Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Good-byes



Hi All,
I am sorry that I didn't post anything last Friday. Several things came up all at once and I was feeling overwhelmed so I decided to take a week off from writing or doing a video. I hope you don't mind.

Last Friday Robert and I attended a going away party for The Poit family. It was hosted by some very good friends Jim and Ramona Case at their lovely home in Fullerton. It was an emotional event because Jim and Linda Poit came all the way from Michigan to work with Robert and I at the Crystal Cathedral right after my husband was installed as the senior pastor in 2006. Jim was the Executive Pastor and Linda worked in the education department under Robert's sister. Shortly after we left they were both let go. Wrapped up in saying good-bye to them is yet another reminder that our dreams of building the church through a great future have vanished. A very difficult thing to accept, even now, nearly a year later.

Saturday was the 4th of July and most of our kids were here. Christina came down from Hermosa Beach. Anthony still lives here until tomorrow and Bobby and Hannah are staying with us until their escrow closes on their new home in Orange. Only Angie and Chris were missing. We had a nice day at the beach and then watched the fireworks as they exploded alongside the reflection of a full moon over the Pacific Ocean. A day of taking stock of our freedom and independence enjoyed in this great nation.

Sunday Robert and I went to church and then that evening we officiated a memorial service that took place on a boat out of Newport Harbor here in South Orange County. The service was for Joseph Purcilly, USMC retired major; a great patriot and also a friend. I grew up with his daughter, D'Anne and she and I are still friends today. It was a very touching service and appropriately held on July 5. I lost my dad when I was just thirteen so in many ways it is surreal for me to experience so many of my friends now losing their dads to illness and old age. Time and again I ask myself if it is more difficult to lose someone suddenly when they are young or if it is worse to lose them to an illness as they get older. I have spent many hours pondering this question and I have not come up with an answer yet. Part of me says you love people more with every passing day, therefore it is more difficult to lose them as time goes on. Another way I think has to do with the tragedy of losing a young person. How unfair it seems. The whys and the what ifs that our mind tricks us into thinking about. It's a reminder that we need to appreciate each and every day and we need to tell our loved ones that we love them every day. Each day is truly a gift from God.

Monday, at the crack of dawn I left on an airplane bound for NYC. I used some of my airline miles and accompanied our daughter Christina to New York. She had an audition for a television show and I felt honored that my twenty-three year old wanted her mom along instead of another friend. She told me they would distract her from her work (which they would have!) We had a great two days together.

Today I am planning a going away party for our youngest, Anthony. He leaves for Australia tomorrow where he will be completing a program with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) for three months and then another two and a half month mission trip somewhere else on the globe (to be determined when he completes the program) This is a very difficult time for me although I am thrilled for his opportunity and for his gracious and wonderful heart in desiring to serve God this way. He is our youngest and I will miss him terribly!

I decided to share some of myself with all of you in hopes that you can pray for our family as we are still adjusting to our new roles. We did the same thing for so many years. We served many of you and another holiday without our church is another reminder that so much is lost but there is so much to be grateful for and to look forward to. I am coming to grips with "good-bye" and I don't think it's ever easy.

"As they were walking along the road a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds have nests, but the son of Man has no place to lay his head." He said to another man, "Follow me." But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God." Still another said, "I will follow you Lord; but first let me go back and say good-bye to my family." Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of heaven." Luke 9:57-62

Wishing you the peace and understanding of God when you go through your trials and temptations. Keep looking forward, keep looking up. Your friend in Christ, Donna

22 comments:

  1. So glad you were able to post a new thought. I kept looking for it. I sure can understand how hard it is to redefine our goals at this stage of our lives. One of my high school teachers had a saying "act enthusiastic and you'll be enthusiastic" I know this has helped me keep a more positive outlook through all the rough spots. Next hurdle is foot reconstruction surgery in late September. I'm already praying that it will give much pain relief. God speed to Anthony, I still remember when he hit his ear on the bridge between Ambuehl and home....

