Two Years in Heaven

Sweet Friends:

As January comes to a close, and I think about what to write to you, I am flooded with the feelings of widowhood. Kent will have been gone from this earth for two years on the 29th of January. Our 48th wedding anniversary was on December 22nd. Living with him, and then losing him is again fresh on my mind. It is not hard to be happy for him; I am. And I am striving to be calm and happy in the memories of what I loved about him. I was just so fortunate to have been his wife, and to have shared the exciting trip that God created his life to be. Not without tears, I remember him this month.

He will always be my inspiration:

For Commitment and Dedication: From the age of 9 when he gave his heart and life to Jesus, Kent never wavered. At 17, he totally surrendered his life to Jesus’ Lordship and began a daily time with Him that he never abandoned. That daily time with God, and a fierce desire to be and do what God wanted, was the hallmark of his life for the next 50 years, until the day he died.

For Living a Life of Prayer: I have never known a person so committed to prayer. He used his remarkable God-given gift of organization to develop a simple plan for systematically praying for numerous people at the same time, and really praying for their specific needs. He communicated with these people, hundreds of them, regularly.

For Living with Pain and Suffering: Kent knew how to suffer with contentment and absolute faith that not only was God in total control, but that He was totally good in everything. His outlook was positive and vibrant to the very last minute.

For Showing me How to Die: with patience, acceptance, and quiet calmness. He always said that he would not go to Heaven until his work that God gave him to do was done. The amazing thing is that Kent knew exactly what that work was to be. He was to deliver a message, in word (speaking) and in writing. After the last book written, in December 2012, he was finished. He went to Heaven the next month (Jan, 2013).

For Passionate Living: He was the most enthusiastic life lover I ever knew. Nothing he did was half-way or mediocre. He was all systems ‘go’, or he was completely stopped. And he stopped rarely, usually only to sleep. He was so driven as a young man that he had to learn to slow down and to enjoy relaxation. That did not come easily to him. In fact, one of our family’s memories is of a vacation that lasted three weeks by car and covered the exploration (or at least a glance at) the Grand Canyon, Disney Land, Sequoia National Park, Yosemite National Park and the Redwood Forest, seeing family in Seattle, and Yellowstone Park. We were all exhausted, but he was delighted that we had accomplished all he had set out to do. He could not be a spectator. Even if he was sitting in a chair in his living room watching a sports event, he had his pen and paper, making statistics and predicting the winner. And he was usually correct!

For Mentoring and Encouraging: There is no way to tell how many people he personally touched and kept up with, but I still get emails and notes and phone calls from those he influenced for good and for God. He was an amazing networker of people from around the world. He was considered to be a founder of the worldwide marketplace movement, which swept the globe in the 1990s and into the 21st century. It flourishes today, connecting believers from everywhere to each other. Which brings me to the next inspiration…

For Having a God-Perspective World-View: Kent never thought little. He had a huge God, who did huge things, bigger than one could imagine. Kent could imagine and believe God for those things. As a result, he saw God do things that very few people get to see. I was with him for some of them, and I can’t tell you how privileged I felt to see God do His thing in such spectacular ways. To Kent, these events were commonplace. They were such a part of his life that he did not see how unusual his life was. His life was big, because his God was big, but he did not see it that way. It was just everyday living to him.

It may seem brassy to some, but I have always thought that Kent was somewhat like was Oswald Chambers, his own mentor and hero in the faith. Both men lived big, passionate, God-following lives in a humble way. Both loved travel to faraway places, Chambers to Africa, and Kent to China and India (and many other places). Both wrote in unassuming ways, Chambers in his journal and sermon notes, and Kent in letters and talk notes. Both died young, Chambers in his 40s and Kent in his 60s. Considering the difference in life expectancy for their times, they had about the same length of time for public ministry.

I loved Kent the best. Still do.

Thank you for indulging me by letting me remember my husband to you,

Davidene

 

Advertisements

Davidene’s Update

December 22, 2014

Today is our 48th wedding anniversary.

The entire past week has been misty weather, complete with grey skies and wind. COLD. I so needed to see some brightness. I woke up today to sunshine! As I write, the sky is returning to its dreariness, but I actually saw sunshine as my first look outside on this special day. I took it as an encouragement that God is aware of my tender feelings about this day, and knew I needed His light touch to start it off. Thank you, Lord.

