Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Turning toward home

Most of my family at a reunion this summer
I’ve been thinking about how to write this for several weeks now. Almost everything I am going to say is not absolute because only God knows the future. But now and then He hands me a little outline. The outlines mostly come by way of circumstances but once in a great while I hear Him speaking to my heart. A lot of my thoughts and future plans lie in devastation, at the moment, with a great sense of loss, yet underneath are God’s great arms.

Several things are converging in my life. I will try to explain:

First there is church. At the moment I am a member of Journey Presbyterian Church in Folsom California. A wonderful church with many loving and devout Christians. I am on session—this is my first year—and we have just begun to enter into discernment with Sacramento Presbytery. I am uncertain of where that will lead. But anyway, because of the rest of my story, eventually, in a couple of years, I will need to pull back and return to a church closer to my home, my old church, Fremont Presbyterian in Sacramento, which is now a member of the  Evangelical Presbyterian Church. (It is where my husband attends.)

There is now no other orthodox/evangelical Presbyterian church close to my home. They are all progressive.

And my husband, Brad, a gifted piano tuner and Bible teacher, is the other part of my story. Several weeks ago we went together to several doctors, including a neurologist for testing. Several days ago he had an MRI. In October, after all of the tests have been studied, we will find out a little more about why my husband is suffering with some sort of dementia. Oh yes, he still tunes (a little) and teaches the Bible at ‘fire camp,’ a minimum security facility for young inmates who help fight California’s wildfires.  But the problem seems to be progressing. (And just to let you know in the midst of this trial he is sweeter every day. His faith is very strong.)

And so in the midst of all of this I will only be blogging a little—undoubtedly a good thing—because I often feel I blog too much—it is the nature of blogging to do that. And when I eventually am no longer PC (USA) and find myself outside the gates so to speak, I envision that this very full blog, with well over a thousand postings, will end or turn to different subjects or morph into a different blog. But God for many months has put these words in my heart- Turn your face toward home. And so-slowly and carefully, I will turn.

There are those who continue to stand, like God’s faithful prophets of old, in the PC (U.S.A.). I had hoped to stand there beside them but I will not be standing there but for a little while longer. There are many who continue to leave—may God put them in just the right places proclaiming the good news of Jesus', life, death and resurrection.


robert austell said...

Dear sister, God's peace as the Lord leads you. God's blessing and peace on your sweet husband and large family (how blessed you are!). You have been a good and faithful friend... mostly virtually and in prayer, but how blessed to be with you a few times in person. I am thankful, not least of which, for your love for Jesus music, for there will be guitars in Heaven. :)

In Jesus' love,

Jeff Winter said...

Judy and I stand in prayer for your husband and for you. We always enjoy reading your blogs. I trust you will never stop writing them

Rev. Mary Holder Naegeli said...

Beloved Viola—and Brad, who has tuned my piano many times :-) Our hearts go out to both of you with gratitude for your service and with hope that the journey "toward home" is fruitful, graceful, satisfying, and dare I say hopeful!

This is a sweet posting, and as your blogging morphs in the coming months and years (as mine has for Reasons Beyond My Control—which I know you appreciate), you can't help but serve your Lord, whatEVER you write about!

Blessings abundant to you and your clan, and wisdom for the church decisions yet to come.

With Love and Hugs all around,
Mary Naegeli

Alan Trafford said...

May The Lord strengthen you, Viola, and draw you close in His loving embrace, until you are able to walk wherever He leads with joy. You will be in our prayers. Yours aye, in Christ, Alan and Lesley Trafford

emily mccoll said...

thanks and prayers for this honest talk, as always. more, love from the heart and trust that we will all gather at the river in a day outside time. God reigns.

Mary Van Driest said...

prayers for your husband, and for your health as well, Viola. Your faithfulness blesses us all

Viola Larson said...

Thank you everyone, you have all blessed Brad and me with your words.

Clay Allard said...

Our scattering and our shattering takes place in God's presence. You are not leaving what you cannot leave. We are the Church, and we will be the Church even when we cannot remember the name. We are His-- and He who numbers the stars and calls them by name, not one of them is missing will not forget us. Love and prayers for you and Brad.

Brian Ellison said...

Viola, while you and I frequently have disagreed, on this much I know we do agree: The power of God in Jesus Christ to heal and sustain us. You and Brad will both be in my prayers today and in days to come. May God grant you peace and wholeness.
God be with you,
Brian Ellison

Larry Wood said...

Viola, your writings have helped sustain me during my personal discernment process. Thank you.
May God strengthen you as you seek to care for Brad and walk your own personal trials.

Larry Wood (PCUSA pastor retired)

Phil Moran said...

Viola: Thanks so much for your faithful witness over so many years and so many thoughtful and well written posts. May God grant healing and peace to you and to Brad. "Turning toward home." I like that!

Anonymous said...


You write my favorite blog! I am on here everyday! But I know this is a new season in your life. I am praying for you and your husband, as well as for your church.

And I look forward to reading your occasional postings. :-)

Bless you,

John Erthein
DeFuniak Springs, FL

Tracee Hackel said...

Viola--I will be keeping you and Brad in prayer before our Gracious Father. I know that wherever God leads you that you will continue to seek to display his glory to the world and will live under his mercy. Grace and peace to you and your house my friend,
Tracee Hackel

Viola Larson said...

Once again you are all blessing our life with your words and prayers. Thank you.