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh Donna,
    I can totally relate to what you are going through as 2008 was a year of goodbyes and changes for me also. I am still missing California and all the friends and the happy life I had there so much that I ache.I've been reluctant to make new friends here in Houston even though I'm a very social person. I know I need to try to adapt, and I will, but I need more time. My daughter has been away since 2006 and since she was our only child empty nest hit us particularly hard and still we feel a void without her. This year I have been missing my father so much. He died of mesiothelioma in 1996 after a very brave fight with that horrible disease. I was holding his hand at his bedside in hospice when he passed. I held his hand for hours because I wanted him to feel safe and unafraid as he passed. Our entire family prayed the Our Father holding hands in a circle just after he passed. It was so moving and I felt the Holy Spirit in the room with us. I don't think the amount of time a parent is with us on this earth makes it more or less difficult to deal with their death. I think the love between a child and a parent is instant and intense. It resides deep in our heart.So a parent dying young or old is equally difficult. Donna, I am so sorry you lost your Dad at such a young age when you really needed him. I'm sure you shed many tears for lost moments without him. We never know why God takes away the things we cherish the most. There is always a lesson from the most unfair circumstances. But I believe having lived it myself, that when we go through really terrible times that the reward God has in store for us is just around the corner. And my oh my what wonderful things he has in store for you and Robert. Sometimes we have to suffer greatly in order to receive. Perhaps that makes us appreceiate Gods gifts even more. I know I cherish my father more now. There are times when I see people my age who still have their fathers and I feel a bit jealous, but when that happens I draw on my memories of Dad, especially when I was a child and I feel comfort and sometimes I feel like he is right next to me calling me his little pizza pie and twirly doo. I am going to pray for you and Robert intensely for the next few weeks. I'm going to pray that you feel more comfortable with your present situation and that it becomes easier for you to think about your time at the Crystal Cathedral. You both did so much good there. I know because I was in the pews every Sunday. A part of you and Robert will always be there as you contributed so much to the growth and success of that church. You have a new normal now and it will get easier each day...I promise. Love Mary

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Donna,

    Wow so much is happening in your life. I will keep all of you in my prayers.

    I think 2008/2009 has been very difficult for many, many people. We, as a family, have had some hard hits in the past couple of weeks. When I started asking why I found myself picking up my bible and once again began working my way through the book of Job. Seems like every time life gets hard I turn to this book and find comfort.

    I read this in my daily devotion today James 5:11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. It brought me great comfort.

    Blessings on you and yours!
    Dana

    ReplyDelete
  4. Donna, tray not to be too sad anymore! Jim Poit, I liked his services so much! I atteneded one Dec.'07. I know the CC situation is sad and I still shake my head about it. But it's time to overcome. I know it's different for you. I as a person from the TV-congregation can walk away and looking for another church. I have found one to go regularly, Pentacostal/Zurich. - Losses of loved once are always difficult. I will have that one day with my mum (82) and my dad (84). They have to move this fall from there big house in an appartment to have it easier. - Anthony, going away is not a loss, it's happiness that he has a projet to attend he likes. With all this possibilities to be in touch through emails etc. He will come back and has to tell a lot. That's an enrichment! - I have a friend, she is living far away, we can't meet us regularly. But we both accept it that we only are the most of the time in touch with emails. I met her this spring after 10 years and a few months again. Was wonderful!!! We both will keep this memory in our hearts. - Donna you have wonderful close family members. You see Christina wanted to have you as her company to her audition. Great! - You can see that Bobby's dreams are going to be fulfilled! - Robert has a new challange ahead. Great too!!! - So it's getting time to embrace the new chalange and make the most of it. We all face difficult times in our lives. I did and still do it. Job situation, rough colleagues, selfish people. But I say to myself , I accept myself and say I have my values. - God loves us all as his children. - My prayers and blessings are with you Donna, Robert and your family.- Rosemarie

    ReplyDelete
  5. Donna, you have opened your heart with such honesty snd shared your feelings so eloquently!

    Thank you for caring, sharing and I could see through your words a sense of faith and trust that gives us all a feeling of hope in whatever our trials may be.

    God is blessing you and all who follow this site.

    Jan-Michael
    PS Please know that if you ever cannot post a message, I will imagine you and Robert are taking some well earned rest and certainly doing God's work somewhere in whatever you are doing. As I said one time about Robert's future "I will remain patient for however long it takes". Same for your messages. I know you will post when you can so I will remain patient always.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Donna,
    I agree with Jan-Michael. You don't have to post weekly as we all understand you have a busy schedule. I love our community here. Just remember everyone here loves and believes in you and Robert. Whenever you're feeling down, discouraged or in need of encouragment think about this group of people who are solidly behind you and always have you in our prayers. Mary

    ReplyDelete
  7. Donna, just a hint to all your people fallowing your blog. Questin? Wwhy are you in this blog? I never see your comments here? From what are you affraid to post something. Donna wouldn't you be pleased to here from more people??? - Blessings Rosemarie

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Rosemarie,
    I am fine with whoever wants to post or not post a comment. Many of you write to me via my gmail address so I am kept busy answering through that. I also still get quite a few letters through the regular mail system. I am blessed to have so many of you write to me and I thank you. Donna

    ReplyDelete
  9. Okay Donna, I understand you very well! But we few people here are so open. I asked myself why others can't be so open as well? You are too Donna. I appreciate it very much! - Blessings, Rosemarie.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great picture of you and Robert with Alexis and Anthony as they embark on their way to Australia before a missionary posting after their training is completed.

