Family and Faith – Narcie on my Mind

 

*Narcie got a great report! Thanks for your prayers; still a long haul and trusting Jesus and counting on you!

Have you ever had a day that has your antenna and ganglia hanging or sticking out all over the place and your sensory overload has you jacked up more than with 4 cups of coffee. Well, that’s this morning for me. I’m a little nervous, more than usual. I have a good friend and parishioner’s surgery shortly and am about to head to the hospital. Then I’m meeting with a family about a funeral then probably heading back to the hospital. Sunday’s sermon is on my mind. The text is about Jesus’ own family thinking he was nuts and I’m wondering how to preach that and make it relevant. I hate to admit it but as I was driving to the church a few minutes ago all these alliterating words jumped out at me as options to think about when it comes to family relationships: Restoration or Rejection; Respect or Rebellion; Redemption or Retaliation – what is it about preachers and our phonetic thinking? Anyway, at the stoplight I pulled out my pen and a business card and scribbled my thoughts down while holding the brake and clutch pedals down.

Two other big deals on my mind this morning are Narcie’s regular 3-month MRI about her brain tumor, and next week’s Annual Conference. We do well dealing with the anxiety about Narcie until a two-week window closes in and I begin to get antsy, ratchet up my praying and my out-of-sight-out-of mind attitude is replaced by front-and-center preoccupation. Vice President Biden’s son’s death this week has kicked things up a notch, and another amplifier about Narcie is that next week at our South Carolina United Methodist Annual Conference I’ll be the Memorial Service preacher.

Memorial Services are primarily in memory of the clergy who died since the last conference session. We show photos of the deceased, and their families, along with Annual Conference members, are gathered to have a funeral service. Sure, each of these individuals already had their own service, but this is one of the United Methodist things that we do. Since we are a connectional church and try to do everything together, we mourn together, too. Actually, Annual Conference becomes every clergyperson’s church. When we become clergy our membership is literally transferred from our home churches to the Annual Conference.

Next week we will remember many individuals who gave their hearts, lives, and families for the cause of Christ, and we will cry. Narcie and I usually sit together during this service and we have cried. She cried buckets, we both did, when Rev. Charlie Summey’s face went across the screen. He had the same cancer as she and had a better prognosis, but he’s dead. The reality hit us and it should everyone: There’s going to come a time when Narcie’s picture, mine, Josh’s, and even Cindy’s will be up there on that screen at an Annual Conference Memorial Service. Over half my family has the South Carolina Annual Conference as its church home, and there’s going to be a funeral someday.

Of course, my prayer for Narcie is that it’s a long time away but since she has her appointment this morning and I’m preaching that sermon next week, I can’t seem to shake this nexus of events. I covet your prayers that her report is good. Her situation is so important to the doctors that they call her in within an hour of the MRI to give her the news. It’s a big deal. Of course, Narcie’s attitude is typical Narcie: “I’m going to do my ministry, show no fear, and live until I die!” But my eyes are welling up as I write this. I want my “little girl” to live for decades more. God bless every parent who’s ever been through this, or lost a child. For years, I thought as a pastor that I had a clue and could help people through their losses. Maybe my ministry of presence helped, but until all this has happened with us, I didn’t know what this really feels like. Your life is forever changed. God bless every parent who carries this, and please heal every child; in Jesus’ name.

When I think of this day and the family dynamics with every situation I’ll face this morning I can promise you that I will choose Restoration over Rejection; Respect over Rebellion; Redemption over Retaliation – and today I am especially going to choose Rejoicing over Remorse, Resurrection over Regret. A life well-lived, however short or long, is a gift to treasure. Treasure the people around you today as the gifts that they are.

Me, Narcie, and Josh at Josh's Ordination

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58 thoughts on “Family and Faith – Narcie on my Mind

  1. Praying for Narcie and family. Praying for Tim next week at SCAC. God be with you all in a special way!

    1. Thanks, Jim! tim

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      On Jun 3, 2015, at 8:35 AM, A Potter's View wrote:

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    1. God bless you, Mary, and thanks, tim

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      On Jun 3, 2015, at 8:37 AM, A Potter's View wrote:

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    1. Yep, thanks Doty, tim

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      On Jun 3, 2015, at 8:39 AM, A Potter's View wrote:

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  2. Tim, our thoughts and prayers are with you, Narcie, and your entire family today in hopes that all of your news is followed by celebration.

    1. Thanks, Jimmy! tim

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      On Jun 3, 2015, at 8:49 AM, A Potter's View wrote:

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    1. Amen, Doris! tim

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      On Jun 3, 2015, at 8:53 AM, A Potter's View wrote:

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  3. Dr Tim, please know that you and your family are in my prayers. I have always heard God will not lay more on us than we can handle, however, not sure about the thought of losing a child or grandchildren. Pat Friday

    1. Thanks for your prayers, Pat! tim

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      On Jun 3, 2015, at 9:15 AM, A Potter's View wrote:

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  4. prayer for you and family! God bless and keep each one of you………Thanks for the insight through your blog! I pray for Narcie to get a good report!!!

