The past few weeks have been the most heart-breaking and yet the most fruitful moments since my release from a Life Sentence in April 2012.
My beautiful sister, Mary Teresa, recently passed away from cancer two days after arriving in Pennsylvania for a week-long speaking schedule. My sister had responded in a text to my itinerary the week before arriving, “Wow, you are a busy guy for sure.”
Looking back over the trip I am reminded of a few things. First, God’s timing is absolutely perfect. Being IN God’s will, also means you’re IN line with His divine schedule. So the verse is true, “ALL things are working together for the good,..” Romans 8:28. While Mary and I had breakfast plans for Monday, God had a better plan for her. To be made whole in the presence of her Lord and Savior is truly better. With my family devastated and lonely from her absence, God’s Amazing Grace flowed just like Elvis’ rendition which Mary requested to be played at her memorial.
Secondly, in the pain of her absence, God’s plan was accomplished, with very unique moments to remember as family gathered in support. While I couldn’t be physically present at Jillian and Eric’s planned wedding on Saturday, my friend Bill Nast officiated the wedding on location at Grace and Glory Outreach. He and Karen were able to FaceTime me at the hospital during the ceremony, where at the end I pronounce Jillian and Eric, “Husband and Wife!” With her photography artistry, Jordyn @jordynraephotography was able to capture that moment while they held onto the iPhone.
Thank you so much for everyone’s prayers and words of comfort over the past few weeks, I know the presence of God was near. Thank you to everyone who supported and continues to be there for the family. Joe, Mark, and Stephanie have the most unique and amazing friends I’ve ever met. While nothing can replace my Mary’s presence as a Mother and Wife of 35 years, the memories we have of her 55 years on earth will live forever in our minds.