Saturday, March 20, 2021

Strength for Today and Hope for Tomorrow

Long-time readers may remember that nearly ten years ago, Ed was ordained a minister at our church. That week had been hard as I surrendered part of my husband. In the years following, we experienced the challenges of church ministry but also found joys. Seeing God work in our lives and the lives of others was rewarding. The extra time spent studying God's Word was a blessing. We enjoyed being part of the ministry team at our church. 

That all changed with Ed's illness and death. Since then I've struggled to figure out my role and identity in our church. Who am I if I'm a former pastor's wife? Typically widows of ministers are in their seventies or eighties. Young widows are rare, but young minister's widows are even more rare. I didn't feel like I fit any normal category in the church.

This week a new minister was ordained to take Ed's place in our church. I fully supported the ordination and was glad to see our church moving forward. It is a joy to see a younger man take a leadership role.

But the week was also harder than I expected. Emotions that I've buried deep were raked out to the surface. I had to recognize and name some of my coping mechanisms that I've used as a barricade. 

Last night at the ordination, the service began with the well-known hymn "Great Is Thy Faithfulness." It was the perfect reminder to me that God has been faithful the past ten years, and His faithfulness would continue in my life and in the life of our church.

Great Is Thy Faithfulness
by Thomas Chisholm

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee,
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not,
As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above;
Join with all nature in manifold witness,
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.


Here is a video if you'd like to listen. (If reading by email, click over to the blog.)

15 comments :

  1. Praying for you Gina. I don't comment often, but I always read your blog. Your honesty and transparency encourages me throughout my daily walk with the Lord.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  2. Oh Gina, big hugs! I am so glad God is faithful. I pray that He supplies you with just the grace and comfort that your heart needs. ❤

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  3. The warmfireplaceMarch 20, 2021 at 3:47 PM

    Always in my prayers. Sue

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  4. This is one of my favorite hymns and oh how it got me through last year. His faithfulness never fails.

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  5. Gina, may God hold you close, again and again, as you work through the stages of grief.
    This is one of my favorite songs too; we sang it a youth banquet in January during a time of sharing and reflecting on the past year. It fits in every situation--because in every situation, GOD IS FAITHFUL.

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  6. Gina, I knew about this ordination and knew several of the men in the lot, but it was you I mostly prayed for last week. Thanks for sharing. May God bless you!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. It is humbling to know that you remembered me. I know that God was near this week because of prayers.
      Gina

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  7. A hymn with thought provoking words. I often turn to hymns when times get tough. The wisdom of the authors is truly guided by God's hand. I pray your heart is healed and your place in God's plan is made known to you. Blessings to you and your family. X

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  8. HERMOSO HIMNO GINA, LA FIDELIDAD DE DIOS SE RENUEVA CADA MAÑANA, EL SUPLE TODAS NUESTRAS NECESIDADES¡¡¡¡¡ EL ES FIEL. SE FUERTE Y VALIENTE, ADELANTE QUE DIOS ESTA CONTIGO.

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  9. I just found out my husband is dying. He has pulmonary fibrosis. I’m 42. I don’t know how to breathe. I can’t sleep. I don’t know how to picture a life now. I’m not a Mennonite. My kids will be grown in 3 years and I’ll be alone. I go to church. But I don’t have a big family. I thought we would grow old together, camp, fuss over who holds the new grand baby first.... when I cry I can’t catch my breath. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to survive this.

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    1. Oh, Nicole, I am so sorry. That is so hard. I will pray that God will give you comfort and send people in your life to surround you with love.
      Gina

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    2. Dear Nicole, I just saw your comment and looked down to pray for you and your family. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the first part of Psalm 55:22 "Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you;"
      Grace and Peace to you.

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  10. Thanks for sharing your heart and this beautiful arrangement of one of my favorite hymns. God bless you and your family.

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  11. Praying for often , Gina. You are so faithful to your family even though your husband has passed onto glory. God is faithful in sustaining.

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  12. Thank you for sharing so beautifully. I look forward to checking in here since discovering this blog a few months ago. I haven't commented before now, but I have appreciated your perspective and spiritual maturity so much. Also, my family has a new hobby of geo-caching thanks to you! We've had a grand time while getting out for more hikes than ever before in winter. God bless you and keep you...

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I love to hear from you.

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