Thursday, November 14, 2019

Only Now . . .

Dear friends,

Almost every day, someone asks me, “How are you doing?”  It’s a simple enough question, yet a simple answer seems to elude me.  How am I doing...really?  Most days, I answer, “I’m doing well, thank you.”  It’s a sincere answer, but an incomplete answer.  I’m doing well, but there’s the constant awareness that life is quite different now...that my former responsibilities and commitments as a husband have ended.  Thus, there is a certain weight of finality to which I’m still adjusting. 

This time of personal transition includes my return to the ebb and flow of pastoral ministry, the continuation of my book-writing, “Tears & Triumph: A Journey Toward Resurrection,” my involvement in the November 3 worship at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Cedar Falls, Iowa, in celebration of their 40th anniversary, and the counting of Naomi among the recently-departed Saints for whom candles were lit on All Saints Sunday.

This coming Thanksgiving marks the two-year anniversary of Naomi’s moving out of our house and becoming a full-time resident at Anam Glen in Rockford.  This was the most devastating transition of my life, learning to accept the unwelcome solitude of an empty house.  But I survived the crushing loneliness that followed...and I grew in my trust of Jesus to walk beside me during those excruciating months of transition. 

Only now, in retrospect, am I able to comprehend the broad landscape of my caregiving role the past ten years.  Only now, am I beginning to embrace the promised peace of God that passes all understanding.  Only now, am I gradually becoming aware of the new beginnings God provides as I trust in the Holy Spirit to strengthen and guide me.

How am I doing?  Thanks to God’s love in Jesus and to God’s love through you, I’m doing very well...really!

Walking this journey of faith with you,

Pastor Mark

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