Thanksgiving letter 7 months gone

For many years, I believe over 30, Cynthia and I sent out our annual letter around the time of the American Thanksgiving celebration in late November; and its theme was always thankfulness, what we were grateful for during the past year.  This year, nearly 7 months after her passing, I will write the letter by myself; but the theme is the same.

I am thankful for Cynthia’s life; she brought the life and joy of the Lord to so many people, in so many ways.  And I am so thankful that I knew her for 40 years, and that we were married for over 38  years.  And that her death was relatively quick, and that she is now free from pain and living in perfect light and love.

I’m thankful for Phil & Amy, and the steps of faith they continue to take.  They are doing so well together, and in the Lord.  I’m planning on seeing them, and several others of my family, in the USA in February and March.

I’m thankful for my God-given ministry, the joy I have in helping people back to hope, and helping them cast off their Cinderella rags and enter more firmly into their royal positions.  Working with young leaders is so fulfilling for me.

The tears flow less often now, although I still catch myself thinking, “I must tell Cynthia about this . . . .”  I’m thankful for the stages of grief, and that we move through them in the measured and stately way of the changing of the seasons.  The Lord made us so well.

I’m thankful for my life at this stage: my health is better than it’s been for years, my weight is going down, my energy levels are up, and I’m surrounded with affection.  I flow between my circles of covenantal love, invite myself shamelessly for meals and visits, and live each moment with an intensity and a clarity I have not known since I was converted over 41 years ago . . . .

The extroversion and desire for company continue to develop in me, and I not only cry more easily but laugh and shout more too.

“Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.”
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

               Prayer requests:

That I can finish my first book before the end of January 2013.  It’s doable, if you pray for me.  I have an increasing sense of urgency to get this done, the need out there is huge.

That I can have long-term housing that won’t change; the leaders of the Burtigny base are working with me on this project.

That I can continue to be a source of blessing to many.

And dear ones, I am so thankful for you.  Even though I have not been able to respond to you as well as I should have, I have been overwhelmed by your kindnesses.  May your Christmas season be the best one ever, and may you be “ever mindful of the Presence of the Lord”.

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6 thoughts on “Thanksgiving letter 7 months gone

  1. Your response to missing your wife is a great testemony! You always cling to the Lord for your needs and give Him glory! Thank you for sharing about your life so openly! I can learn to trust God in all circumstances! It is also great to see how you are surrounded by loving relationships which are so crucial in such times! God is faithful to all that lean on him! He has a great future for you, my dear brother Tom! Blessings from Heidi ( Norway) My husband and I did an LTS together with you and Cynthia in Amsterdam.

  2. Hi Tom:

    Greetings from Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines. I am sending you my belated sympathy and condolences. I read the articles you posted and it touched me the way you handled your grief and sadness over the loss of your wife Cynthia. I can still remember you both back then when I took the DTS in Burtigny. I remember your sweet voices singing in duet. I am not sure if you could still remember me. I took my DTS Crossroad Relief and Development Course way back September 1998-March 1999. My team leaders were Pierre Yves, Richard and Ellaine Leakey.

    I pray that the Lord will grant you such an inner peace as you continue to move on in life.

    Blessings,

    Myrna S. Garde

  3. I listened to a tape of your teaching from a recent conference and it was a blessing.. I’ll be listening to more… Thank you for heart-talk! I’m blessed to learn from your walk with the Lord and pray for you!

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