Grace & Peace,
As the clock rolls over to a new year I would like to share a few reflections regarding the year 2020 for the Dazet family.
As we began 2020, it was a year full of hope. We were filled with joy and loved our life in Muncie. We were 90 minutes from Rebecca & Jacob (Columbus, Indiana) and 90 minutes to Stacy’s Family (Germantown, Ohio). Our church was doing amazing and we were anticipating what the new year would bring.
Just like everyone, 2020 was full of surprises, times of anguish, and times of celebration. A roller-coaster of a year for sure.
The first event to hit us all was the Covid-19 pandemic, which changed everything. No longer being able to meet as a church created unforeseen tasks for me as Pastor, as well as Stacy’s job as the Office Manager. Fortunately, we were surrounded by an amazing team of Pastors and leaders that rose to the occasion and ministered to the people of our city in awesome ways. Micah was already enrolled in an Online School, so his schedule didn’t change at all. We were not able to see our extended family, so it was a time of seclusion. With my lung issues I fell into the “high-risk” category, so have been diligent with my mask-wearing. We have lost 10 people from our churches due to Covid-19. This virus has been devastating.
It was at the beginning of the Pandemic when my Mom found out that she had Breast Cancer. Shortly afterward, Stacy’s Mom discovered that her Breast cancer had returned. Both Moms having Breast Cancer at the same time, in the midst of the Pandemic was horrific. We wanted to be with them, being present with them during their struggles.
My Mom decided to have surgery, followed by radiation. Stacy’s Mom decided against treatment. My Mother made it through and is now in remission. Stacy’s Mother is not doing well.
In the midst of all this bad news, we heard some awesome news from our daughter Rebecca and our son in law Jacob. We were going to be grandparents! Yes! Yes! Yes! We were so excited. I couldn’t believe that I was going to be a grandpa! Me? I am not old enough, am I?
We wanted to be with her and to provide care to the baby when he/she would be born. By the providence of God, Rebecca’s District Superintendent in the United Methodist Church was looking for a Pastor for a church in Columbus. Rebecca found out about the opening and asked if we would be interested in it. We told her that if God called us we would be faithful but we were very happy where we were in Muncie with our awesome church family.
Long story short, God called us to Sandy Hook UMC in Columbus Indiana. As soon as we accepted the position, Rebecca and Jacob lost the baby. They were devastated. We were a mess. All I wanted to do was to hug Rebecca and Jacob. We cried together on the phone. They named the baby Olivia Jane Milne. Our first grandchild. We love you, Olivia!
Days later, we had to announce to our church family in Muncie that God had released us and was sending us to Columbus and to another denomination. It was the hardest decision we have ever made in ministry because we absolutely loved our family at Southside Nazarene in Muncie. Because of the timing, we couldn’t tell anyone face-to-face that we were leaving. Everything had to be over zoom, video, or in writing. It was not the way we ever wanted to leave a church. We hated to leave in the midst of a Pandemic. Not fun days, that is for sure. This was the right decision for our family, but it was so very hard to move. Still to this day I ache for my friends in Muncie. I didn’t want to leave, but we knew God had plans for us and for them. So we obeyed. We miss our brothers and sisters in Muncie — some of the very best people on the planet (except Pastor Jenn – she is a nightmare, lol – just kidding, she is an amazing pastor and was a great support to us).
Moving to Columbus was a wild ride. The church didn’t have a parsonage, so we were looking to rent a house. After talking to a realtor we discovered that we were able to purchase a home. So we are homeowners! That was a very big surprise for us. We loved the parsonages that we lived in, but it is so awesome to own a home. The UMC provides health insurance, which has been a huge blessing due to all of my health issues.
Our first months at Sandy Hook have been amazing. Great people! God has been moving and things are coming together. I can’t wait to worship with my Sandy Hook church family face-to-face again in 2021. May God’s Kingdom come in Columbus as it is in Heaven!
Rebecca had some health issues during the Fall that have been scary. She has blood clots in her lungs which her doctor has said was possibly caused by undiagnosed Covid-19. She is on meds to help with the blood clots. Please pray for Rebecca’s health.
Stacy’s mom is in her last days. Stacy and her siblings have been providing 24/7 care. Stacy has been spending 3-4 days each week in Ohio. It has been so hard on Stacy, physically, emotionally, and mentally. We are praying for God’s healing touch to be with Stephanie. She is a terrific mother-in-law. I am going to miss her.
So our heart breaks for the many losses in 2020. We grieve alongside you for all our loved ones who are no longer with us. We lament the state of our world, the division, and the anger that populates the media. We miss our friends and family who we haven’t had the opportunity to see regularly. We miss our Southside peeps, our friends, our church family. We grieve with Rebecca and Jacob, the loss of their baby – Olivia. My heart aches for Stacy and her family.
We are grateful to God for the many blessings of 2020. We are thankful to be very close to Rebecca and Jacob. Rebecca and I have the opportunity to write sermons together – so very cool! We are thankful for the house and an awesome church to minister to. Sandy Hook UMC feels like home! We praise God for my Mom’s healing and her and my Dad relocating to live here in Columbus. They will be living 3 miles away! With Stacy’s sister and family living in Columbus, along with my parents and Rebecca & Jacob – we feel like God has brought us home!
So what will 2021 bring us? Better days I hope. But regardless of how 2021 turns out, Jesus is still on the throne. Love is still the answer. And there is hope for everyone! It is time to Thrive!
I pray that God blesses you in 2021 with his presence, his love, and his joy!
Grace and Peace,