Home again – Great Is the Lord!

After an intense few weeks of packing, minimizing, and two full days of driving. We arrived safely in Fort Lauderdale. We are relieved to have made it and are ready to settle into a new routine. Justin starts his dispatch training October 9th. Thank you for your prayers. We are tired but thankful we get to fill mom’s house with some crazy grandkids.


I have so much I would like to share, stories of His grace and goodness. They will come… another day. For the moment, I’d like to share a Psalm that has helped me muster the strength to continue on through sleepless nights and waves of grief. As well as, SO much change. God is Good… Even when situations are bad.

Psalm 145

Great Is the Lord

A Song of Praise. Of David.

145 I will extol you, my God and King,
    and bless your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless you
    and praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
    and his greatness is unsearchable.

One generation shall commend your works to another,
    and shall declare your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
    and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
    and I will declare your greatness.
They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness
    and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.

The Lord is gracious and merciful,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
The Lord is good to all,
    and his mercy is over all that he has made.

10 All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
    and all your saints shall bless you!
11 They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom
    and tell of your power,
12 to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds,
    and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
    and your dominion endures throughout all generations.

[The Lord is faithful in all his words
    and kind in all his works.] 
14 The Lord upholds all who are falling
    and raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
    and you give them their food in due season.
16 You open your hand;
    you satisfy the desire of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways
    and kind in all his works.
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
    to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
    he also hears their cry and saves them.
20 The Lord preserves all who love him,
    but all the wicked he will destroy.

21 My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
    and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.


Thank you Father for your provision, your goodness, your grace. You’re good when things are bad. We don’t have to understand, we just have to trust. Help me praise when I’m weak and trust when I want to doubt.

Goodnight friends.



I have a choice. Today I choose…


I was standing in my garage, helping my husband move boxes down from the attic. I found a shoe box full of some of my random stuff from before we were married. Mostly pictures. I quickly flipped through them holding my breath and then accidently said out loud.. “phew, thank goodness.” After realizing I said it out loud I looked up and saw Justin watching me and he said “none of your dad?”

You see we’ve made it through the week of him on life support. We spent his last days singing to him, holding him, praying over him. We honored all his wishes for burial. We planned the memorial, and did our best to honor him and God at the service. But now what?

What can I do when everything that has to get done has been done and I’m still left without a father? This week I’ve been doing something, I’ve been getting angry. While teaching my son to ride his bike, I get angry that my dad will never see him ride it. While packing to move to Florida, I get frustrated knowing I’m moving into my parents’ house… But now it’s “mom’s house.” While at the mall I see old couples in their 70’s & 80’s and I get mad cause the Lord chose to take my dad home and now my mom is left again to pick up the pieces. Friends, I’ve been battling.

I know God is good. I know he was gracious in how everything came about. I’m richly blessed to have the family I have. But knowing all that doesn’t suffice. I have to make a choice in how I’m going to act upon that. I need to choose to be thankful. I need to choose to remember all the good. When I stop running from the pain and memories and take a moment to pause and think, I can be thankful. The pain won’t subside but the anger will fade and the peace will start to overflow. I can’t keep running.

This is a song my church sings, it’s been one I’ve been trying to sing when I get angry and frustrated.

“My heart is filled with thankfulness

To him who bore my pain;

Who plumbed the depths of my disgrace,

And gave me life again;

Who crushed my curse of sinfulness

And clothed me with his light

And wrote His law of righteousness

With power upon my heart.


My heart is filled with thankfulness

To Him who walks beside;

Who floods my weaknesses with strength

And causes fears to fly;

Whose every promise is enough

For every step I take,

Sustaining me with arms of love

And crowning me with grace.


My heart is filled with thankfulness

To him who reigns above,

Whose wisdom if my perfect peace,

Whose every thought is love,

For every day I have on earth

Is given by the King

So I will give my life, my all,

To love and follow Him.”

Now I have to make the right choice. I need to not shy away from certain activities because it brings memories that are painful. I need to stop and breathe when I get frustrated and list things that I’m thankful for. It’s not easy, it won’t ever be. But God is gracious and will sustain. I’m reminded and challenged by Colossians 3:15. It says, “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called to one body. And be thankful.”

Today I choose to be thankful. I choose to lift up my hurting heart and praise.


