top of page


It was a Wednesday night in October of 1990 when I got the news that my mother had passed away. I was getting ready for a song service at the church when someone said, “Hey, there’s a phone call for you.” I picked up the phone and said, “Hello?” It was my brother, Randy. There was a pause and then he said, “I need to tell you something. Mother has just died.” I could hear his voice cracking as he spoke. He seemed as stunned as I was.

An hour later I was in a car with my sister and her daughter heading back home to Alabama.

I don’t remember our conversation during that hours-long drive. In fact, I don’t remember us saying much at all.

It wasn’t like my mother’s passing was unexpected. She had been in and out of the hospital that whole year. I spent a good many nights on the weekend during my senior year at Faulkner sitting at her bedside before I would head back to college on Sunday afternoon. She had been ill for some time and had gradually become unresponsive. By the time she passed, honestly, it seemed like she had been gone for a while.

The next few days are a blur. I don’t remember much about them.

I remember trying to find a tie because I had forgotten to bring one.

I remember my friends who came to the funeral to support me and who hugged me.

I remember thinking, “Things are going to be so different.” I was always closer to my mother than my father and so, with her passing, it felt like I had suffered a great loss. I felt as if I was now on my own.

As the years have progressed, I still think about her. And there are days when I am sad. Mother never got to meet my children. I know she would have loved them so much. Sometimes I imagine her holding them in her arms and smiling at them.

She never got to meet my wife, Peppi. I know she would have loved Peppi to death! I can just see the two of them sitting on the couch, laughing, swapping “war stories” from their time working in a hospital. They would have been fast friends.

It’s not easy “getting over” the death of someone we have loved. I don’t know that we ever do. And the feeling of loss can stay with us a lot longer than we think it should.

Transitions are hard.

Whether it’s the transition we make as we adjust to the passing of a loved one…

Or the transition that happens when our kids leave home…

Or the one that happens naturally as we age…

Transitions are hard.

This past week I stepped down from the pulpit after thirty-three years in ministry. I am moving over to the counseling office where I will transition from part-time to full-time. It’s a good time in my life to make this change. It means Peppi and I will have more time to spend together, and I love the work I do there. It’s a wonderful feeling when you are able to help someone and walk with them as they walk through a difficult period in their life. And it’s great when you can provide them with the tools they need to ease their troubled mind. It’s good work.

Still, I know this transition won’t be easy. Things will be different. There will be so many things I will miss.

Transitions are always hard.

Maybe you are going through one right now. If so, may I give you a few pieces of advice?

(1) Realize that change is a normal part of life. Everything changes. There’s a

shelf life for everything. And that’s okay.

(2) Take stock of what you are leaving behind and thank God for those things

you have enjoyed. Acknowledge them! Thank Him for them! This will not

only warm your heart but deepen your faith as you move forward.

(3) Embrace the unknown with faith and trust.

When Joshua and his people crossed the Jordan River into the Promise Land, he gave them this instruction:

“When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. {4} Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before.” (Joshua 3:3-4)

When we are moving from the known to the unknown, we must cling ever more tightly to our faith and trust. God will lead us if we will only follow Him!

Lynn Cowell has written:

“Sometimes, God brings times of transition to create transformation.”

And that is my prayer for you, whatever transition you are going through. I pray your time of transition becomes an opportunity for transformation.

3 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page