    As they progress through their training, then onto a misssionary posting, I hope you will be able to keep us up-to-date occasionally. I, for one, would love to know the steps used to ready them for the work they will be doing. And eventually, perhaps Anthomy and/or Alexis will offer their perspectives on the whole experience.

    God is blessing them and surely was pleased as they accepted this challenge!

    Jan-Michael

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hello Donna, I am sorry that you are feeling the way that you have been. I have been away at a conference from Monday till Saturday mid-day.

    I do hope and pray that you are
    feeling better.

    God bless
    Barbie

    ReplyDelete
  12. Dear Donna. I am compelled to respond to your question of the pain of losing loved ones -- easier if taken suddenly, or if they live a long life. I think truthfully, it is never easy to say goodbye to those we love, and always pain-filled. Isn't that one of the awesome wonders of looking forward to heaven!?! Never having to part with those we love -- never having to say that painful goodbye!! Praise the Lord for the blessed hope He has so loving promised. Our prayers are with you.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wrote your entry JS. I'm just a curious gal! Are you male ore female? Like your entry!!! I guess I would grife a lot too, loosing someone close to me. I never really experienced it up to now. - A friend said to me this spring as we met us again after 10 years (she lives far away in LA) we do not say good bye, it's till I see you again. It's similair when somebody is in heaven. We have to carry this thoughts in our hearts and we can overcome easier. If the time is coming to let loose a loved one, I will always remember her words. - Blessings from Switzerland, Rosemarie

    ReplyDelete
  14. Yes, I am a lady. My husband is a hospice patient here at home, and I am his sole caregiver. I am watching him slowly pass away, before my eyes. Very painful, as I am still crazy-in-love with him after all these years. I think, as Christians, we love more deeply, and when we lose those we love, the love inside has nowhere to go -- it cannot express itself. And so we grieve more deeply. Though we have the hope of Jesus, we still have the pain. Even as the Father and the Son experienced the pain of separation while Jesus was on the Cross. But one day - oh blessed hope!!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I’m with you JS!! I’ll pray for you, in church on Sundays (prentacostal) for you too. Rosemarie

    ReplyDelete
  16. thank-you for posting the great picture of the four of you Donna. It is always hard to say good-by wether they are young or old. I to just watch my nephews boy over two years slowly slip away from a brain tumor he was 22 yrs old He was the brave one and made it easier for us to handle it all. And at the last in my heart I think he made peace with Lord.
    I sometimes have trouble posting on your blog. But my prayers are always with you all. Cysradill

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi all, First I want to say to JS and to cysradill that my prayers are with you and your families. Yes, we will eventually see our loved ones again in the afterlife but the pain of not having them here on earth is very real. We must allow ourselves to grieve and in the process we can accept.
    The photo is of Anthony and Christina (his sister) who came to the airport to see Alexis and Anthony off on their mission trip. I will suggest to Anthony that he keep us updated. I will then keep all of you updated. I just heard that they arrived safely but their luggage has not arrived yet! Pray that it does. Bobby and I did a video blog yesterday but he has not posted it yet. I think you will enjoy it.
    Thank you for all the prayers and support, Donna

    ReplyDelete
  18. Grreat blog Donna! Keep up the good messages and uplifting spirit. Blessings, Sande Herron

    ReplyDelete
  19. As someone still employed by that ministry, I have been grieving the changes in the ministry too, and dealing with forgiveness of all involved. You have dealt with this publically with so much grace, I pray to have that much grace in light of the daily press releases that come to my inbox addressing how "great" all the new changes to the ministry are. I fight off my anger and give it to God, as I know you and Robert will be so much better off in the long run as God works together for good to all who are called according to His purpose as I know you and Robert are. (and your children)and I know I must continue to work as unto God and not my new bosses. Robert was my favorite boss, and God is and forever will be my CEO.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Life does have a way of going on Praise to our Father..and do we every really say goodbye for we will meet again at our Fathers home

    ReplyDelete
  21. You all are awesome!! Donna

    ReplyDelete
  22. Dearest Donna,

    I am catching up on your blog. I, too, am touched by the depth of your honest and trust of the brethren. You all are in my daily prayers. You have a beautiful family. I love you all even though we have never met here on this earth. We shall meet in Heaven if not here. :)

    I am a nursing student going for my RN degree. This fall I have to complete hospice clinicals. I have oftened wondered about illness, death, and how to minister to the precious loved ones in need. I sort of go into this with anxiety. As Christians, we have hope but I don't want to sound like just another person spouting cliches and platitudes. I know what I want though. I want God to help me to be the "real deal" in my walk with Jesus - not a phoney or legalist always looking for the negative in people.

    Your family is the real deal. God bless you bunches!
    Marci

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog. Please try to stay on the topic and remember also that there are many who are struggling through all kinds of challenges. Let's all be kind and thoughtful with our comments please! :D