Life passes fast, too fast. It seems like yesterday that Julia and I were walking on the beaches in Hawaii, newly married, and determined to make a go of our marriage. Then I can see Jennifer running, barely walking as a baby along the beach in Hawaii. Then there was Lisa being born in Montgomery and me walking into my first flying job and getting hired with Delta. Then the girls marriages, then Adair’s and Meleah birth. Then Anna Roan being born in Hawaii, and Julia and I traveling over to be there at the birth. Life does pass so fast and in all those memories the one constant was God’s love. That’s the only constant that we have, the only thing that really remains. My love for Julia and her love for me is really a reflection of His love for us.
I think it is important to realize that we are made in His image and likeness. Our love for each other is only a small likeness of His love. We are blessed to be able to share it, especially long term. I was so blessed to be able to share Julia’s love for over 38 years. I look back to a year ago tonight. I had just gotten to the ER, having driven through the snow down 41, wondering if we would even make it. I had no clue that she was as sick as she was. Little did I realize that when I kissed her it would be for the last time.
This year is much different. The snow is still coming, but it will be a couple of days late. I spent the afternoon surrounded by college students. We were in Athens at UGA. We were ministering at Wesleyan Foundation, doing prophetic ministry over their leadership. It was fun and exciting. It was definitely a good diversion for the day. Tonight we heard Steve Thompson preach. It was very good. A similar message to what he shared at Bethel, but it was new and radical to most of the kids. It was an interesting response at first, but ended very positively.
So I am in a much different place this year than last year. Steve said something that I have heard this past year, but I want to say it again, especially for Jennifer and Lisa. He said that a loss positions you for significant increase. I believe that. We are all positioned for significant increase. But to walk in that increase we have to release our grasp on the past and embrace the present and future. It is hard, but it is what we must do. Only as we are willing to release will we have the capacity to grab on to the new. Does that mean that we don’t cherish and remember the old. Of course not! But what it does mean is that we focus on what is happening now rather than looking for something to come out of the past. So what does that look like for me? I think it means that I do exactly what I did tonight. I chose to embrace life, while honoring and remembering the past. I have to place my focus on what He is doing in me and to those around me.
I have received much healing this past year. I wondered what I would be feeling and how I would react to this night especially. During worship tonight as I was just praising God and loving Him, I felt like I saw Julia. She was smiling. She was proud; proud of the whole family and me. It was as if she has been watching, and she wants us to know that we passed the test. I could sense that she was OK and she wanted us to press onto all that Papa has for us. That is what I am going to do. That is what we all need to do.