Tuesday, January 8, 2013
So, here I am sitting by a fire with a glass of wine listening to Simon and Garfunkel while I am writing my blog. That is about the only thing in my life that is still the same as it was this time three years ago. No, I am wrong! One thing remains constant in my life: God is still good!! He was good on that night of great sadness, and He is just as good during this night of joy and blessing. So much has changed. If I had any idea, I would not have believed it. First, I have always known that Julia was in a better place, even when we were trying to call her back. I can certainly understand why she wouldn’t come home. It was never about her missing out on us, no it was about us missing out on her. I look back on that night and the weeks to follow. I don’t remember a lot, mostly what I read in my blog. But I do know that I had to be numb and in shock for a while. It is definitely true about the “Footprints in the Sand”. Truly He carried me through those times. I can remember dreading every Friday, and especially when the 8th of the month came up. I can remember the nights curled up in Papa’s arms with Jesus and Holy Spirit. He kept me when I was so cold and lonely. I thought that I would never be able to have an 8th of the month pass without dread, especially a yearly anniversary pass. The grief was so intense, yet the love was so strong. I know that I missed some of the steps of grief, or at least short cut many of them. Holy Spirit is the best grief counselor that anyone could have. He kept me safe and flying through the turbulence safely. I remember thinking that I could never love again. My heart was too full of pain and loss to love. It is amazing how Papa allowed that pain and loss to slowly slip away. It’s amazing how He allowed a space for love to open in the fields of grief. It’s even more amazing that He would save a woman like Sheryl to fill that place where love was needed. I remember when I was wrestling over whether to date her or not. Part of me wasn’t sure, while I think Holy Spirit was quietly pushing us together. I do know that there were many people praying that we would get together, many powerful intercessors. I am amazed that I can feel so much love and so much life. I know that Julia is pleased. It’s been three years tonight that she went to be with Papa. I know that she is smiling down as I write this tonight. I look back at all of my friends and how they kept watch on me to make sure I was not drifting off to a dark place. I don’t know what I would have done with out you guys. So, at this three-year point, how am I? I am just so blessed. My life is filled to overflowing with love and adventure. Every day is different. Sheryl is a treasure and truly a gift from God. I don’t think there is another man alive that is loved more than I am, and I truly love her dearly. For a person that thought there was no love left in him, I surprise myself sometimes by how much I am able to love. It’s like we are on a never-ending honeymoon filled with adventure and romance. Life is so good. Sure it is very busy as we run after our dreams together. I look forward to all the years that we have left together. I pray that there are many, but I don’t take any of them for granted. One thing I have learned is we only have the day we are in, and we need to make the most of that day. I am blessed to have all of my children and grandchildren as well as her children and grandchildren. Together we have four children and ten grand children. We both love them all. If only they were all closer. I know that I am seeing Divine Justice at it’s finest. I have seen a woman healed from her deathbed who had the same thing that Julia had. I have Sheryl and all the kids to bless me with love and life. God loves me because I am His favorite, but guess what? You are His favorite too!! So here at the three-year point, I really am healed both spiritually and emotionally. Do I still miss Julia? Of course I do, but He has given me Sheryl and a new life with new dreams to follow. Life moves on and so must we. Yes, I treasure the past. But I gladly embrace the future and all that it holds. My prayer for my daughters and granddaughters and all for my friends is that you all are able to do the same. Life is exciting and is meant to be lived to the fullest!
