The LORD is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18

It was just a year ago this coming Tuesday that my father suddenly passed out of this life and into the arms of Jesus. I remember the call from my sister-in-law, Leisa. She never calls me, so I knew something was wrong. “Scott, I am so sorry . . . ,” she began. I went numb from head to toe. For a second I felt I couldn’t breathe. Dad had been sick from complications brought on by his bladder cancer, but he’d been doing much better. We just didn’t see it coming. I told my wife, broke down in tears, and then called Nevin, “Could he take the service” (since it was Sunday). “Of course,” he said. With that, we threw some clothes into our bags, got into the car and headed to Arkansas.

The days that followed are still a blur. I remember the pain, the numbness, the constant suppressing of tears because I wanted to be strong for Mom. It was a terrible week in so many ways. And yet it was also full of grace as I remember the messages from so many of you promising to keep us in prayer, the loving presence of my wife, and the closeness of my extended family who gathered near to share in our grief. God was present with us then. He still is now. He truly is near to the brokenhearted. And for that I praise Him!

With this first anniversary now upon us, Amy and I will be leaving soon after church today to return to Arkansas and spend the next several days with my mom. This first year has been hard for her, as it is for almost everyone who has lost a spouse, so we thought we should be with her at this time.

Please keep us all in your prayers as we travel and remember, rejoice and relive those days of sorrow. The Lord will be with us. We know that. But so will the grief. And yet it is in knowing His nearness through such times that we will find out once again just how faithful and kind He truly is.

Thank you for your understanding and prayers!

Pastor Scott