The reverse was true on my actual wedding day. The previous week had been sunny, but a huge front had moved in, and December 22nd of 1966 was the biggest ice storm in history! I was totally oblivious. I slept in, took my time eating breakfast and then painting my fingernails, and rejoiced in the fact that by evening, I would be Mrs. Kent Jack Humphreys. I loved my new name. From that day on, I signed everything Mrs. Kent Humphreys, rather than Davidene Humphreys. I SO LOVED being Mrs. Kent Humphreys. There is such a lack of tender togetherness in being simply Davidene Humphreys.

There are so many things that I miss about being Mrs. Kent. I miss the sound of his voice and his ‘presence’ in the house. I miss his silliness. His “OK” sign. His calling me “Jose” and “Huns…Huns”. Sitting quietly together in the evenings, more often as he became sicker. (We often commented that these evenings were one of the ‘silver linings’ to his illness.)

But maybe the word ‘miss’ has to be joined with the word ‘remember’, because my missing is no longer a synonym for aching grief. Many times now, it is a happy remembrance, and a private revisiting of the joy of former times. I remember sitting quietly on the beach at Secret Harbor, a place which will remain a treasure of wonderful memories. His boyish excitement as he presented me with “trinkets” at Christmas. The bigger he could make the pile of gifts for me, the happier he was. His crazy spontaneous dancing… the “Happy Jig”. Getting so tickled and laughing so hard with our children that we would have tears running down our faces. (A huge memory was standing on a street in Hawaii, trying to buy snow cones from a kiosk in which we could see the operator, but he ignored the insane group at the front of his shop.) The list is endless.

I SO badly wanted to have 50 years with him. I don’t know why that number was important to me – to us – but it was. A half a century together. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? But God reminded me this morning that we began dating for forever in 1964. We had dated briefly as sophomores in high school. But when we began dating again as seniors, we never did stop dating and loving each other – for the next 50 years! So I DID have my 50 years with my man. Thank you, Lord, for showing me that, and for loving me by letting me be Mrs. Kent Humphreys.

Please hug him for me and tell him I love him still.

davidene’s update – january 14, 2014

It is the beginning of the new year, and I know that many of you have prayed me through. I love you for that! I want you to know that those prayers have reaped good benefits for me. Something happened that was quite amazing to me, and I want to tell you about it.

I was going along through a very busy and emotional December, doing well at keeping my focus on the reason for Christmas, and not experiencing too many emotional lows. I was all the way up to Saturday, Dec 28th, when I cratered. I not only cried all day, but was really dreading my coming birthday and the new year. I did not want either one of them to happen. On that day, I just could not see anything to look forward to. Why would I want a new life when I loved the way it had been? I didn’t want “new” anything. How could anything be as good as what it was before?

It was while I was in this mood that Susie called me and asked me to go to a movie. I was relieved to get out of the house and go do something fun with a friend, even though my eyes did look pretty puffy and scary.

Susie said she needed to run an errand to Janet’s house on the way. It was a surprise birthday party for me! Just girlfriends; Susie, Janet , Jane , Debbie , Debbie, Andrea, Joy , Annie , Terry , Kaye , Linda , and Pam . Together they represented so much of my life.

I met Joy when she was a little girl and I dated her big brother, Kent. I was about 13 when we met. She was and is a warrior in life, who loves God and people above all, and shows it every day.

Friendship with Kaye dates back to 1972 and Nichols Hills Baptist Church, where puppets and Children’s Church defined us. It was years of laughter, with a crazy wonderful friend. Linda was there with Bruce. What a great team we made. We even conned Kent into being “Frank Facts”, the TV News interviewer. It was a ball.
Debbie Priest was dating Monty in those years, singing in our church’s weekend teen venue, “The King’s Way Inn”.

When we moved to Cherokee Hills Baptist in 1981, friendship with Debbie , Janet , Jane , and Pam awaited me. What a treasure of girlfriends this group has been, through thick and thin! Andrea was a little girl when we arrived there. She wiggled into my heart early on, and is still there.

