Last month, I was planning on heading overseas for about 3 weeks, flying out January 19th to serve Cru conferences in Spain and Thailand.
Just before that, on January 10th, I went to visit my Father (Ron) and my stepmother (Dee), who live about an hour away. Dad had cancer, and late in 2016, we’d been told he had 4-6 months to live. So, I wanted to squeeze in a few more visits before I headed overseas.
Around then, Dad’s overall health started to decline more rapidly, and it had become harder and harder for him to communicate; a brain tumor was making it difficult for him to connect his thoughts and words. As we talked, he was telling me about a home repair project. It was something he had left only temporarily resolved, and that he’d planned to get back to it in the future, when there was more time.
Then, pausing wistfully, he added “But… you always think you have more time.”
4 to 6 months, or so we thought; it had barely been two. Dad’s words inhabited my thoughts over the next several days, and I made the (relatively easy) decision not to go overseas with our team to Spain and Thailand.
Dad died 11 days later, on January 21st.
I am extremely grateful that we could see the developments in time to make changes to our plans.
I am grateful that I was able to spend time with him again while he was still able to communicate. Able to get our team ready musically to accommodate the fact that I wouldn’t be with them. Able to spend time with family visiting and reminiscing as the end drew near; and able to spend time making plans for memorial and funeral services, and for celebrating Dad’s life.
For what it’s worth, our team got in and out of Spain and Thailand just fine, with no travel complications or equipment weirdness. They served our friends there well, leading them in worship and sending them back into their respective countries refreshed and ready for their next season of ministry.
Dad was right; we always think we have more time. January did not go the way I planned, but I am glad God gives us the ability to make changes to our plans for how we spend the time we do have.
Thanks, as always, for the part you play in our ministry! We’re grateful for your partnership and couldn’t do it without you!
We have teams preparing for a month-long Spring Break outreach in Florida called “Big Break” next month; it’s a huge evangelism and training conference where students spend their Spring Break learning to share their faith. Please pray for the lead-up to that – more news about that in updates to come!