Five years ago, this family watched as Judi departed our world to meet Jesus, face-to-face. The time since has been an interesting series of ups and downs intermingled with joys and sorrows.
We kind-of expected for all the "firsts" to be difficult...they were. We knew the anticipated completions (like graduations...) would be hard...they were. We kind-of expected to have times where we just felt "off" but didn't know the reason for the feelings...they came, often at times that we couldn't connect until later. And yet, through it all, God has sustained.
I expected to feel lost without her...I do...still. We all expected to miss her...we do...still.
Some things we didn't expect. The transition from "missing her" and "wishing she were here" to "she's not here, and she's not coming back" really caught us off guard.
Some things I knew, but became far more acutely aware of...she was the best part of my pastorate. I expected to miss talking with her; impromptu hugs; the smell of her hair on my pillow; the touch of her hand; the lean of her body against mine whenever we stood or sat together; etc...
And yet, in all this, there are so many things to be thankful for. The family has continued to grow: four grandchildren so far, another who should show up anytime now, and another whom we hope to meet in a few months. After being spread out from Alaska to Texas, the family is getting closer together again. J & E have been able to move from Texas back to Washington (granted, it is in Central WA, but at least it is WA). F & J are moving back to the lower 48 next spring (hopefully to this area!!!!!). All of us are healthy and able to work. Jennifer loves to go for long rides with me on the BMW K1600GTL. Jared and Janessa seem to enjoy playing volleyball, and I get to play with them several times each week. J2 has just received his ordination. J2, 5, and 6 are going with me to sing in my sister's Christmas choir in Aerdrie, Alberta CA...along with two of my siblings and their wives. When I go to bed, I seldom sleep alone...at least two dogs, and sometimes four, jump onto the bed to keep me awake (oops), I mean to keep me company as I sleep.
Yah, it was about now, five years ago, that I realized Judi might not make it through another night. So, I called Janessa and Jennifer (who were traveling back from Dayton with two young puppies) to urge them to not make any extra stops...if possible. When they arrived home, I told Judi that she could go now, because all her children were here with her. A few moments later, she let out her last painful and labored breath here, only to take her next unhindered breath as she awakened to see Jesus' face there.
We do miss her...more than we could have imagined. And yet, I recognize that she would only rather be here for our benefit, but I truly rejoice in whom she is with for her benefit.
My exclamations of "I wish you were here, Jude" have transitioned to "I miss you Jude."
There are so many things I would love for her to be able to see now...here...with me. But I know that we, who are in Christ Jesus, will get to tell her all about it when we go to see Christ, and get to worship Him together with her again.
Thank you Lord for Judi Comfort Fodge. I love you. I miss you. We can hardly wait to see you again.
My daughter, Jonelle Liddell, just posted this on her wordpress page. I wanted to share it with you. It is a special reminder that we ought not to think that God is small enough for us to fully comprehend Him, nor are we big enough, or holy...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
For some years I have had a desire to add a time where we could "...not neglect the public reading of scripture." As part of what we want to do is build a congregation that knows and is able to apply the scripture to their personal and corporate...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
I have been blessed by God in so many ways since my wife got to meet Jesus face-to-face just over three years ago. God has provided so many blessings through our congregation, homeschool community, and the community at large. They have...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
I just wanted to mention how much I appreciate the part of the Body of Christ that my daughter and her husband have joined. I have had opportunity to participate in a small group Bible Study and in a Worship Service with the Kodiak Bible Chapel,...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Pastor Jon here; I have been doing some things this year that Judi and I (she passed away from cancer in November 2013) had been planning to do together. In the Spring of 2014, I took all the children to SoCal for some fun time together. Over the...[ abbreviated | read entire ]