When we purchased our new home last fall there was a period of time where we could work in the house while we continued to live in the parsonage at church. It was very helpful and allowed us to make some changes and updates before we moved in. Over those weeks I would call Nancy and play the “Good news, Bad news” game. She got to pick what I told her first. For example…Good news, you get a whole new shower surround…Bad news, we have to replace the shower surround in the master bathroom (or the shower surround is now in the backyard waiting to go to the dump). Good news, I have solved the answer as to why there is water in the basement…Bad news, we need new gutters. I thought the game was fun. Nancy, not so much. As time wore on she just simply stopped playing. I would call and she would say, “I’m not playing, what did you find now.”
I have been reminded of that game these past few weeks.
Over the past twenty years I have struggled with my weight. I have gone from a high of 265 to a low of 235. I have very efficiently wavered between those two numbers on multiple occasions. When I went into the hospital I had hit my “high number” and was starting a renewed effort to drop some weight. Good news, I have dropped twenty pounds…Bad news, it took a few cancer cells to make it happen. Good news, I can eat just about anything I want these days…Bad news I struggle to maintain my weight. Two doctors visits ago I was chastised for losing weight. I cannot remember another time in my life when a doctor type got on my case for losing weight. The normal conversation involves a look back at my previous weight and then some quick math to help me understand how much I have managed to put on since my last visit. Once the math equation is complete there is usually some form of lecture regarding exercise and eating choices. At my last appointment I had gained two pounds and everyone was excited. How my world has changed.
Nancy and I have been a great team for close to twenty-six years now. We have walked through some of the best of times and have traveled some difficult paths during our time together. She has always been supportive, caring and has gone out of her way to make sure I am okay and doing well. The Good news, she knows me very well…Bad news, she knows me very well. She knows what I need, she can sense my frustration and she can tell when I am doing okay. She can also sense when I am getting restless and am not at peace with this “new normal” and am ready to do something less than wise just because I am not ready to declare myself unwell. I love her for the fact that she knows me so well. As you remember me in your prayers please do not forget Nancy. She is carrying a heavier load in our family these days. She is carrying me to the doctors, helping me understand and remember what is being said. She is doing her job as the director of JAM Daycare and helping me with some of my duties as pastor. She is walking closely with Rayann and Joe as our family navigates this new world for us. Nancy is the strongest woman I know. She brings a quiet, resilient, peace to life and it helps our family as we journey through this season.
These past two days have been filled with a lot of sleep and resting. I slept for close to ten hours Friday night and then got up, had breakfast and took a two hour nap. I have napped off and on all day. There have been times I have laughed at Owen (Rayann’s dog) and wished I had his life. These past two days I have lived his life and now I am ready to give it back.
I am looking forward to tomorrow (Sunday). The youth of First Baptist will be leading us in worship and they always do such a great job. Following their piece of the service we will celebrate a baptism service. I do not have the strength to take the lid off of a jar of pickles these days so we will be doing things a little differently. One of our Elders will get in the tank and will actually do the “heavy lifting” while I stand outside and share some thoughts and questions as I normally do. I was confident I could lower the person in the water…not so sure I could lift them out. It is one more way my “new normal” is changing and shaping how we look at life these days. I am excited for tomorrow, it is going to be a great day.
God is Good All the Time, All the Time God is Good.