    1. Thanks, MJ, you’ve been there, tim

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      On Jun 3, 2015, at 9:40 AM, A Potter's View wrote:

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  5. God bless you, Dr. Tim. We are praying for you and Narcie, Thank you for the light you have brought into our lives, and the lives of all of us at St. Johns. Wishing you safe travels.
    Holly and Rodney Feist

    1. Thanks so much, Holly! tim

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      On Jun 3, 2015, at 9:43 AM, A Potter's View wrote:

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  6. All of us that have experienced loss share in your pain and anxiety this day and pray that our Lord will bring you strength and comfort in this time of need.

  7. Dr. Tim, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family today. My sister’s husband is going through a very dark time with his brain tumor. Your presence at St. John’s has been such a blessing in our lives. I am thankful every day that God sent you our way! Pam Holmes

  8. I cried as I read your post. Our prayers are with Narcie, you, Cindy, Josh and the rest of your immediate family — as we, your Annual Conference family — lift you up. We will rejoice with tears of joy and prayers of thanksgiving at good news.

  9. Praying for a good report for you, Narcie, you and the rest of the family, Tim. I understand what you go through with every MRI. 😦

    1. Thanks, Jennifer! tim

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      On Jun 3, 2015, at 12:13 PM, A Potter's View wrote:

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  10. Tim, as always, I hear God’s Spirit speaking from your words. Prayers rising for Narcie and the family.

    1. Thanks so much, Mary! tim

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      On Jun 3, 2015, at 12:53 PM, A Potter's View wrote:

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    1. Thanks, Margaret! tim

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  11. As you know we too await the results of the “3 month” tests and it does not get easier. Katie has a very positive attitude and uses it to support others who are experiencing cancer battles. What a great kid she is, truly a gift . Remember too, Friends are life’s blessings.

    1. God bless y’all on this journey, too. Praying, tim

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      On Jun 3, 2015, at 2:07 PM, A Potter's View wrote:

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  12. Sending love and prayers to you Tim, and to your family. I preached at the memorial service last year…what an experience. It was terrifying and wonderful all at the same time. I pray that you are well, that good news and comfort are in your voice and message, and that Narcie continues to be well. Peace….Cathy

    1. Cathy, Thanks so much! Miss you, tim

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      On Jun 3, 2015, at 2:11 PM, A Potter's View wrote:

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    1. Alice, Narcie just called. No change! So until next time and forever we will trust the Lord! tim

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      On Jun 3, 2015, at 2:20 PM, A Potter's View wrote:

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  13. Tim I too thought about Narcie when Beau Biden died. So very very thankful that she continues to do well & pray for many many more years of good news. Many prayers.

    1. Thanks, Becky. God bless you! tim

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      On Jun 3, 2015, at 2:50 PM, A Potter's View wrote:

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  14. Tim, I don’t know if you knew Henderson Raspberry from the MS Conference. I think he may have had a couple of terms as either a GC or JC delegate. Henderson was supposed to preach the Memorial Service at our Conference this weekend. Instead, his name will be called, at least at the Clergy Session tomorrow morning and possibly at the Memorial Service. He died last night.

    1. So sorry and prayers with MS, tim

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      On Jun 3, 2015, at 4:58 PM, A Potter's View wrote:

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    1. Thanks, Darnelle! tim

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      On Jun 3, 2015, at 5:50 PM, A Potter's View wrote:

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  15. I’very been under appointment in MS for 29 years. I don’t recall one District Superintendent dying In office in that time. We’very had two this year, Henderson and Wayne Webster.

    1. Wow, Jon, so sorry. tim

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      On Jun 3, 2015, at 6:39 PM, A Potter's View wrote:

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  16. So happy to read that Narcie got good results from the test. Prayers that your daughter will live a long and joyful life!

    1. Thanks, Carolyn! Amen, tim

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      On Jun 3, 2015, at 7:55 PM, A Potter's View wrote:

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    1. Thanks, Susan! tim

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      On Jun 3, 2015, at 9:26 PM, A Potter's View wrote:

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    1. Thanks, Lucy! tim

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      On Jun 4, 2015, at 6:43 AM, A Potter's View wrote:

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    1. Thank you! tim

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      On Jun 4, 2015, at 7:29 AM, A Potter's View wrote:

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  17. Thanks so much for sharing your heart and mind. Even though I only met Narcie once (at Sunday dinner back in 1998), your transparency and hers has been a personal inspiration to this old seminary friend. Carol and I continue to keep your family in our prayers.

    1. Thanks so much, Bob! tim

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      On Jun 4, 2015, at 8:35 PM, A Potter's View wrote:

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  18. Tim, I just wanted you to know that I care about you and your family. Count on my prayers. I hope to see you next week at Annual Conference.
    Brenda

    1. Absolutely, Brenda. See you next week! tim

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      On Jun 5, 2015, at 9:38 PM, A Potter's View wrote:

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  19. Thinking about you and Narcie and I vote for “Reaffirming Resurrection” as your sermon topic. Yes, we all die to this life, but we have the overwhelming assurance that we live eternally. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Looking forward to hearing you and getting my annual hug!

    1. Thanks, Linda, and see you soon, tim

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      On Jun 6, 2015, at 10:30 AM, A Potter's View wrote:

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