Friday, January 4, 2019

Trusting God With This New Year and Remembering my Father-in-law

 Happy New Year to you! I have thought a lot about different goals for this new year and I am excited to share them with you and I hope to blog about them but that is going to wait just a little bit, our family is focused a little more on remembering the past just now and we will focus on the future shortly.

    Our reason for thinking a lot about the past just now is because my father-in-law, Terry, went home to be with Jesus on December 24th. He died in his sleep. It was unexpected and a bit of a shock to us.

That Saturday and Sunday (after church, lunch and watching the football game with Ken) he had been helping us work on our project of finishing up the basement. He planned to come back on Monday morning. As he headed out the door on Sunday night it was with the words "See you in the morning". As we know and Terry knew, our paths are directed by the Lord and it wasn't to be that we would see him the next morning coming in our door to help again. But Lord willing we will be seeing him again some great and marvelous morning when all the dead in Christ will rise. That will be one exciting day.

   Ken and I have been married now for 20 years (that milestone anniversary was a couple of weeks ago) and so I have known Terry for just a little longer than that. I have always been blessed to have a good relationship with my in-laws but they lived far away in Reno, Nevada and so I never really got to know them in a day by day basis where you work together and depend on one another. That changed when Terry and Sharyl moved out here a year and a half ago. That last year and a half has been pretty fun. It has been so neat to get to have both sets of parents living nearby, to see them all every time we go to church, to work together on projects and to just enjoy life together.  We were able to see Terry in action at living his life for Jesus Christ.

 I had always known that Terry was passionate about living for Jesus Christ and he had been ever since he got converted around the time he graduated from Highschool and then shortly thereafter went to Bible college with my parents, but it was such an encouragement to me to get to see his faith in action here in our town and in our church and community. He enjoyed preaching, teaching and leading Bible studies. He was devoted to prayer and regularly encouraged others to have a stronger prayer life. He was constantly trying to figure out ways to have openings to tell others about all that Jesus had done for his life and to share the reason for his hope in heaven. I think this is what I will miss most about him and I will be very honest that it has been hard for me to understand why God choose to take him just now when it seemed like he was so useful for His kingdom here . But I am fully confident of this - God knows the future and I don't. God knows what is best for all of us and may His will be done!

 Terry loved his Grandkids. Our Children were pretty blessed. He tried to fit in as much fun as possible when they would visit or we would meet up with them in the past. The picture above shows a game of choo-choo train going on. Just recently Terry got a Bible study going with Jonathan to work at encouraging him and he just bought a ping-pong table so that he could play with the kids - especially Aaron. They had enjoy playing many a time at the church building.
 Terry was an avid mountain climber/backpacker.  We were blessed to explore many beautiful places with him and Sharyl. We appreciate his sacrifice in moving away from his loved mountains to be able to live near us.
 Terry grew up on Water (Lake Tahoe in Nevada) and loved spending time out there. Here in MN he enjoyed kayaking in the Mississippi by our place.
   Terry was also pretty big into taking pictures. It is fun now to look through a bunch of the pictures that he took.

  Terry was also a very devoted husband and father and a very good encourager. I was very blessed to be his daughter-in-law.

   So family started arriving today - Ken is at the airport just now picking up his younger brother and his two sisters are here (but in bed already) - more extended family are coming tomorrow, Lord Willing. We will have a full house and it will be fun and we will remember many things about Terry. And we will miss him - he would have enjoyed being here with us but then again not near as much as he will enjoy singing praises around God's Throne (and he will be singing on key! 😊).


Nola said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss of your Father-in-law. How wonderful and amazing that you have so many great memories.

Brenda Fricke said...

Abbi, what a beautiful tribute to your father in law. He sounds like a wonderful, godly man, sure to be missed by all those who knew and loved him. What a precious comfort it is, knowing he is in the presence of Jesus! I will be praying for your family during this difficult time.

brendab said...

This was beautiful to read. I am so sorry for your loss.

Abbi said...

Thank you all so much!


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