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.