Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Settling In

Well, settling in - sort of. I moved into my new home in Fuquay-Varina on August 16 with help from an incredible group of men and women! My daughters and a couple of their friends got everything in boxes and ready to go. A group of men packed it all on a truck (including furniture) and moved me into my new home (with a few additional male and female workers) all in four to five hours. A great deal has been unpacked, but there is much that remains to be done, including furnishing a good bit of the house. Fortunately, my cousin Phyllis Lane, is helping to decorate with input from Liz and Autumn.

One of the benefits of moving has been the partial dispersing of the cloud of sorrow that has hung over me since Linda graduated. Well, I did not intend the irony of the last sentence, but once written, it was immediately apparent. There is NO more sorrow for Linda! Sorrow continues to linger for all of the rest of us (children, parents, siblings, other family and friends), but it has lifted a bit for me with this move. It is not gone, mind you, but it has been mitigated to a degree. I was not aware of the sadness associated with the Buies Creek house. It was home for us for ten years. I continue to struggle with memories of the last 13 months of Linda's life here with all the suffering she endured in that time. Of course I remember the days before her illness, but thoughts of wheelchairs, shots, and doctors' visits are the most prominent memories in my mind.

I did not move because of the difficulty of living in the home I had shared with my bride for so long, but so far it has been a good move. The benefit of less sorrow was unexpected, but much welcome. Of course, the easing of sorrow could be partially due to the passing of time, though the process may have accelerated due to the move. It remains to be seen whether or not it will be the same once I am fully settled and life slows back down to the terrifyingly fast pace (you should be on the ride, now!) that I normally keep.

I would like to say that I have drawn (or, been drawn) closer to the Lord during this time. That ultimately is the desire of my heart, but the sense of loss has left me, as I have told you before, lethargic. Maybe the best way to describe the way I have felt for much of these past (almost) six months is a numbness in my soul. Relationship with the Lord suffers in such a state. The only thing I know to do in such a place is to be faithful to reading God's Word and praying - even though I feel as though God is distant. It would seem to me that faith is at its best when feelings are absent. The problem with confirming such a notion is that there is little pay-off in the immediate. One thing is absolutely certain - GOD IS FAITHFUL!

In a few days I hope to publish (here) a paper that Linda wrote in her application to an ESL certificate program. Autumn recently found Linda's paper - a good time of the year to talk about teaching children!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I'm Moving!

I will be moving this month, from Buies Creek to Fuquay-Varina. Before I go any further, let me say that I WILL NOT be seeking a change in ministry! Grace Community Church is my family, and as long as they will have me, I will be there! I know it is wise to "never say never," but I have absolutely no intention of leaving Grace Community Church before I retire.

That said, please allow me to address this move. I am not changing my address because of an emotional reaction to the loss of my lovely wife. Linda and I had talked for years about moving to Fuquay-Varina. Our church has a number of families that live in Fuquay. My father, who is struggling with dementia, and his wonderful wife live in Fuquay - it will be good to be closer at hand. I will also be closer to Brian and Autumn (my son-in-law and daughter) who live in Raleigh. When all the children and grandchildren come to visit, the new home will accommodate the family much better than the current one. God allowed me to sell my house in Buies Creek and I am set to close on the Fuquay house on August 15 - at an extremely good price, I might add. Please pray that no snags will arise because if the loan falls through, I will have to come live with YOU (and that would be quite a commute if you live in Michigan)! Family and good friends are already gearing up to help me design and decorate the home, making it ministry ready and friendly.

I am continually amazed that so many of you continue to check this site. Perhaps I will be able to be a more consistent blogger when I settle into my new home. The energy that has been required for this move (that is being accomplished in record time) and for numerous church activities and issues has allowed (forced?) me to be less focused on grief that at any time this year. I anticipate more times of extended sadness, but God has allowed me a bit of a respite from overarching (and at times, overwhelming) sorrow. Thank you for continuing to pray!

Even though it will take almost a month to get settled - during one of the busiest times of the year our church experiences - I will do my best to update the blog as the Lord gives me insight to share. God bless you!