**I’d like to add a special thanks to all of you who have encouraged me to keep writing. It’s not easy. It makes me challenge my innermost self and I usually don’t like what I find. But I want to be a vessel that God can use, however feeble my efforts might feel. If I only bless one person it is worth it. Thank you all again for your continued prayers for us as a family. They are felt and so appreciate.**



We’re moving on.

My husband, Justin, and I have been married for five years. We have four babies under four and have been blessed to live by Justin’s family in Delaware. We also have attended the same church and deeply love our community. But sometimes God calls you to move on when you’re most comfortable.

Justin is an incredibly hard working, faithful and dedicated husband and father. I was blessed with a father like that and I wasn’t sure if there were any guys left like him… But thankfully I snatched up a good one. 😉 After two deployments in Iraq his dream of staying through till retirement in the army was no longer for the best. And selfishly I didn’t mind when he told me that he was planning on getting out!

Three years ago he started liberty online full-time in hopes of finding a new career path. He was working full time with a very sick and pregnant wife and a baby under one. He’s been full-time in school while working until this summer. It’s taken sometime but we’ve finally found his passion in the field of Aviation. He earned his private pilot license and through that learned about dispatch. In June he signed up to go to fort Lauderdale, FL (where my family is located) to get his FAA certication for dispatch so Lord willing he can start a career he really loves by the new year.

My father passed very suddenly, but before that happened his advice was very instrumental in our decision to take the leap and sign up for dispatch. We had no idea when we signed up to come to fort Lauderdale in the fall that my dad wouldn’t be around. But God knew. We believe his hand has been guiding us in this direction.

My mom has graciously offered the back part of their home to us to move into. By October 1st we will be on our way home to Florida. When my dad was in the hospital I promised him I’d stick close to mom and help her as much as possible in this next season We have every intention of keeping that promise for as long as the Lord guides us. I’m thankful for my husband who loves my family just as much as I do and is more than willing and excited for this move. I’m ready to get home.

We have two big prayer request. The first is we own a home. We put it on the market a week ago and today is our first showing. We know we’re coming to the end of the traditional house hunting season, but we also realize we have a great big God who can move a house in seconds if that’s his will. Please pray we get an offer soon, and it’s one that is financially acceptable and we have no problems selling. The second would be please pray Justin will find a dispatch job shortly after completing the course. He is anxious to get started.

We covet your prayers! We l know if God isn’t in this, than it’s all for nothing. We hope and pray he is glorified through our family.

“A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9IMG_20170803_191004_973


An intentional life.

On Friday morning July 21st my father was transferred into hospice care. I followed the transport ambulance and met my mother and sister in the lobby. Two dear friends joined us shortly after. The staff wanted to get to know Dad. They asked us to describe him. The first thing my mother said was He loved the Lord. We all nodded. After agreeing with her the word that struck me was “intentional.”

Intentional means to do something on purpose, to be deliberate and to have a plan. My father intentionally loved my mother and all us kids and anyone else the Lord put him in contact with. He intentionally modeled what a good earthly father should look like not only to us but to the church, the neighborhood and anyone he came in contact with. He intentionally fixed his eyes on heaven daily and did more than his share of bringing the kingdom one step closer. He intentionally put his whole self into teaching others and training up the next generation. Whether it was a packed convention center or a one on one chat in his office. He gave his all. He was truly sold out.

Reflecting on my father’s life has been convicting. When people see my life, do they say “Steph points people towards Christ, she is sold out!” Or do they say, “Oh, she’s a nice person.” Being nice is great, but it won’t get you into heaven. I’m reminded of this Parable Jesus taught in:

Matthew 25:14-30

“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who has received the five talents went at once and traded with them and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master. And he also who had the two talents came forwards saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents’ here, I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who received one talent came forward saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invented my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will be more given, and he will have abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Brothers and sisters in Christ. Are we investing what the Lord has given us? Are we living sold out? Is the vision of heaven fixed in our minds? I pray it is. When my time comes I want to hear the words. “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Let’s be kingdom minded, let us thirst and crave the word of the Lord. Let us be light upon the earth until the Lord calls us home. Let us be intentional.

For those of you who don’t know Christ as your personal Savior, please stop and consider. If today was your last day on this earth. Do you know where you’d end up? The Lord is soon returning. Let’s spend every day as if it were the day He calls us home.


Life is a vapor.