Thursday, January 3, 2013
It has been a few years since I first read “Dreaming with God” by Bill Johnson. I don’t think that I had ever even considered any thought that my dreams might be from God. I had always considered God only wanted me to do religious things. I prayed for things and I saw dreams fulfilled, but I didn’t realize that my dreams could have possibly come from Him. Now I know differently. I realize that He has uniquely placed me on this earth to fulfill a mission. That mission is defined by my dreams. I’m not saying that you can’t have dreams that aren’t from Him. Sure, you can. But if you are a believer and if you are walking with Him and love Him, then I would venture to bet that most, if not all of your dreams are from Him. He has a destiny for each of us. That is the theme that I continue to tell my first year students at our school of Supernatural ministry. The sooner they realize this, the sooner they can begin to cooperate with Holy Spirit in their lives. Here it is at the beginning of the year. I used to make New Year’s resolutions. I don’t anymore. I never kept them anyway. What I am trying to do this year is to spend some time by myself and with Sheryl and see if there are any new dreams that we are to go after this year. As the years progress, many of our dreams are fulfilled. Sometimes they end after they are fulfilled, other times they morph into something new. That is why we need to spend some of our time evaluating where we are, what we are doing and most of all, what we should be doing for 2013. A lot of time we continue to do things just because we have done them in the past. That is not a good reason. I don’t mean we stop doing everything, but I do mean that we should hold things loosely and allow Holy Spirit to lead us. Too many times we as believers keep doing things only because of our position or need. We need to look at our dreams, evaluate what He wants in our lives and then be willing to do whatever we sense His pleasure is. Only in this way will we see the Kingdom manifest in our area. So, my goal is to spend some time this week with Papa and with Sheryl and really seek out what new dreams we have before us.
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Dreams can end in many different ways. We all have dreams. Some come true, and some don’t. Sometimes we chase a dream all of our lives and never see it fulfilled. Sometimes they come true. I have had dreams come true before. I dreamed of being a pilot when I was a child, and then I became one after I graduated from Tech. I dreamed of becoming an airline pilot and flying for Delta Airlines, and in 1978 that came true too. I lived that dream for 25 years. I dreamed of having a wonderful wife and children. That dream came true also. A good dream comes to pass, and you can live it. You ride the wave of that dream for years. Sometimes it continues even for a lifetime. If you are blessed and fortunate you can ride the dreams all your life. Right now just think of your dreams. What dreams have you had that you are still going after. What about the ones that have come true? Are you still living it out, or has it ended? Yes, dreams can end. Sometimes the dreams are for a season in your life. When that season is over, the dream ends. I dreamed of being a Vineyard pastor, and I was for a time, but that ended. That dream lasted only for a season, yet I think God gave me that dream along with the answer. There are dreams that are only for a short season, but they still help make you who you are. But then, there are dreams that are dreams that are supposed to last a lifetime. I know that He gave me Julia as well as my daughters. That dream was supposed to last a lifetime. I had Julia for 38 and a half years and then the dream was ripped out from under me when we were in full stride. Her death ended the dream of us as a couple doing all the things that we did. I still had my daughters and granddaughters, but the original dream ended on Jan 8, 2010. I never realized how much things would change. Even during that first year writing my blog, I had no clue as to the impact that her death would actually have on everything I did. Yes, dreams can end. Then what? It doesn’t matter what your dream is, or how it ends. When it ends we all have a choice. We can live in the past and remember how it used to be, or we can choose to go after new dreams. When I retired from Delta, it was pretty traumatic. I took early retirement before I was ready because of their financial situation. I wasn’t mentally prepared and it took me a while to come to grips with everything that happened. I had a choice: I could live in the past, and just think of how good it used to be, and all that I was missing now, or I could choose to move on and focus on new adventures. New adventures mean new risks but they also mean new possibilities. I chose to go after new adventures. When Julia died, I could have just stayed Tom Roan, Julia’s husband. It was a great life, and I was very comfortable being who I was. Things were safe and life was predictable. Sure, I could do things to shake things up. Things like learning to ride a Harley, but still I was walking in the shadow of the past, still living in a dream that had ended. For a long time, I chose to stay where I was; not wanting to ever share myself deeply with another. But as time progressed I had to open up. I began to realize that there were new dreams to go after, new worlds to explore. When I began to see Sheryl, I found it very hard to open up. I would find myself being two different people. I would want to see her and spend time with her, but then I would be with her and act like I didn’t want to be there. It drove her nuts, I know because she has told me. But over time, I think that I knew that to live again I had to be willing to trust someone else; someone new. As I opened up to her, I realized how much I was still capable to love, and how much I still needed love. Spending time with her made me dream again. We all need dreams, and we all need someone to dream with. I have been doubly blessed that I have had both Julia and Sheryl in my life. Yes, my dream with Julia has ended. We have many good memories and shared much love. But My dream with Sheryl is just beginning. It is a dream in the making. It has passion and even though we aren’t young, I believe this dream will be years in the fulfilling as well. Yes, dreams do end. The key is to go after new dreams. Never stop searching and seeking out what is next. Papa God loves to give His children surprises.
