Tom and Myra Dahl had the life they always wanted: a successful business, a grand home filled with kids, and plenty of money to pursue their dreams.
When the economy faltered in 2000, the business failed and closed, and their house was lost. At the same time, their children left for college or to be on their own.
The traumatic change in their lives hit them hard. Tom fell into depression.
Their difficulties created a chasm between Tom and Myra and were made wider by a near inability to communicate in any meaningful way.
As Myra pressed Tom to work on the relationship, it triggered a flight response, and their marriage hit a breaking point. After 20 years of marriage, they separated.
After a painful time apart, Myra and Tom met with a counselor and were forced to face many issues that had contributed to their troubles. After much painful work, they made their way back into each others lives and moved back in together. The Dahl's marriage was now in great working condition, but it only seemed to create a heightened awareness that something was missing.
An emptiness surrounded them.
One day, friends invited Tom and Myra to visit Rock Church with them.
With their first steps inside, they saw their future. The music was pulsing, the message spoke to both their hearts and there, they committed their lives to Jesus as they committed their lives to each other.
Now their marriage was made up of three people: Tom, Myra and Jesus Christ.
And they wanted nothing more than to serve God together at the Rock.
They dove into the Hospitality Ministry bringing their newfound joy to everyone they greeted, putting particular focus on blessing visitors by remembering their names. People soaked up the attention.
They also built family-like relationships with their co-volunteers. They were surprised to find that, in their limited role, they were able to make a difference in so many lives.
Today, eight years later, they still volunteer their time in the Hospitality Ministry and Choir, but now also volunteer with the Video Production Team selflessly helping in any role needed, Back Stage Crew preparing food for performers and guests or shuttling guests from the airport, the Special Events Team serving in various roles that sometimes includes cooking and catering, and Myra even serves at the Rock Thrift Store caring for the customers.
They agree it seems like a lot, but they insist it really isn't. The blessings far outweigh the time spent.
Best of all, they have had many opportunities to minister to people dealing with all the challenges that confronted them over the years: depression, loneliness, financial failure, and a distressed marriage.
God is using their past to meet needs today.
Says Tom, "The last five years have been the best years of my life. It is the time that I've been the happiest, when I have felt the most fulfilled, when I have felt a purpose in my life. Now at the end of my 'working' life, I look forward to the additional time I will have for serving. I know that God has much more for me to do. I'm not sure what it is but I know that I will serve in any way that glorifies Him."
Tom and Myra are examples of the power of God not just to heal but to shower blessings on those who commit their ways to Him.
Congratulations, Tom and Myra Dahl, Rock Heroes, December 2010.