Mar 24, 2019

Dear family and friends,

Facing my darkest hours, is not easy for me. I’m not sure it is easy for anyone. Yet we all have our hours, days and even years that come to us and seem to be more darkened than lit.

Last fall, when Bells Palsy recurred now on both sides of my face it was deeply disheartening for me. Bev was in the middle of her mastectomy surgery, seeking to recover well enough to begin the grueling chemo process. I was initially angry and frustrated with this ailment of mine. I was also exhausted in my body and soul in ways I had not realized or given much attention to directly. I was embarrassed to even tell my wife as she ached over the pains and grief of the presence of cancer. The toll on our family over the past year had felt like unrelenting storms of loss and change that brought undeniable demands on our attention, time and strength. Just as the new alarms rang for our family to rise up for Bev in this occasion of greatest need, I was arrested by the palsy. The terrible timing of it all seemed most unfair.

Yet something happened in the midst of my disparate prayers and sullen soul. I heard God whisper the calm of guidance that drifted through the night of my discontent. “Rest with Bev, not just for Bev.” “Be present with your family in your tiredness”. “Let me fill where you are empty.” These thoughts and words became more vivid and refreshing over time. I could be present with Bev taking her to her appointments, attempting to keep up the house chores, napping when she naps and most rewardingly of all being alongside in her own path of finding what light, hope and courage she could from God in this darkened season.

Facing my darkest hour continues to move me with deep gratitude for the way God moves with a pace of subtleness that in time lifts me. Bev brings an amazing humble strength of faith even as she finds her way though her deep fears, doubts and struggles for hope. You our dear family and friends have revealed a depth and width of kindness, care and encouragement that brings Jesus all the more tenderly to our hearts, minds and soul.

Jesus truly does make the dark seem as day. I thank God for hope of life that is given in Christ and you.

Pastor Dale

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