“The Good Fight”

Today is 3 years in heaven anniversary for my son’s father John “BJ” Tomlinson. The pain is still present but I pray that God takes his family and friends in His loving arms especially today to help ease the pain. I can still hear his voice telling me to read that bible and get to know Jesus. The same things my brother Eric was telling me right before he died too. Today I am on that path, have been the last few years and God has absolutely been transforming my heart and mind. I pray that you seek God for everything. It’s never too late to work on a relationship with someone you love don’t waste another minute.

“The Good Fight”

Title: The Good Fight
Created November 2017 a month after BJ passed.
Acrylic mixed media on framed canvas
Exodus 14:14

I painted this for the benefit to raise money for my son’s dad’s funeral. John “BJ” Tomlinson of Waterloo, IA tragically died October 14, 2017 at the age of 37, from an accidental drug overdose of heroin and fentanyl. The Saturday he died he had a tattoo appointment to get this anatomically correct heart coming out of the coliseum he already had. That next day Sunday October 15, 2017 my son Logan, 21 yrs old at he time, was suppose to go see his dad for the first time in 5 years. They were finally going to start working on their relationship. I can’t even begin to describe the pain that day brought to us and to many others. To see my son fall to his knees with complete hopelessness, crying harder than he had ever before shattered my heart. A piece of my heart is locked in that moment forever. BJ also has another son and daughter along with many nieces and nephews. They all have been deeply effected by his death.

BJ wanted to be a world changer regardless of all the mistakes and bad choices he made along the way. He is human like all of us. Imperfect! Bj was bullied when he was younger which pushed him into boxing. He was an unbelievably skilled boxer winning golden gloves and went undefeated in his career. People wanted to fight him even more because of this. BJ was in a constant state of defense everywhere he went. He was lost and hurting which lead him to drug use and street fights that would lead to a life in and out of prison. That’s where he found God in prison. He had the Bible almost memorized and would have long talks and debates with people he came across in prison and out on the streets. His fellow boxing mates would testify how he was a preacher but more importantly he was trying to help them take a different walk then he had taken. I wish he would’ve wrote more while he was in prison which was almost half his life.

BJ had an enormous and generous heart! He wanted to be on that straight path and follow Jesus more than anyone I’ve ever met. He loved his kids deeply and wanted to do good for them. But his addiction was unbelievably strong plus the guilt and shame was extremely heavy. I believe his pride was what kept him from living free. He always felt like it was too late and he struggled in silence.

We could all be world changers, we were all born with it inside of us. Every day you walk through this life is an opportunity and a choice to turn towards God. Also a chance to help others turn around to face the light which leads to freedom. God knows our hearts, sees the people we interact with and how we choose to treat them. BJ had a mission in life and that was to turn people to God and he walked with some of the darkest lost souls that walk this earth, exactly what Jesus did! Bj effected so many lives while he was here on this earth. There was just something about him when he gave you his attention. His energy was intense spewing with passion and he made people feel special. He really loved and cared about so many. BJ stood as a giant and he walked this earth as a lion.

His son Mason ended up with this painting who felt connected to it immediately when he saw it. He wants people to know his dad was more than just an addict. He is so much more, BJ’s a son, a brother, a father and a child of God. Thank you Mason for lending me this piece for the display. Please pray for BJ’s mother, sisters, kids and all his family. There are so many people that are hurting. Open your heart and be there for someone who needs help, that’s how you can serve!
Invite people to church!

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