Yesterday, July 27th we buried my father. If you would have told me at the beginning of this year that I would only have a few months left with my father this side of heaven, I wouldn’t have believe it. I’d be convinced you were joking.

You see, my father was very healthy and disciplined. He just had his knee replaced and was back walking 3+miles a day. When he visited my house in June he was walking every other day, maintaining a very healthy diet and happier than ever. It was the most wonderful visit. He was reading to the kids, spending time with Justin and catching up with me. He said so many times how much he loved us and was proud of us. How we were on the right track raising our kids. I remember stopping and thinking several times how grateful I was for both my parents.

July 16th I laid down for a nap after church. I was feeling pretty full after good fellowship and hearing solid teaching. Just after 2:30pm I was dozing off when my whole body jumped up from bed. I felt sick and afraid. I prayed that the Lord would let me rest cause I was so tired and peace fell over me and I feel asleep for a little over an hour. I woke up and checked my phone… “dad’s been in an accident…” my heart sank. I jumped out of bed and found Justin and sank to the floor. The family text was calm but we were tense… “is he ok…?” “where is he?”

He was driving home after spending the last two weeks preaching at a youth camp and catching up with friends and family. He should have finally been home that night. But the drive went terribly wrong. After attending church with my sister he changed at church and texted my mom saying he was coming home to her. He picked up subway and passed through Albany, GA. It was storming and my father hydroplaned and hit a tree on the drivers side. The door smashed in, car bent, steering wheel even snapped. He wouldn’t have even know what happened it happened so fast.

The text messages kept slowly flowing in… “any word?” Another one comes through… “Rachel is on her way, just over two hours out.” “They say he’s in and out of consciousness.” (Which later we found out was not accurate.) My stomach sank lower than it ever has before and I didn’t know how to pray. All I could manage was to ask Justin to get the suitcases down from the attic “just in case.” The next two hours crept bye.. waiting for more answers, waiting and praying for my sister to safely make it to my dad. Praying it really was nothing serious, and quickly texting close friend to pray as my whole body shook. I decided to take my oldest two kids outside to play and get some air. As they played my youngest sister called. “He’s not going to make it!” I dropped to my knees and said “I’m coming jess, I’m coming!” I dropped the phone, fully collapsed and just prayed over and over. “sweet Jesus, don’t take my dad. please Lord don’t take my dad…. I just want to see him… I just want to touch him.. please Lord spare my daddy.” Justin came running and held me I managed to continue. “Sweet Jesus I KNOW you are good, I want to give you glory. please spare him but please remind me you’re good.” My brother wrote and said “we got to go.”

We packed and were gone within twenty minutes. Fifteen hours of driving through the night, without a wink of sleep and we finally met up with all the stateside siblings and my mom. I dropped my kids off at the hotel, put on a dress and went to the SICU. I was met by a good friend who hugged me and escorted me to my dads bedside where my mom was. I had no words. I couldn’t even pray. I just stared. He looked so good, like he should just wake up. He had a broken arm and other broken bones you couldn’t see. His breathing was assisted and there were wires and monitors everywhere. I was speechless and trying to wrap my mind around what happened. I kissed him hands and held them. And thought maybe he will wake up, it’s just a coma, right? I quickly realized that wouldn’t be the case.

Tuesday. I got up early, got my kids fed and ready for the day then went to the hospital, this would be my routine all week. I offered to handle the logistics with the car and the tow truck driver and find my dads wallet. I had to feel useful or I was worried I’d go crazy. I called the tow truck driver and tracked down the car. It was off an old dirt road. Justin graciously drove me. We got out and the tow truck driver asked if my father was still alive. That should tell you something. I walked down the muddy path and saw it. My dads car. I knew he hit a tree but I had NO idea the tree went directly to his door. All I kept thinking was “he shouldn’t have made it this far, we shouldn’t be able to hold his hand and kiss him.” We got everything out but his wallet. After a second visit with my brother still no wallet. My mom asked my brother and I to continue on to the crash sight. We did, and we went together with our spouses. There wasn’t much to see besides tire tracks and a scraped up tree. But there his wallet sat. I was so overwhelmed. Emotions started to come in waves. Anger. Fear. Hurt. Confusion. But in the midst of that. I had a peace that surpasses all understanding. I couldn’t gather my thoughts enough to pray. But I felt the Holy Spirit press upon my heart that He already took my dad home. And that no matter what he is holding us all in his hands. I started to weep. “Father,” I prayed, “I just want my daddy back. But I know you are good.” Through the tears I sang the doxology, and Justin graciously helped me finish cause I could not. Here are the words. We always sing it at family gatherings

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

In that moment I gave it to God. I gave him my hurt and my anger, my confusion and my father. I said he is yours, just help me trust, help me praise, help me stay faithful.

