It began this week one year ago.
“It” being the past 52 weeks.
52 weeks of joy, pain, sickness, fear, certainty, and growth.
This time a year ago had me dealing with what turned out to be, when I finally went to the doctor, a bladder and a kidney stone. I had kidney stones in the past and so I had a sense of what it was. By late September I was delivered from the discomfort.
Then the year took an unexpected turn in mid-October when we, that is my family and I, discovered we would have to move from our house the congregation I serve had rented during my eleven years and then three prior to that. It was old and falling apart and those who owned it said no more money would be put into it. We had three months to look and move.
We moved into a very nice place two weeks later. A very nice place that was for sale and then was taken off the market for five months. We wintered there in comfort.
March found me coughing and coughing and coughing and well… you get it. A severe respiratory infection had taken hold and would not let go… not until mid-June after several rounds of antibiotics. So I barked my way through the sermon on Sunday, twice and coughed my way into the record books.
April comes and the temporary residence goes back on the market…
… and is sold within a week.
Now the fun begins!
Do we rent or do we buy? Our church leadership is supportive and through what I call caring action, enables us to think buying as well as renting.
We choose the unthinkable… we start looking, with a mid-May target date to move, to buy!
There are homes that we like but they are scooped up befrore we can formulate an offer.
We make an offer, its rejected. We do not counter.
Meanwhile there is the home that keeps popping up in our search range that I like the first time I see it.
Panic and anxiety begins to set in as we enter mid-April and no place to go.
And that house I like? Well after two trips through it we make an offer, on our anniversary no less, that is countered and we accept the counteroffer.
But we have to find a temporary place to live as it will take a while for closing and such to occur.
But while this is going on I have this growing sense that something is about to change. And it does! The sale on our temporary housing falls through!
We can stay till we move! But then the subsequent tragic deaths of two dear friends occurs and reminds us that there are weighty matters as well. We grieve and mourn their passing – one in her 30’s -mother, wife, God servant and the other on a honeymoon with his second wife.
Eventually the closing takes place and then we wait for the 30 day period afterward to come to an end. It comes early and we move in just before we make a big trip!
At the end of July, the emotional intensity of the year, notably the move, wears off and I feel like Elijah did after his time on Mt Carmel with the prophets of Baal. Exhausted and depressed I struggle to believe and hope. But eventually what I have just written to you becames clear to me and I realize where I have been and that the Lord has walked with me through illness, significant change, deep grief, and deep and essential spiritual experiences.
And I am grateful to God as I followed Him and He walked with me.
These are my Thursday Thoughts…