Friday was the end of a long week for us. Walt and I travelled to Daleville, Al. to visit our ministry at Fort Rucker and to bring back supplies. Coming back was the longest as I was driving a large passenger van and towing a 12 ft. trailer. The return trip took all day Wednesday to go over 400 miles to Charleston, SC. where we rested for the night and then 5 hours Thursday to Jacksonville, NC, arriving in the early afternoon.
I took off Thursday night, but it was back to work early Friday morning, and a full day at the Center getting ready for a big night.
Sgt. Marcus Lanier, one of our regulars at The Center for the last 3 years is shipping out to San Diego for training as a Marine Recruiter this week, and Friday was his last day at the Center. We said goodby to Kennard Green just two weeks ago as he was PCS’d to TwentyNine Palms.
Marcus brought many members of his church over to see the ministry and we had a great meal of Barbecue and Shrimp with all the fixins’.
Marcus will really be missed, but we are excited for his new career recruiting Marines. You will see Marcus in our new Ministry video I am producing for this fall.
Goodbyes are our lot in this life. I miss my family and the friends I grew up with in Maryland, but following God’s Call means sometimes we have to say goodbye. The hard goodbyes though are the ones that are long term in our flesh. One of my mentors died last week. Another is in hospice and will be with His Lord soon.
Over the course of 19 years in the ministry, 15 of those full time, I have officiated well over 100 funerals. I have seen the many ways folks deal with loss. Whether it is someone moving across country or on to the Other Country, we all find ourselves at times separated from those we love. The only way I can deal with it, and perhaps it will help you, is to face reality and not run from it.
Loss is our lot. I say that in every graveside service. Because of sin, we have events spiral out of our control and we loose the ones we love. Temporary or permanent, loss is a fact of life. But as real as sin is, Grace is greater. We must choose to cling to our Lord and His Plan, no matter how painful. His Plan is right. When a loved one dies, we must accept God’s Perfect Will and move on, continue to live. When someone we love moves away, we must also accept this, and trust that God will continue to bless our lives even though our friend, who has been such a blessing, is no longer in our daily life.
Above all, press on. Never let loss stop you.