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
It's a gray and rainy day today, but that doesn't dampen the excitement of a New Year. What is it about a New Year anyway? Why does this day bring more excitement than the day before? It's hard to say, but it does. Maybe it's about the possibilities that a new year brings. Maybe it's about closure. Something old has ended and something new begins. Today it's about finishing up old business and the beginning of new things. I haven't posted a blog since last February. 2012 was a season of growth and change. It was important that I focused on my new life down "south" in Peachtree City. I was busy with the School of Ministry and our Sozo team. But more important, it was a year to focus on my relationship with Sheryl. 2012 was a bonding year for both of us. Don't get me wrong, 2013 will continue to be another bonding year, but now I feel it is time not only to look forward, but it is time to look backward as well. I don't know how long or how frequently I will post this year, but I know that for the month of January I want to take time to look at what has transpired in my life for the past three years since Julia's death. It is time to make a book out of all that I have written, all that God has given me. As part of that book, I have to get my feelings down on paper. My feelings now. They are just as important, no maybe more important than those feelings of the past. Healing comes through process. I know that because I have lived through that process. I now know that you don't have to grieve the way others tell you to. You don't have to necessarily go through all the "7 steps of grief". Maybe I did, but I don't' think so. Instead you have to allow yourself to be swept along by Holy Spirit in the river of His love. That river stops in different places for different people. We are all different, and this book won't tell everyone how they should grieve. Yes, it will be about loss and about grief, but it will be much more. It will be about the Goodness of God, and about His love and ability to meet us wherever we are. It will be about Divine Justice as He takes everything that the enemy meant for evil and turns it into good. I know, I am living in it right now. He is so good, my life is just an example of walking in His goodness. Yes, 2013 is here, and it is going to be a very good year. I can't wait to see what it holds.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Warriors – the dictionary has this definition:
a person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage, or aggressiveness, as in politics or athletics.
So are you a warrior? I know that I am. No, I am not at war physically. I have been in the past, but not now. But as a believer, and a son of the King, I am at war spiritually. Our enemy came to steal, kill and destroy. I make war through my love. That’s totally different, and almost impossible to do without the love of Christ in your heart. But I am still a warrior. Warriors don’t’ rum from trouble, they embrace it. Warriors don’t hide from conflict, they engage in it. Warriors don’t’ try to escape the situation. No, they use the situation to mold them into better and stronger warriors.
Tonight we saw a presentation by Graham Cooke. He talked about us being warriors, and I realized that I have become one. Baby Christians worry about having their needs met, mature Christians move into their inheritance. There is a big difference. We have to learn to embrace whatever situation we are in. God might not have put us in that situation, but He will use it. That doesn’t mean we need to stop praying for healing. Quite the contrary: He wants to give us victory over it, and to get it we have to contend for our victory. When we first get into a situation, obviously we try to get out of it. But if we find ourselves in it for a long while, then we have to begin looking at what we can learn abd how we can grow, while at the same time contending for change.
In the midst of our greatest challenges, will come our greatest victories. Yes, we contend and contend again. We have to learn to relish the fight and continue to press into all that He is doing. We are all called to the fight, all called to be warriors. Wheter we engage or not, that is totally up to us. The problem is that if we choose not to engage this time, there will always be a next time. So we may as well learn to fight and stand for something that is worth fighting for.
Friday, January 27, 2012
It’s been over two years since Julia’s death, and I have been healed in so many ways. Much of my life is back to normal, or at least a “new” normal. God is so good, and I can’t thank Him enough for carrying me through the hard times. I am so blessed to have Sheryl. I never thought that I could love again, but I can. I couldn’t ever seeing myself being happy again, but I am. Who knows what life will bring to each of us, but this I do know. He does make all things new, and He does work all things for good to those who love Him, even the pain and grief of losing your lover and best friend.
