Remembering Yesterday but Enjoying Today

May 22 was also a difficult day. Sheila and I married on that day in 1977, twenty-eight years ago. It would have been our 28th anniversary. I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to be married to the same woman for 28 years. I must admit that I envy those couples that have had such a life-long experience and see their children grow up in the Lord together.

But May 22 was also the day I attended my 18 year old daughter’s bacculaurete service. She graduates from High School on Friday. Rachel is not Sheila’s child, but mine through my second wife–Barbara. How can I mourn Sheila and at the same time rejoice in Rachel? I do both. It does not seem “logical” but I gave up a while back on our experience of joy, sorrow and God as “logical.” I just live, experience, relish, lament, mourn, rejoice and express my feelings to God…whether joy or sorrow. He gives both and I experience both, and I trust both serve ends to which he is leading me.

So, yesterday, I mourned and I rejoiced; I lamented and I celebrated. It was a good day for a tear but also for a smile. Life is like that. We experience the “evil and the good”–and we continue our journey of faith into the life of God.

And life moves toward someone…it moves toward God. And we enjoy God’s new gifts–like the new gift God gave me in 2002, Jennifer. Her love as been a means by which God has comforted my soul and cared for my wounds.

The journey will yet have bumps, wounds and hurts….every journey does. But God is walking alongside and also standing in the future drawing me toward the fullness of his Triune fellowship. The future is the reality where full joy, renewal and healing awaits. I long for it, but as long as today is today, I will yet rejoice in God’s gifts in the present….knowing that they will be carried forward into the future, consummated and enriched.

Shalom, my friends.

John Mark

8 Responses to “Remembering Yesterday but Enjoying Today”

  1.   Dee O'Neil Andrews Says:

    My niece, Rachel, middle daughter of my younger sister who lost her first child (her only son), had her bacculaurete service yesterday in Abilene, so Laura – and all of us -rejoiced, as well.

    May is a very difficult time of year for me, as well as you, with both wonderful and tragic things. So, I appreciate your candidness and expression of joy in NOW – today – which has blessings all its own, as you so eloquently express.

  2.   John Mark Hicks Says:

    Thanks, Dee. Sounds like we shared the same kind of Sunday on May 22.

    Now I am off to experience my newest pain…wisdom teeth to be extracted today. Yuk! But in a few days I know my mouth will feel better than it does at the moment. We endure the pain because of the goal. 🙂

  3.   TCS Says:

    My dentist brother-in-law (yes that is handy) pulled my wisdom teeth years ago. Aren’t you too old for that. Well anyway he instructed me to put tea bags on the sockets where the teeth had been. The caffeine apparently eases the soreness and helps the gum to close. So I may not be able to give you any theological wisdom but I offer you tea bags.

  4.   Matt Elliott Says:

    Another powerful post, John Mark. The witness of your life puts teeth into the teaching, “Give thanks in all circumstances.”

  5.   David U Says:

    JM, thanks for sharing with us! I don’t know you, but because of posts like that one, I want to know you, brother.

    God Bless,

  6.   JD Says:

    Life truly is bittersweet. Pretending things are great does not make them so. He has turned our mourning into dancing, though. And in so doing has given us a taste of the new world to come. Thanks for the reminder … in such vivid terms.

  7.   John Mark Hicks Says:

    TCS, my oral surgeon even recommended tea bags. Home remedies become technical medical practices. 🙂

    Feeling much better today, so it is back to work…a little…for me today.

    Thanks, friends, for your kind comments and shared lives.

  8.   John T. Byrne Says:

    Thanks, I like your site, and this piece in particular.

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