Annie became a soul-friend after Kent died, and wow, what a blessing. We meet weekly, and God just knew I needed her. She is more precious than gold, and her heart is “bigger than Idaho”!

Susie, and I became friends in Bible Study, and just kept studying the Bible together long after the official group study was over. What a wonderful friend she has been for over 30 years.

The overwhelming thought after that day was – WOW what a difference a little change of perspective makes! I have treasures untold to be thankful for. God has been there throughout my life, giving me unexpected relationships, experiences, and ministries all along the way. God reminded me through my girlfriends how faithful He has been. He will be for the future as well.

My spirits have not plummeted since my birthday party. I will journey on and find out what it is God has for me. My word for the year is EXPECTATION. I want to start each day with it, and carry it as well as I can throughout. I am expecting to improve. I am expecting to find the beginning of a new way, to find success in adjusting to it, to have confidence, passion, and energy again. I am expecting God to show me what to do next, and to try things that seem to be His direction, without fear.
My year phrase is, “Be patient, and be positive.” This patience will not be exhibited by inactivity. It will be expressed by giving myself permission to try, to fail without regret or concern, to accept success as God’s direction, and give Him honor for it.

I know there will still be more hard days and sadness in me, but I finally have a desire to go on to a new phase of life. Thank you for helping me get here. You are the most precious of friends.
Davidene

December 22, 2013

On December 22, 1966, I married the love of my life. It was an icy day – like today. The trees were heavy with ice, and the streets were nearly impassable. I didn’t care. I wasn’t even aware that the florist had called to say that the church decorations couldn’t be delivered in such conditions. I was busy doing my hair and my nails, getting ready for the most beautiful day of my life! (Mom had all her friends pray, the decorations were delivered.)

Kent and I had chosen each other while still in high school. Almost from the beginning of our dating, Kent assumed our marriage. He would say, “When we are married ….this” or “When we are married ….that”. Even when he gave me our engagement ring, he just drove me to a jewelry store, picked a ring, asked me if I liked it, and, when I said, “Yes”, he bought it! Right then and there! No looking around, no sizing it, no ‘down on one knee’, so totally Kent. His next words were. “Let’s go show the parents.” And that’s how it was.

And that’s how our marriage was – Kent with grandiose ideas, assuming that I was with him all the way, and I was. Up until his last trip (to India), he was having visions of what God wanted him to do, and he was off in a rush to do it. There was no “thinking” about it. It was all systems “go”, and I was jogging to keep up (sometimes literally!) He talked when he couldn’t breathe, and he “ran” when he couldn’t walk. He was an amazement. And I got to be married to him. For 46 years! That’s a long time, and way too short.

I was given a plaque as a gift. The giver told me that it describes Kent, and it does! It says,

Life is not a journey to the grave

With the intention of arriving safely

In a pretty and well preserved body:

But rather to skid in broadside,

Thoroughly used up,

Totally worn out,

And loudly proclaiming

…WOW…

WHAT A RIDE!!!

That could well be said of our marriage. It was exhilarating, and sometimes hard; it had sweet moments, and crazy ones. It was boisterous, and peaceful. It was fun, and full of laughter. And it was a passionate and serious effort to please God and each other.

…WOW…

WHAT A RIDE!!!

 

 

 

