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,