Sometimes I just find myself sitting back like I am out of my body and I am looking at myself watching all that is happening. I am totally amazed by what I see and feel. I wish my girls could have what I have. I pray that they will get it in time. I have been healed in almost all areas, and now I find myself coming alive in probably the last area that was left numb. I am exercising with a passion again. Before Julia’s death, I was running with a passion. I had completed the “Goofey” Marathon and half marathon race in 2008 and that burned me out on long distance, but I was still enjoying running and staying in shape. But after her death, it seemed like running was just something I did out of duty, not for fun. I didn’t care about my body. As I look back, I realize it was because I really didn’t care how long I lived. Even though God was there, it seemed like it was just as easy to not be here as it was to be here. I wasn’t suicidal or anything, I was just numb.
I could tell it in my eating and in my exercise. I wasn’t the same. Even after I married Sheryl, I still wasn’t the same in that area. It was a numbness that had taken over that part of my life. I can’t put my finger on when it changed, when the numbness left. Maybe it was as I grew even closer to Sheryl, but I found myself really wanting to live again. I had had dreams before, but now those dreams meant even more. I found myself looking at what I was doing, and not being happy. I know better. I know that I need to exercise and I needed to eat properly. Once again I wanted divine health. I want to live a long time, and I need to be in shape and in good health to enjoy it. The numbness was lifting. I knew it was lifting when I had the urge to train for a marathon. I know what a commitment it would take to train; yet I started at the end of January. Wednesday I completed a 17-mile run. I’ll do 18 next week and work my way up to 20 miles before the marathon. That means I am running anywhere from 25 – 30 miles a week.
Things are great; I am alive. The training is kicking in, and the weight is slowly beginning to come off. Sheryl and I are going to the gym three days a week to work out. It’s like a layer of cellophane that had me bound up has been cut away. It truly feels good to be alive. I don’t know whether it is just being married, or moving down here to Peachtree City, but things are changing for the better. I know that I will be fine in all areas now. Life is full and exciting, and I am so blessed to have a part to play in all that God has in store. Yes, I think that this is the last area to come alive, and for a long while, I didn’t even realize it was dead.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Today I said goodbye to an old friend. You know cars are inanimate objects. They really are not fun to buy because the minute you drive them off the showroom floor, they loose value. That is why I will never buy another new car. From now on, when I buy a new car, it will be new to me, but used by someone else first. In 1999 I bought a new Mazda Miata right off the show room floor. It was a beauty, state of the art. The Miata had just changed body styles, and it was beautiful. I had always loved the Miata, and had leased a 96 model, thinking I would get it out of my blood. But it only made me want one more.
So, when the lease was up. I went and bought the ’99 Miata. I figured that I would drive it until I retired and then I would get something sensible. It was a fun car to drive. I put 191,455 miles on it, and I enjoyed every one of them. It was always dependable. I think that in over 12 years, I broke down only twice and had only one flat tire. It has had minimal maintenance and was very easy to drive. The power wasn’t great, but it was so much fun to take around corners and to shift the short throw gear shift. Yes, I really did enjoy that car. But over the last year, she has been getting very tired.
The speakers and sound system were going bad, and there was a constant hiss in the background. The leather seats has long since worn out and covered with sheepskin. Now the power windows would barely work, and it seemed that more and more things were going wrong. With over 190k miles; the engine was on borrowed time. At one time I thought of rebuilding the engine, but I was really looking at rebuilding the whole car. That would cost too much. So, today I sold the car to CarMax. I couldn’t bring myself to sell it to an individual. There was too much wrong with it for me to do that. I felt like CarMax gave me a good and fair price and so I drove it to the dealership with the top down. The sun was shining, but it was cold. It was still fun, and as I drove I remembered some of the trips and good times that I had with this car. So, I lost an old friend today and I was sad to see her go, yet I knew that it was time.
So, what did I replace her with? I’m glad you asked. I now have a 2006 copper red Mazda Miata. It has 50,000 miles on it, so it is barely broken in. I am excited because this is the new model that started in ‘06 and it is totally different, yet very similar. So, I’m still not old enough for practicality when it comes to cars. I guess that I just like to have the sun shining down on my head and feel the wind blowing through my hair (lol).
Will I become as attached to this car as my last one. It probably depends on how she runs. If she is dependable and stays fun to drive; I foresee a wonderful long lasting relationship. I hope I am still able to get in and out of this one in 12 years. We shall see.