The Tightrope Walker

THE TIGHTROPE WALKER
Last summer (2013) Nik Wallenda walked across the Grand Canyon on a 2” cable.
On the starting side, Nik had several cameramen and newscasters, a small platform from which to step onto the cable, and his father. On the other side were the finishing platform, more cameras and newscasters, and his waiting family and friends. All looked very serious and focused. All expected success, with their expectations slightly colored by the persistent thoughts of “what if….”
I watched it on TV, spellbound and unable to leave my chair until it was over and success was, indeed, accomplished. What I saw kept me glued there. Nik, holding a 30 foot long pole (which weighed 43 pounds!), stepped from a platform to the wire, wearing normal clothes (jeans and a t-shirt) and shoes that looked like very old slippers. He just looked like a regular guy – no flash or sparkle. In his ear, he wore an ear-piece to listen to his father, who began his encouragement to his son immediately.
“You can do it, Nik”
“You’re doing great. Keep going. That’s it.”
“You’re ready for this. You can do this.”
And on and on he talked, softly giving both encouragement and instruction throughout the journey. Nik, however, spent the entire journey praying out loud. He was in conversation with his heavenly Father, both thanking Him for everything that was happening, and asking Him for specific things along the way.
The walk spanned 1,400 feet across the Canyon, 1,500 feet above the canyon floor. There was neither a safety net nor a harness. A fall would have been a death. The huge pole gave balance, but if it had begun to wobble too much, its own weight would have pulled Wallenda off of the wire. There were large weights hanging at intervals from the wire to help stabilize it, and he had to literally step over the obstructions on the wire every place where one was hanging. It was a precarious walk at best. But Nik was ready. He had been a member of this daredevil family for 34 years, and had practiced this skill of walking on small wires in dangerous places before. And he had always had his father, who he absolutely and literally trusted with his life.
So he went, because in his mind, he had to. He and his father had planned it, and he would do it. At this point, my literary mind thought that this was a good picture of God the Father directing His Son, Jesus, through the tumultuous years that He experienced here on earth in order to carry out their plan of salvation for us.
Very shortly after Nik had begun his 23 minute walk, the wind picked up. Watchers could see his jeans flap around his legs, and could hear him say, “Wow, the wind is stronger than we thought it would be.”
“It’s O.K., Son. You can do this. You are ready.”
Soon, the wire cable started to seriously vibrate, with so much movement that Wallenda had to squat down on it and wait for it to subside. Wallenda prayed, and his father talked into his ear, giving him the signal when it was safe to continue. Twenty-three minutes seemed like hours as I watched.
As he neared the opposite wall, the wire went uphill to the finishing platform. Watchers could see that he was exhausted. He kept looking up at the wall in front of him, and down at the river below, and I wondered what he was thinking. But, finally, he was there. He stepped onto the platform, set down his pole, and jumped onto the ground and safety. He hugged his wife and children, but before he could accept other congratulations, he quietly walked over to the edge of the cliff, and cried. I think maybe he was letting some adrenaline drain from him, and thanking his heavenly father for getting him across the great gulf. Before he could even turn around, his earthly father was back with him, having been brought across by helicopter. Father and son shared the victory, then he faced the cameras.
Again, I thought of God the Father and God the Son, finishing the work and being reunited. But this was an imperfect allegory since Jesus did die and was resurrected for us.
Then I heard Nik Wallenda’s interview a few days later. In it, he admitted that it was a much more difficult walk than he had expected it to be. One thing that made it so hard, and so different from other walks, was the problem of perspective. When he looked up at the wall in front of him, it always looked the same distance away. The cracks, colors, and changing light on the stone made it seem far away throughout the entire walk, right until he got up to it. The same was true of looking down. He expected to be able to use the river below as a gauge for how far he had come, but it always looked the same. He never seemed to be able to get to the other side of it. The optical illusion was brought about by the distance of height, but its effect was to give Nik the feeling that he was not progressing at all. In his mind, he knew that he had to be getting somewhere, because he was putting one foot in front of the other. He was moving, so he had to be progressing. But the illusion of not making progress could had been discouraging and disillusioning were it not for his father’s encouragement.
Now my literary mind realized what I was looking at – myself, and my grief; and what an accurate picture it was! It is a hard walk, encumbered with winds of sorrow and vibrations along the way when least expected. I am walking somewhat securely, when suddenly my tiny wire of security moves. As I squat down until it passes, my Heavenly Father talks in my ear:
“I have prepared you for this. You can do it. I am with you.”
In addition, my journey involves being enveloped in a cloud. Sometimes I can’t see the wall at all. I can’t even see past the next step. At other times, the cloud starts to lift, and I can see better that there is a future – a good and different future.
I may feel like there is no end, but there is. And the Heavenly Father will still be with me there. The perspective is faulty, and there is often the feeling that I am not getting anywhere, not progressing or going forward. But I trust God that I really am moving toward the far platform, and new terrain on which to walk. This insecure place will not always be my dwelling place. I will not always be stepping over weights in the way, or balancing with a huge heavy pole. Eventually, I will shed both, and be on stable ground. But through it all, God will still be with me. He uses family and friends to encourage and guide me, and I am blessed in abundance with them. Increasingly, the cloud is lifting.
The last 9 months were filled with good things as well as with grief. I have had trips with my children, grandchildren, and friends. These have afforded me calmness, peace and happy experiences. I have seen babies born, seen lots of movies, dined out often with sweet friends, taught the Joy Club Bible Study weekly (for seniors at St. Ann’s Retirement Center) and another one recently for young ladies, taken miles of walks around my lake, and worked the tornado disaster area with my therapy dogs.
Now I face November, December, and January. I, again, need your prayers for both me and my children and grandchildren. These months are full of important days that we shared with Kent in significant ways. Thanksgiving was always spent at our lake house for the weekend, playing outdoors, but also playing lots of games inside with Kent, and watching lots of sports on TV with Kent. It revolved around Kent. This year, most of us are going to spend it at Disney World! That will be a huge distraction! My heart, however, is with my son’s family, Lance, Stacy, Jake, and Emily. Right after Kent died, Stacy’s grandmother died. Grammy was the light and joy of that small family, and her absence will make a big hole. Please pray for comfort for them as they share happy memories of Grammy.
For the past five years, Kent and I spent the first two weeks of December in St. Thomas, resting and enjoying friends who would visit us there. I will greatly miss that, although I plan to attend a Christmas Festival in Colorado Springs for a few days to help distract part of that time period. (I am having someone else decorate my house for Christmas while I am gone, so that I do not have to do it myself.) Then, within ten days, starting on Dec 22nd, I have our wedding anniversary, Christmas, my birthday, and New Years. Last January, of course, was dominated by Kent’s final illness and passing. Please pray!
As you can see, the last part of my family’s first year without Kent is going to be dominated by a series of big events for us. We need you, and we have been so grateful for you throughout the year. Although I have not blogged for a long time, writing is one of those things that comes in waves. I have felt guilty for not writing except when I am needy, but I hope that will change with time, too. You, however, have been so faithful to keep up with me, and I feel very loved and cared for.
You have made this experience so much easier for us. I am praying that God will give you special blessings this season, as a gift from me and my family. Only He can thank you properly for such outpourings of yourselves to us.
Looking forward to what’s next,
Davidene

