A good gift

On the first Friday of each month, Paul Merrill writes in this space. As Jon was reading the post for this month, he realized that both Swansons and Merrills are in an interesting place. We write here about following Jesus. And for both families, that following is calling for faith.

You’ve read about Jon’s journey away from pastor into part-time chaplain.

Now read Paul’s story:


My wife’s contract was not renewed. After five years of working at a dream job with a famous Silicon Valley company, their “no remote workers” clause was no longer avoidable.

Similar to the loss of a loved one, she has already been through some of the stages of grief: shock to sadness to acceptance to a tiny bit of excitement. There are all kinds of possibilities.

So we’re waiting on God for what’s next.

Looking back, we’re very thankful for God’s past provision, over and over. “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow” (James 1:17).

She was planning to take a 6-week sabbatical from the company this summer – but didn’t expect it would come in this particular way.

God has a good plan. We’ll wait to see what’s in store.


When we write, Paul and Jon, we don’t have any special knowledge of the future. We live lives in real time. Which is why we both are deeply involved in faith development. Which means daily dependence on God.

Paul Merrill writes here every first Friday.