The Rumbling Thunder of Emotions

It’s late Sunday night. The thunder is rumbling. A cool breeze is blowing in the windows. My wife is in bed asleep. The TV is on with the sound all the way down so that she isn’t disturbed and I have a little light by which to write.

I’m emotionally drained and tired…too tired to fall asleep, if that makes any sense. A major life decision has been made, and I am in a reflective mood. Oddly enough, I thought about my grandfather tonight as I watched a retrospective on 60 Minutes of Mike Wallace’s career. It made me think of the 55 mile trips our family used to take to Fond du Lac to visit my grandparents on certain Sundays. The evening would always conclude with 60 Minutes on the TV. My grandfather was a news and current events fanatic.

I wonder what he would think of the current events in my life. He was a very wise man who didn’t always wear his emotions on his sleeve. Tonight my own emotions can’t help but rise to the surface. Consider the last few weeks:

  • A decision to accept a Call to Florida and start a new chapter in life
  • People walking through our house as we try to sell it (we decided we were going to move whether or not I accepted the Call to Florida)
  • An accepted offer on our house within ten days
  • Demands for repairs as a condition on the sale of our house
  • Calling people to do those repairs and get them done
  • Considering where we will live when we move to Florida
  • Helping my wife put things together for a job search in Florida (praying that the Lord will see fit to make this part of our transition resolve quickly)
  • Beginning to sort through, dispose of, and pack up our things
  • Wondering about logistics of the entire transition
  • Feeling badly about disappointing some; feeling happy about exciting others
  • Thinking about those in Milwaukee whom we are going to greatly miss
  • Looking forward to getting to know those we will soon be serving
  • Mourning the loss of our dear old (90-year-old) neighbor
  • Excited about the possibilities of a new ministry
  • Finishing up teaching two different classes
  • Submitting a writing project for Creative Communications for the Parish
  • Discovering that my best friend and I will soon live on opposite coasts of the country

My emotions match the rumbles of thunder and flashes of lightning that fill the night. 

But as I look at this list I am thankful. I am thankful that through all of the above I have people who help and support, a family who loves me, and a God who is forever faithful.

I better try to get at least a little sleep.

How are you making it through all the emotional ups and downs of your life?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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18 thoughts on “The Rumbling Thunder of Emotions

  1. As humans decisions are hard to make we pray, worry, and ponder our options. God is in control and all works to his purpose and glory. It does seem when decision is made we reflect on our choices. My prayers are with you as you work thru your list.

    Gods blessings

  2. I am sure it was a tough decision, but God has great plans for you.

    When Beth and I moved to Nevada, it was a big change. Going from a climate that has four seasons, to an area that could have 4, but usually, three season. Slightly cold, comfortable and HOT. It was an adjustment. Twenty years later, I feel it was a great move, both professionally and personally.

    My only comment is, that when someone from WI asks you how you like Florida, answer them with "I do not own a snow shovel". They will understand

    • I response to Bryan's comment about "I don't own a snow shovel": don't get rid of it. It works great for shoveling up the leaves that fall in Florida in the springtime – no kidding. Our snow shovel broke and I can't find another one in Florida. Of course, if you plan on living in a condo, you won't need it, so bring it and I'll buy it from you. Ha! More later… I couldn't sleep last night either, anticipating a stressful week.

  3. Tom,

    Oddly enough, I too wrestled with thoughts last night and couldn't get sleep. The only difference is I can't put my finger on it as much as you. Just general stress of the weekend and after thoughts, I guess. I'm glad to hear that you've been guided to a decision but sad that you're leaving Milwaukee. I know that you will do well there. Keep me posted.

  4. Pastor and Tammy,

    I have to echo Carol's thoughts on the snow shovel. Although my "big girl" snow shovel has been laid to rest–in 2 pieces, I still have my son's little snow shovel and use it in the yard frequently. Hang on to yours.

    What a great analogy with the storm! You guys must have whiplash from all the back and forths that I am sure you went through. (Just FYI- Florida is the lightning capitol of the world.) I can imagine how your beloved congregation must feel–similar to us losing Pastor Dave just one year ago. I find that making a decision is half of the battle. Save those class notes you are packing. You might use them for Ascension's classes.

    Life's ups and downs? Sheesh. How boring without them.

    Do you bleed Packer's green and gold, Badger's red and white or something else?

    See you soon!!

    • Thanks, Sherry! Believe me, I won't leave those class notes behind. They represent tons of research and work. I BLEED Packers' Green and Gold and Brewers'Blue…and to a lesser extent Badgers Red and White. I can easily be swayed to adopt one of the Florida college football teams, although I hate to say that I am a bit partial to the Gators!

  5. Must have been quite a sleepless night for many. There is certainly a plethora of emotion running through as you begin to sift through the transition process.

    As far as a postion for Tammy, I know that the Lord will provide. We have had that experience more than once. And as with any move, there will no doubt be some bumps in the road.

    And yes, there are the pieces of "grief" as you bid farewell to a place that has been your home for many years as well as people you love and who have loved you. Mix that with the excitement of the new adventures and relationships that lie ahead and the roller coaster effect begins.

    Know that the prayers of many are with you as you make this transition that the Lord will give you peace.

    (And you may want to hang on to one warm jacket as the damp Florida winter weather can penetrate to the bones.)

    • Oh, I'll hang on to one. Just one. Thanks for all your thoughts, prayers, love, and support. You are the best.

  6. Hey, Tom. Just wanted to wish you God's blessings as you transition to ministry in Florida! Our District and the saints in Milwaukee will miss your rare combination of creativity and fidelity to the Word! God grant you and your family continued blessings. Peter

    • Thank you so much, Peter. Though we had little chance to connect over the past few years, I always enjoyed our interactions. Keep up the good work in Freistadt. Hope to see you soon.

  7. Pastor Tom, Brother in Christ:

    Kathy (my wife) and I are thankful to God you have accepted the call to be our Pastor. To you and Tammy continued blessings as you close one ministry and walk through into another. May the Lord watch over you as you take some time off before work begins here among us.

    Dave Estes