Friday, October 31, 2014

Life Goes On

Today is a day in which our culture celebrates the myths and fears that surround death.  Some of the cultural traditions are fun and some are down-right scary.  Although we can claim to have had some fun on All Hallows' Eve, our family grew to be fairly indifferent to the celebrations going on around us on this day. In fact, it never crossed my mind to purchase candy this year so we are sitting at home with the porch lights OFF!

On the eve of All Saints Day, when many are celebrating the uncertainty that surrounds death, I thought I would write a little about the certainty that comes to those who have faithfully departed in Christ.  About a month ago we said "see you later" to my life-long friend and husband of twenty-five years.  Because of the long term nature of Ken's health problems our family had many opportunities to face reality and to prepare for closure.  We actually considered that part of his illness to be a blessing through the years.

Ken had survived liver cancer in 2006 by receiving a life-saving liver transplant.  Throughout 2014 his transplanted liver had been slowly failing and we knew that it was a matter of time before it had completely failed.  Even though Ken was diagnosed with a rare liver disease in 1989 he lived a life much better than the doctors ever expected.  Because of this diagnosis we learned to live a life that kept the truly important things in the forefront.  We learned to say the things that were really important to each other and to our children.  Ken wrote each child a letter before his passing yet there was nothing written that wasn't said at some time.   He did the same for me and I now have in writing letters that highlighted the years of spoken words.

About a week before Ken died he asked me to have our children, parents and pastors meet with him at the hospital.  He had struggled that day with a lot of pain and wanted this opportunity to speak some final words to his loved ones while his mind was clear. He spoke with us all as a group assuring us of his conviction and faith in Jesus Christ. He spoke individually to each of us assuring us of his personal love.   We then ended the night with bible readings and a service to accommodate the dying. 

As a final act of love and closure for us all,  Ken also planned the entire funeral.   He typed out the worship service,  he chose all of the Bible readings and all of the hymns. I think it was so well done it was ready for printing once the church secretary had added in the day of death along with the name of the Pastor officiating the service.  The funeral service ended with this verse from 2 Timothy 4:7 -
"I have fought the good fight.   I have finished the race.   I have kept the faith."  

As he planned the service with a specific message in mind,  this verse alone left us all with a final message.   Although life goes on, we were being encouraged to stay focused on the finish line of this earthly race so that life will go on eternally for us all, like it did for him.


  1. I get this little magazine called DAILY WORD which has prayers and thoughts for each day. I must share with you the one for today!
    When we stand at the end of one life experience--the conclusion of a job or relationship, moving away from home, graduating from school, or retiring from a career (I add the loss of a loved one)--we remember that every ending is also a beginning.Saying goodbye to what has been, we welcome what will be.
    We may be tempted to keep looking back, but once we turn our eyes to the path ahead, we find new opportunities awaiting us. We are beginning a new phase of life, a new way of fulfilling our purpose, a new way of serving God and the world. In truth, we don't leave anything behind; we carry it with us. As we bless our past, we build on all we have learned and continue on our life's unfolding journey.

  2. I have been deeply touched and encouraged by your shares of your life in Christ and with Ken. Blessings to you and the whole family.

  3. I missed this before, Lisa. What a wonderful message and I am so glad that I could be there and experience the service that Ken had planned. He was a good man and that was visible in the people he touched that attended the service.

    Love to you---pop by my blog in the morning- I might just mention your name. Diana

  4. Dear Lisa,

    What a beautiful message - thank you so much for sharing it with us.

    I am so sorry for your loss - but how truly wonderful that you and your family have strong faith that can aid and heal you - knowing The Truth.

    I shall continue to pray for you, and for your continued courage and strength as the holidays approach - each day will be a new thing to overcome. May your Faith keep your focused on life, and living it to the fullest for God.

    And congrats to you on your surprise from Diana. : - )

    Healing Christian hugs to you,


  5. Dear Lisa, I have never met you in person, but I know we have a common bond! It is our serving the same King Of Kings! I am so glad for your wonderful marriage and for having your children with a man of God! So sorry for your loss, but I rejoice knowing He will be your husband now! I am so glad you won the giveaway, I know this will be a beginning of all things new.
    Yours, Roxy

  6. Your husband had bared this earth-life
    His soul was before granted
    His every deep desire
    Before he knew this rapture
    Of meeting face to face
    The one who sought him and saved him
    And kept him by his Grace.

    I now rejoice with you as I too serve a living God
    was once loss from sin to be saved
    To one day have eternity
    And meet before me my family

    So Lisa I too have never met you but I know your my sister in Christ and your husband was my brother in Christ as well.

    So what a marvelous witness good bye's and prayer to all of you those moments .
    Yet in the end of time. when you should have to go.
    He will be there in Paradise waiting for you .
    For Gods promise everlasting. Amen.

  7. Hello Lisa,
    I just found your blog.
    Congrats on winning the giveaway.

    I will be praying for you.

  8. Visiting from Diana''s nice that you won...:) What a wonderful tribute to your husband and his strength.

  9. Lisa, I am visiting from Nana Diana's. I am so sorry for your loss, but praise God with you for the sure hope that we have in Jesus Christ. This post blessed me greatly, as your family's focus on what Jesus has done. May He be a strong rod for your back and a soft pillow for your tears as you grieve the loss of your husband, though not as those who have no hope. Good bless you.