There is a difference between joy and happiness. They can coexist, but don't confuse the two; they're nothing alike. One endures in the presence of overwhelming darkness, the other only in the pleasant daylight. One gives the will to breathe another breath. The other can take your breath away but is fleeting.
I am in love with a beautiful woman named Kathy Ferguson. I asked her to be my wife and she said yes. She is strong, wise and fun. She lifts my weary head and reminds me that there is still living to do. She came alongside me in my grief as a friend and showed me that even the greatest loss can be endured. The quiet moments between us remind us that we each understand the other.
We come from relationships that were healthy and strong. We each have three children, two boys and one daughter. Our lives have traveled on parallel tracks that never crossed. I long admired her husband, Rick Ferguson, from a distance. There are fellow pastors you hear about but never meet. You hear about their character or strength under fire. You admire their vision and thank God for their faithfulness. One church planter who knew Rick told me, "There are some things I will never understand about the ways of God. We still miss Rick, and church planting in Colorado has never been the same."
Kathy is different from Tammy—but then why would God start a new chapter of my life with someone just the same? I’m drawn to Kathy for many reasons. Her wit is quick. Her wisdom is strong. She has opinions, but they’re tempered by a grace that quickly remembers her opinions are not the center of the universe. She loves to laugh, and the joy of the Lord is her strength. She genuinely cares about the hurting, and those who suffer the most profound losses move her. She loves her family deeply. She is wise. Her taste in men is superb. Okay, I threw that one in as a joke. We’ve both been tempered by our losses the way fire strengthens steel. We share a deep resolve and desire for our lives to bring glory to Christ. Oh yeah, she is gorgeous! I’m energized by just the sight of her.
Whatever is left of our days on this earth, we’ve agreed that we want God to use us together for His glory and the good of His Kingdom. May God continue to be glorified! May we build upon the strong foundations of our lives past as we reach for the future.