June 29th – Davidene’s reflections

Today is Kent’s birthday. God outdid Himself when He planned and created such a man. Kent loved God for as long as he could remember, and he gave his heart and life to Him at the age of nine. He was baptized on Easter Sunday that year, along with his sister Jan, who is also in Heaven with him. He never had a different focus from that time on.

He wrote in the front of his earliest Bible: “My Desire: Phil. 3:10     My Task: Matt. 28:19,20”

Phil 3:10 says: “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.” Throughout Kent’s life, he knew all of these things – he knew his Lord intimately; he was used by God in power and saw God’s power at work; he lived in fellowship with Him through years of suffering, and died like Jesus did, without murmuring or complaining, in physical torment, but with peaceful confidence in what was to come.

Matt. 28:19-20 says, “Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.” Again, Kent’s life was an example of these verses. He often marveled that an “afro-salesman from Oklahoma City” would be used by God to speak, teach, encourage, and mentor throughout the world. How did such a thing happen? God commanded, and enabled Kent to go. And he did. And he loved every minute of it. He relished life, family, business, and ministry with a zest and a spectacular passion.

He loved God and he loved people. And he is still doing exactly that – loving God and loving people. He is now with the folks he missed, like Jan and Poppy, Grandma Dixie, Aunt Enid, Bruce, Judy, and many others. And we are left here to miss him. I honor him today. He was God’s man, but mine, too. How blessed I am to have been his wife, his love, and his partner in all things.

 

may 20th – Davidene’s notes

Hi Friends:

Last week was a very hard blessing. God used its events to prove to me again that He is still here with me, in control, still not surprised by anything, still caring about every detail of my life, physically and emotionally, and still has a plan – for both the ongoing of Kent’s influence and of my life and purpose. Since I had been despairing and sad about both, it was a type of miracle for my heart.

