There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest….
Eccles 3:1,2 (NLT)
Many of you will know that my Dad died last month after four weeks in hospital, and although we knew that his health had been failing for some time it still came as a shock to be told by the Consultant, a week before he died, that the end of his life was very close. His death has hit Fiona and I harder than we imagined it would, particularly as Fiona’s Dad was also in hospital during this time and who’s health is still very fragile.
I realise that so many of us have faced similar situations, where we have lost those we love, and the whole process of grief is complicated and often confusing, bringing a whole spectrum of emotions, often, it seems, at the same time! I just want to take this opportunity to say how grateful we are to be part of Liberty Church, to have such wonderful people around us, supporting us, taking the strain of leadership in our absence, getting in touch, encouraging us, praying for us and giving us permission to grieve in our own time.
If I’m honest I still feel very fragile and on the recommendation of so many within the Church, I believe it is important to take the time and space to grieve well. In many ways this doesn’t come easy, but I know it is necessary in order to live well, love well and lead well as we move forward. There is a part of me that wants to push forward, to get up and running, but I have come to realise the wisdom of the writer of Ecclesiastes, that there are seasons of life, and sometimes this means slowing down, which is humbling. As you hopefully know, we strongly believe in the importance of promoting good mental health for us all and are seeking to understand and support mental health issues better and therefore it is important that we lead by example.
Over this next period we will be around and sharing in the life of the Church, as we feel able, but we will be taking it slowly. So let me say thank you again for your love, support and encouragement, and may God continue to bless Liberty Church as we move forward at his pace, to see his kingdom come
Much love and gratitude
Jon (and Fiona)