I have been a member of FPCH since 1995. I was married here, my son was baptized here, we were the holy family one Christmas and more. I even can attribute the life of my son, now 20, to the late Dr. Arthur Johnson (no relation), a FPCH member who delivered my son under difficult circumstances. But that is a story for another day.
Four and a half years ago, I held a funeral service at FPCH for my wife. Again, I pondered the question “Why do difficult things happen to good people?” Sitting alone in a cancer ward gives one lots of time to think. Pastor Dan told me that dying people encounter God and encouraged me not to be afraid of it but to turn toward it. I did exactly that, and to honor my wife’s life, each year I spend half a day in solitary meditation and prayer.
On the first anniversary of my wife’s death, I was in deep prayer and meditation. I was aware that my role as a father to a 15-year-old was more important than my own needs. As I prayed in the bedroom of my Las Vegas home, I heard a voice and felt I needed to resign my job as general manager of a Las Vegas technology firm and return to LA to enable my son to rejoin his classmates and graduate high school with his friends. Leaving a good job in the face of financial burdens from my wife’s illness, was not an easy decision. But I walked away from that job that morning into unemployment in trust and turned off my phone for the remainder of the day. When I finally turned on my phone, I had four messages from old friend who almost never calls, offering me a job upon my return to LA. How did my friend know I needed this? God was at work.
On the second anniversary of my wife’s death, I heard the voice again and by now I knew to pay attention! My closest friend encouraged me to deal with stress and personal anxiety by volunteering and actively giving back to the world and to the church. That voice led me to join the global missions’ team, to go on a short mission trip to Haiti, to develop a relationship with Fuente di Vida, and to instigate FPCH’s joint mission with Fuente di Vida to Chiapas Mexico. God was at work again. Also learning Spanish helped in big ways that I would not appreciate until later, which I will explain below.
The third year after my wife’s death, I was in prayer and asked God about being single again. What direction did he want me to follow? Exactly one-week later, I met a woman visiting from Medellin Colombia and out of nowhere, I unexpectedly heard that voice again” .This time the voice was telling me to take her seriously and boy did my new Spanish skills come handy! 18 months later, two weeks from now – that very same woman will become my wife. Wow!
- I learned that God does not promise to deliver us from difficult times, but he does walk beside us and support us through those times.
- I learned to trust God instead of my own will, and let’s just say – he does a better job of it.
- I know that God loves us, and he is good ““ ALL THE TIME.