Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father,
who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace,
comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 (NKJ)
Dear Friends and Family of In the Word Ministries,
Words cannot express Ron and my gratitude for your prayers and comforting words as our son Rhone experienced his second stroke. It was your prayers that consoled our hearts and God’s grace that sustained us during this difficult period. On Monday, June 11th, our prayers for total healing were answered as Rhone transitioned to heaven to be forever with the Lord. Yes, I said “total healing” for Rhone is no longer dependent on machines and medical knowledge for restoration and is now transformed to the beautiful and awesome man God created him to be. He is totally and completely healed!
Although our hearts are truly broken, Ron and I hold fast to God’s hand, “full persuaded” that we will see Rhone again and that the Healer of Broken Hearts holds our family in His bosom. God knows our pain. Rhone’s passing did not catch God by surprise. Rhone had successfully completed his 47-year assignment. He has completed his race!
As we finalize plans for Rhone’s Celebration of Life in July (Praise the Lord, Rhone will not be joining us), God has left me a Word (four to be exact) to share with you. As I read Paul’s letter to the church at Thessalonica, the word “consolation” stood out: “everlasting consolation, good hope by grace, and comfort for our hearts.” I asked Jesus, “how do You comfort my heart especially at this moment when it is breaking?” The Holy Spirit answered!
By Release. Through my tears, I fall forward into the arms of God. I cannot busy myself forever but must now face the void left in my heart when Rhone took his last breathe. My expressions of sorrow–lack of appetite, periods of sadness, and difficulty in rising some mornings, are all signs of my need to depend on God during this time of loss. I now “cast my burdens on the Lord because (I know) He cares for me.” (Ps. 55:22)
In Rest. I must be intentional in getting physical rest–a mid-day nap is the answer for the emotional exhaustion I feel as I restart my life after my time in Denver. God has blessed both Ron and I with nightly sleep so that we can continue the journey God has set forth for our lives. We cannot stay in the valley. “He leads me besides the still water. He restores my soul.” (Psalm 23: 2-3)
Through Remembrance. Remembering the special times Ron and I shared with our son gives me the opportunity to “re-experience” the joy of that moment. Exploration of shared memories and experiences helps me “return to joy”. “I thank God in my remembrance of you.” (Phil. 1:3) Thanks Kimmie for teaching me this priceless spiritual practice.
In all these, God is present. We never walk alone–God carries us! God allows all our emotions (which He has given us) to surface as we freely grieve with our family, connect with our community, and receive the love of our friends. Lastly, God comforts me…
Through a Reminder. The reminder of my future. The future which I draw closer to with each passing day. My future home in glory. I am reminded that “if this earthly temple is destroyed, I have a building of God, eternal in the heavens” (2 Cor. 5:1). I am reminded that “I have an inheritance reserved for me in heaven” (1 Pet. 1:4). I am reminded that “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:6). What wonderful reminders God has left in His Word.
Again thank you, my family in Christ, for your love and prayers. Keep them coming. To God be the glory!