I won’t be writing a Castings article the next two weeks. My wife Robin and I are going to Mexico next Tuesday for 10 days! On May 7 we will be celebrating 40 years of marriage; I can hardly believe it has been that long. It just seems like yesterday that we were moving our things into married student housing at Eastern Michigan University! I know not everybody has this blessing and God uses each one of our unique situations in ministry for the work God has given, but I have had the awesome gift of a partner in ministry all along the way.
Robin and I met at a “Mid-Winter” District youth retreat on the Lansing District at age 16. I first felt called into ministry at age 17, so we have been in this together all along the way. And Robin has made significant sacrifices along the way in this itinerant system in which we live. Robin is retired now, but she taught Special Education at various levels for 30 years. Because of our 4 local church appointments she received, gave up, and earned once again her tenure − three different times!
In the early days, before computers, Robin typed sermons (sometimes on Saturday night!!). She juggled raising kids, with a husband and father who wasn’t always able to be around in the evening or at critical moments. She has also used her rich gifts for her own ministry serving as District Youth Coordinator on no less than three districts, singing in choirs and bands, and helping cabins full of girls at camp discover the joys and wonder of God’s grace. We have walked the road God has given to us and it has been wonderful.
Now…it hasn’t been perfect. There have been times we have talked with counselors to help us try and sort out issues we struggle with and continue to struggle with. There have been times our temperaments and perspectives have brought us to different places in decision making, but for the most part, it has been a delightful journey. And I am so humbled and thankful for the gift our journey has been and continues to be.
So….I won’t be writing Castings for the next two weeks. I will be hanging out on a beach with my partner in life and in ministry, thinking back over the past 40 years and looking forward to all God has for us all along the way ahead.