It’s March, and we’re already getting Spring storms here in Switzerland. We recently had a storm which scared the crap out of me and the Wife one night. I have a large window in my bedroom that has an awning that I usually have closed because I like it dark in my room. During the summer, I open it up to accommodate my portable air conditioner. There’s a little hook that keeps it closed during storms, and apparently I didn’t hook it up correctly when I closed it up for the winter. The loose awning opened with a loud bang that woke me and The Wife up at 3 am. Eventually the adrenaline wore off and I was able to get back to sleep, but the storm was quite noisy and windy.
That’s how we know, here, that it’s closer to Spring and that Winter will soon be over. Soon, we’ll be getting more storms like that one, but with thunder and lightning! (It’s what we get for living near the Alps.)
The end of February and March have been kind of like that storm. While the book launch was really awesome, there’s been a lot of other stuff that hasn’t been awesome, that knocked us in the head. We’re getting through it, and we’re ok overall, but it’s been a rollercoaster of emotions.
What was really hard for me, personally, was finding out one of my best friends from seminary, Rev. Lee Whittaker, passed away suddenly a couple of weeks ago. Grieving is hard. I know this. I’ve told my wife and friends this on many occasions, but it’s hard to remember when you’re grieving someone who was close to you. I wished we’d had more contact in the last few years, but like with a lot of folks, when we moved to Switzerland, we fell out of regular contact. (I don’t blame anyone for this, really, since life is life and time zones and all that.)
But the one gift I have for myself and for others who loved Lee is this small YouTube series we did in 2015 called “Coffee With God.” While it was hard for both of us to continue with the series due to our schedules and other things, I think what we did together with this series was really good. We both learned a lot about filming, editing, and online ministry.
When I heard the news about Lee, I immediately began looking through the videos, and of course, there was this episode about grief:
Seminary was a complicated time for me. I have no regrets at all, but it was also a lot: a lot of emotional growth, spiritual growth, and figuring out a lot about who I was spiritually and what I wanted to do religiously and for my ministry. The first couple of years after seminary were even more complicated and not really something I’ll go into here, but I’ve found my own way now with my ministry, and I know Lee found his. I’m glad I got to be his friend in this life, and hopefully we’ll meet again in the next.
One thing that helps in processing my grief is my writing. Always has, to be honest. I have two more novels in the editing pipeline, and I’m now working on a 7th. It’s been hard to find my footing for the current novel, because of the grief, but I think I might have found my footing today during my Twitch stream. I’m really grateful for my Wife and my Twitch community.
It’s coming up on the Spring Equinox. Time to bring in the new and let go of the things that hold us back. Never forgetting the past, but moving forward. At least for my own life.
I think I’ll keep reminding myself of that, and I hope that your Spring is time of moving forward, too.