at least we have the comfort of knowing that one day we will see her again. For now, the memories of her time spent here on earth will be what carries everyone through this difficult time, but just know she is more alive now than ever. She is forever in His arms."