Monday, May 11, 2009

Joy in the Mourning

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.

Ed Litton

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am awestruck and so happy for you!!! I loved Tammy. She is a part of me and always will be. She would not want you to be alone. Kathy sounds like a true blessing you and the kids have so patiently waited for. I love you, Kayla, Tyler, Josh & Nicole. Congratulations!!! God is good!

Kelli said...

Pastor Ed, I am so happy to read this. Many many blessings to you, Kathy, and your children as you start a new chapter in life.

Kelli in Grand Bay

Larry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Larry said...

Dear Ed, I only know how to say Praise God from whom all blessing flow. My bride and I have prayed for you, laughed with you and cried with you. I will always count it a blessing that God allowed me the privilege of taking CWT with you in Houston. Also, your dad and I serving together on the Stewardship ministry together has always been a great memory. Know that we will pray for you and your bride as you start the great adventure together. Love in Christ, Pastor Larry and Chris Dailey

MessickMom said...

You are hilarious! But, you are right ... Kathy's taste in men is supurb! Hey ... she thinks a lot of Mark, too, so I'd say she's pretty smart! Congrats to you, again! We are excited for you!

Anonymous said...

Mike and I are so happy and excited for you and Kathy and will be praying for the both of you as you plan and live your lives together! Yay God! Go God! Isnt He awesome?!

Cindy Shipp
Jer. 17:;7

Anonymous said...

God is good all of the time, and all of the time He is good.

We at Riverside love Kathy and wish you and her God's best.

Tom and Patrice Winans
Broomfield, Colorado

Anonymous said...

I have read your blog since the sudden and unexpected death of my husband July 2008. As I have traveled this road of grief your wisdom and transparency has been a blessing to my life......Thank You! You have been faithful to God and now he has blessed you with a new life....GOD is so GOOD! Congratulations!!!

Eleanor said...

You're right, Pastor! She IS gorgeous ... inside and out. You are both supremely blessed by God, who traveled that darkened path before you both and has now revealed His amazing plan. May He always be visible in you, and may He always be glorified in your lives!

Eleanor

Anonymous said...

What wonderful news!
God is good. It will be great to have her with us and I hope that is soon. Can't wait to get to know her and love her just like we do you.

Johnnie said...

Pastor Ed
Clarence and I just heard the news about the new bride to be and we are so happy and excited for you. I love seeing a smile and your face and she must be very special to put it there. Best wishes.
Johnnie

Anonymous said...

Pastor Ed, I am thrilled for you and Kathy as you both begin this new chapter in your lives....together. Know that Steve and I are praying for you both and your ministry together.

We love you!
Jackie, Steve, Maddie and Pressley Parks

Beverly Frisbie said...

Yes, Kathy is all those things -and more, as I am sure you already know. I love her very much and am thrilled for you both.
She told me about your blog last fall and I have been a regular, if infrequent, reader. I have enjoyed your writing very much and feel as if I have gotten to know you some through it-- but I still look forward to meeting you in person soon!

Anonymous said...

Zanie and I are so VERY happy for you and your family. God is so VERY good. I would love to hear the story of how God brought you together. Ed, Zanie and I often think of you and feel so blessed to have been a part of NOMO and your life as well. Many blessings to you.

I heard you will be preaching in NC at the state convention. Is that true?

Darrell

Anonymous said...

Zanie and I are so VERY happy for you and your family. God is so VERY good. I would love to hear the story of how God brought you together. Ed, Zanie and I often think of you and feel so blessed to have been a part of NOMO and your life as well. Many blessings to you.

I heard you will be preaching in NC at the state convention. Is that true?

Darrell

Anonymous said...

HEY PASTOR ED! WE LOVE YOU! WE ARE SO EXCITED FOR YOU. WE BOTH ENJOYED LISTENING TO YOU TWO DESCRIBE HOW GOD HAS BEEN SO GOOD THROUGHOUT THE GOOD AND THE BAD. MAY YOU ALWAYS KNOW THAT WE PRAY FOR YOU AND KEEP YOU CLOSE TO OUR HEARTS. LOVE, RAY AND ALLISON ROBLEY

Jaye Martin said...

I know Kathy and praise God for your relationship. What an awesome tribute to her. May God bless your whole family greatly.

Karen said...

Congratulations Pastor Ed!!!! God Bless you, Kathy and all your children. You made my night, I am thrilled for you! :)

Anonymous said...

Through all your pain since that day in August, God knew the plan. You were faithful, you waited and He revealed it to you in His perfect timing. Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow !

Anonymous said...

So nice to meet you! We served with Kathy & Rick at Riverside from 1998 thru his death. We truly love and adore Kathy!! I'm SO happy for you and you couldn't have described her more perfectly. We'll be praying for a very joyful future together!
Terri & Marcus Rawls

Angela said...

I could not be happier for both of you! Kathy is a wonderful person and we miss her very much at Riverside. God is so good, watching her travel this journey has been heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time. I am sorry for your loss as well, but thankful for God's wonderful plan for both of you and we wish for you nothing but happiness and joy, only that God can provide!! We live in Denver, but our hometown is Wiggins, MS.....I hope we will be able to meet you in person during one of our visits home!
Angela & Monty Overstreet

Cathy Lucas said...

Ed,
Tom and I are so happy that you have found someone to share your
life with. We wish you all the best. Our God is so awesome.
If you find yourself back in Tucson, please call. We would
love to see you again.
Tom and Cathy Lucas
Tucson, AZ

Anonymous said...

Pastor Ed, you do not know me and my husband, but my husband was pastor at Mountain View Church in Tucson, Az. and I just want you to know that we have prayed for you ever since we heard of the tragic accident of you wife and we are so excited that you've found someone so compatible with whom you can share the rest of your life. God is awesome and we just simply say "Praise His wonderful and glorious name!" Congratulations and may God's blessings be ever more abundant in your new marriage and life! Keith and Kim Powell