It was the week that had been set aside to have a gigantic give-away of Kent’s books and other resources to those in our area who could use them personally and in their ministries. We called it an “Open House” because that sounded happier to me than to say “give away”. I could hardly stand the thought of losing the physical evidence of the years of Kent’s effort to show God’s love to people. His heritage and legacy – that’s what he called the written words. And they were now to just be given away? As if that heritage and legacy were so quickly ended? I cried every day as I prepared the stacks of personal books, CDs, cards, and cases of published books; knowing that our small warehouse would be empty of the things I loved before the week was over. I know that sounds unrealistically melodramatic, but it is how I felt.

As I dressed on Monday for the first day of the four-day event, I had senses of both dread and expectation. I had prayed hard that God would use this for His glory, and was waiting to see how He would do that. I drove to the office – a little nervous. Monday was going to be the longest day, from 10:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. God did not wait a minute to start to reveal His pleasure and purpose for giving Kent’s books away. Very early on, people began to arrive, and it stayed busy all day. I saw friends, ministers of all kinds, and strangers in a mixed array. I heard many stories that I had not heard before, and time became a parade of joyous moments sharing God and Kent with new and old friends.

The very first people to arrive were the pastors from my home church. They already had Kent’s books, and had heard everything Kent had to say, but there they were, as encouraging and excited to receive books as if they had never seen one. It made my heart happy right away.

As God would have it, the Baptists were holding a pastors’ conference on Monday, and several pastors of rural churches throughout the state came by, incredulous that someone would GIVE such treasure to them. They looked like deer in the headlights, eyes wide open, and hearts so thankful. Two of them who lived somewhat close to Oklahoma City, drove home after the meetings and picked up their wives and children. They had not met each other before Monday morning, but they came back, laughing with each other, getting more books, and motivated for a bright future as friends in ministry.

There was the radio personality who had interviewed Kent several times in the past, who came, saw what kind of material was available, and phoned people to come. She then waited until they arrived so that she could show them around!

A single dad came with his son. While he was in the warehouse, a lady arrived who heads up a single parent ministry. Neither one knew the other, but they exchanged information, excited to be able to meet and help each other. The father had brought his son because his son loves to read, and he was hoping to find books for him. As his dad talked to the single parent ministry lady, I took him into our conference room for cookies and a drink. I said, “You have such a nice father.” He replied, “You have NO idea!” “Why do you say that?” I replied. “Well, he is AMAZING how much he loves me,” said the child. His name was Christopher, and he was in second grade.

A sweet elderly widow drove herself to the warehouse at about 4:30 p.m. After she claimed some books and cards for herself, I helped her out to her car. After saying, “Drive carefully in this five o’clock traffic,” she said, “Oh, I will. I wouldn’t have missed this for anything!” Kent would have put his arms around her and prayed for her right there if he had been there in person. He loved “his” widows so much.

At 7:00 p.m., closing time, the warehouse and conference room were still full of people shopping and just enjoying each other’s company. I marveled at their easy camaraderie, considering that they had met each other just earlier that day. But Christians are like that. Children were running laps around the offices, playing hide and seek, and swiping a cookie every time they passed. I teased the parents by saying, “You had better get some protein for the kids, or just stay and I’ll order pizza.” It was a party.

Tuesday through Thursday were more of the same, but it soon became evident that word was traveling so fast throughout the churches and ministries of Oklahoma City that supply could not keep up with demand. By the end of the day on Thursday, over ten thousand books had gone to new homes. These will be passed out over the country and several foreign nations. It was so encouraging to see God take His work through Kent to the far reaches of His own plan. It also made me see again that His plan doesn’t stop there. He has a plan for me, too. I just have to wait, as hard as that might be. He will show me eventually what He wants me to do. In the meantime, it’s still one-day-at-a-time.

I now plan to finish the books that were in process, and present whole series of books to some major publishing houses to see what God might want to do with them. It is in His hands from there.

Kent would have loved it. All of his favorite people, pastors, businessmen, and widows were there, filling the first day with laughter, wonder, and new memories. I came home feeling God’s blessing on the event, on Kent’s ministry, and on myself. It was exhausting and exhilarating.

Love, Davidene