A Letter to My Friends

A Letter to My Friends

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)

I wanted to write a more personal letter to all our friends who have stood with us through the years, prayed for us, supported us, and more recently, expressed such love and sympathy regarding Linda’s passing.

As you noticed, I still say “us” as I write this letter, because Linda was as much a part of this ministry as I ever was. The “us” also reflects our daughter Jennifer, who takes care of much of the business of Praise Ministries and has on many occasions, through the years, joined us as we traveled and ministered. Likewise, our son Jeffrey has often joined us as we ministered, at times accompanying us on bass guitar. We’ve always been a truly “close” family, whether at home, on the road, or separated by many miles.

We received so many cards, letters and emails from friends all over the world assuring us of their sympathy and prayers. I want you to know I read every card and letter that was sent. They all were a blessing beyond words and provided a comfort that was palpable.

Many of you shared your experiences of saying goodbye to a loved one or friend who had passed from this life. Your testimonies gave me comfort and hope.

I love that verse from 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 because it gives explanation as to why we suffer some of the things we do. Yes, sickness, death, and loss are all byproducts of the reality of sin that entered the world and permeates every aspect of our present environment. However, God, always the redeemer, takes that which was meant for evil and uses it for good.

Because of your sorrow and sadness, which required His comfort, you now were able to comfort me. In turn, I will be able to offer a very real comfort to others because of the comfort I have received.

The verse assures us that, “The sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance.” We surely know that in these times of extreme sorrow and sadness! But it goes on to say, “So also our comfort is abundant through Christ.”

Let me assure you and encourage you that even in the furnace of affliction, in the deep waters of sorrow, and amidst the dark days of painful loss, His grace really is sufficient, and His comfort is real.

I know this because, “The Bible tells me so!” We used to sing that as kids in Sunday School, but little did we realize then how exceedingly valuable that truth would be later on. I know His comfort is real also because you comforted me in my time of need with that same comfort you once received and appropriated from our dear Savior. Thank you!

People ask me daily, and I’m sure some of you are wondering… “how are you doing?” I think, by God’s grace, I’m doing exceptionally well considering I just said goodbye, for my remaining time on earth, to my wonderful, precious, and beautiful wife of 54 years.

I’ll never get over this, and I shouldn’t, but by God’s grace and mercy, I will get through it.

Today, I was listening to a Billy Graham crusade recorded in England during the 1980’s. He was introducing his wife Ruth to the audience. At one point in his introduction of her he said, “People often ask me, who is the best Christian you’ve ever known?” He responded by saying, “My wife!”

I wept as I heard him say that because that’s exactly how I feel about my wife, Linda. She’s the best Christian I’ve ever known!

There was no one, in all the world, for whom I had more respect and admiration.

I knew this season would be tough, but I didn’t know how tough (at times) it would be. Yes, there have been some days of such loneliness that I thought, “I don’t know how I’ll do this.”

But then God’s grace and comfort visit me in ample proportion and I move forward and take the next step.

I can sing:

I’m pressing on the upward way
New heights I’m gaining every day
Still praying as I’m onward bound
Lord plant my feet on higher ground

(Higher Ground
Oatman Jr./Gabriel)

And He is guiding me to higher ground; ordering each step as I journey on.

I covet your continued prayers for my family and myself. The journey continues, but I know what to expect upon arriving at my final destination: Heaven, Jesus, the saints and angels, and so much more. And, of course, Linda…wonderful, beautiful and perfectly healed Linda.

No more sin, no more sickness, no more pain, no more death! Will Heaven be great or what!?

Thank you for allowing me this moment of transparency, of emotional outlet, and for the opportunity to just express my gratitude, on behalf of my family and myself, in This Letter to My Friends.

In Christ,
Dallas Holm