Last Saturday, Grace's father, Gib Martin, finished his race on earth and got to meet the Jesus he served as a pastor. While on vacation a few hours away from Seattle after Christmas, his health took a turn for the worse. Grace's two sisters and mother were there with him on holiday. Our family was out of town getting a break, but Grace was able to come back and be with her dad for a few days before he passed away.
I was planning on taking our five kids to see him after school last Friday, but Grace texted early that morning saying he was declining fast. I pulled the kids out of school early and started the three-hour drive in the snow. Towards the end of the trip we were running low on gas, so I was watching for the fuel light to come on. It did…right after we ran out of gas about 10 minutes away from our destination! I did not want Grace to leave her father's side to come and get us, so the five kids and I hitchhiked a ride from a nice family.
We made it to the hospital, and although Grandpa Gib could hear us, he could not speak. We spent seven hours with him all together as an extended family singing, praying, crying, sharing Scripture, and chatting. I took our kids and their cousin to a hotel where they fell asleep around midnight. Grace stayed up all night at the hospital and was there at her father’s side when he died.
The next morning we all went sledding to enjoy one another. We drove home on Saturday night so I could preach the first sermon of our big Ephesians series the next morning to a standing room only crowd in Bellevue. The energy of the people along with their prayers helped me be focused, present, and on message, despite being emotionally and physically exhausted and distracted.
Thank you to everyone who is praying for my mother-in-law, Grace, her two sisters, and the grandkids in this season. We would appreciate you not sending flowers or gifts, as we truly only need prayer and deeply appreciate it. Grace is grieving well, and I am very thankful that I get the great honor of being her best friend walking through this season with her. A funeral will be scheduled for later this month, and I will be preaching, as Grandpa Gib requested.
Grateful for the life, rest, and work we have through Jesus.
Condolances to the Martin and Driscoll families.