"We had planned to scatter Pauline's ashes"
To be honest, lockdown has been quite easy for me. You see, I can be quite an introvert anyway and I have enjoyed catching up on decorating the house! However, most importantly, I became a Christian in 1969. I was taught right from the beginning to trust God in everything and not to worry about anything because God said he would be with us always. In 1985 I found myself in and out of hospital every couple of months with very bad eczema and contact dermatitis. I was unable to work with a wife and child. Throughout this time we put our trust in God and wonderfully saw that God met our needs. Psalm 23:1 says “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” And what a comfort it was to trust in him.
So in 1995, when I started with corneal ulcer in both eyes which are very painful indeed, I had my previous experience of God’s goodness to help me keep going and hoping in him. I had to have three cornea transplants to my right eye and two to my left eye. Having cataracts as well over the last twenty-five years means that I am now registered blind.
Most recently I cared for my wife, Pauline, through her final illness and have had to adapt to life without her over the last year or so. So life has definitely not always been easy! But, putting my trust in God who is ever faithful, I got through. So, considering all this, lockdown has been a piece of cake really! However, there have been difficulties to be faced.
We had planned as a family to scatter Pauline's ashes on the Cleveland way walk in May, but, of course, lockdown put a stop to that and, as a family, we were very disappointed not to be able to do this together. Romans 8:28 says “…in all things God works for the good of those who love him,” and, even in this delay we could see a small blessing; you see I had a signet ring made with Pauline's ashes and in July I lost it. If we had scattered her ashes in May I could not have replaced it.
The thing I have missed most is seeing my family and church family. Attending church in person is very important to me. Jesus’s said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13 : 35) As Christians we have a love and a special bond for each other, praying for each other and not just for my local church but also for Christians across the world.
So meeting together to encourage one another, to pray and to sing to our great God is something I am really looking forward to doing again once lockdown is over.
But it has been great to see God’s provision in working in our church even during this difficult time and I have enjoyed joining in with Zoom meetings on a Sunday morning and even seeing new people who are interested in learning more about Jesus using this technology to join us! So my experience throughout life and lockdown has been, if you want to cope with what life has in store for you, you need God and need him in control.
Terry Hodges - GCW Partner