On May 9, 2011 Dee's ministry at Berea First Baptist Church came to an end and our family began the "Unexpected Adventure" of building a bridge to a new future. Through this blog, we invite you to share this journey with us.

Monday, February 6, 2012


On what turned out to be my last Sunday at Berea First Baptist Church, a dear friend in the congregation sensed that I was hurting and came to the front of the church during the invitation, not to express her own needs, but to minister to mine.  As we talked, she slipped something into my hand.  She said, "This is my survivor bracelet.  I've worn it each day as I've worked through the many challenges of undergoing a liver transplant.  I've walked through that valley now, and I want to give my bracelet to you."  Faye had been my friend for years, going back to my days at Furman, but we had become close during her medical crisis, a valley that became, for her, a medical miracle.  Now, in friendship and kindness, she came forward to share strength with me for the road I soon would travel, a road that would lead me away from a church I served faithfully for twelve years, through the valley of a wounded heart and an uncertain future, to the other side of a new beginning, a new ministry in a new church and a new city.

Since May 2011, this blog has been a way for me to share that experience with all of you.  Thank you for reading and responding.  I think that the time has come for me to close this blog down for a little while and renovate.  I love to write, but I no longer want what I share to focus on the pain of the past and my family's journey through the valley.  I want to look forward and celebrate God's faithfulness, the support of true friends, and the joy of new beginnings.

Inside the bracelet that Faye gave me that fateful Sunday morning are inscribed the words, "I am strong."  I've not felt strong on many days during the past months.  Still, my testimony is that God gives me the strength I need, that His strength is made complete in my weakness.

Adventures like this don't really end.  Every chapter of life is connected to what precedes it and what follows.  But I pray for grace to turn the page, to put the worst of the past behind me, learn its lessons well and live a more abundant life.  I guess I am a survivor.  I hope that you will be one too.

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