Wednesday came, the longer my dad was in SICU the clearer the reality of our situation was. My dad’s brain was so damaged. We all saw the scans, the Dr’s were amazing and taking good care of him. But he wasn’t there anymore. He never woke up. And his body was quickly shutting down. My dad had written wishes stating exactly what we should do in that situation. Another mercy God knew we’d need. After lots of discussion, prayers and so many tears we transferred my dad to hospice. There was a special hospice place where they took amazing care of my father, and where the whole family, kids and all, could hang around and just wait. I have never sung or prayed so much in such a short period of time. We took turns making sure someone was always there and singing, praying and reading. We all had a job and without each siblings, spouse and friends we wouldn’t have made it through. At first light on Sunday, July 23rd, exactly one month before my dads 65th birthday, the Lord called him home.

Although we believe he never felt pain, we were relieved he was finally with his Savior. The next day we drove home to Fort Lauderdale. And three days later we had a family burial. We prayed together, shared stories, praise our savior and read his favorite passages.

Friends, my heart hurts so bad. I’m sitting in my dads office now and it’s so empty. He was more than just my dad, he was my hero, my pastor even from afar, my mentor, and my friend. So many times in this last week and a half I felt like I couldn’t breath. But God is good still.  He has shown so many mercies, and the power of his grace. I’m going to continue to praise him. I’m going to carry the torch of my dads spiritual legacy. I’m going to weep so deeply and have to remind myself to breath. But I have no regrets, my dad knew I loved him and looked up to him. My family is even closer than we already were. The word of God is much sweeter. Heaven is something I now look forward to everyday. I want to challenge you. Cling to Jesus. Love your friends and family. When you don’t understand the situation follow my dad’s advice and “look at the big picture.” “it’s about the end game.” My dad lived everyday to serve his savior and his kingdom. He lived counter culture. He lived intentionally. I hope and pray that when God calls me home, my kids can say the same about me.

I want to say a special thanks to my church family in Delaware, you all have lifted me up from afar. Also my in-laws who have been calling and writing and praying. and making it possible for me to be here. To my friends state-side and internationally who have been praying and writing me. To those I’ve never met and might not meet till heaven who are praying and giving. But I really want to thank my siblings and my mom and my husband. You guys have physically, spiritually and emotionally held me up. I have always been proud to be a Perry. But in the last two weeks I have been the most proud and thankful for my family. For my dad. For my mom. For my brothers and sisters and in-laws. And for my husband. I love you guys.

Goodnight for now.

Revelation 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Celebration of life

Thank you all for your patience as we figure out how we can best celebrate my father’s life. We will have a family only burial this week. But we are planning a large Celebration of life that will be open to anyone and everyone… please plan on joining us! That will take place on:

August 19th

at Rio Vista Community Church, 880 S Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

From 2-5pm with food and fellowship to follow. 

Thank you for your continued prayers for our family. I have so many praises I’d like to share with you. Let’s take a moment to thank our good heavenly father for his gifts to us.

  • We all made it to Florida from Georgia safely. Praise him!
  • My oldest brother is with us now through the end of the week thanks to a visa extension. Uncle David is here!! (pictures below) Praise him!
  • My mothers new (to us) van is awesome and just what she had been praying for. Praise him!
  • All the burial and arrangements have been paid for. Praise him!
  • Rio Vista Church has graciously allowed us to use their facilities for the celebration of life (and many other churches offered theirs as well). Praise him!
  • The Gofundme.com/helpbillperry as well as other gifts have continued to come in and it will help carry the family through this season of transitions and unexpected costs. Praise him!
  • We are so thankful that my father’s brother and sister will make it to the burial as well my grandmom (Bill’s mother). They have all been very gracious and helpful through this whole process. Praise him!
  • Friends and neighbors have/are bringing us food. We are so thankful. Praise Him!

Words cannot express our thanks for the universal body of believers that are holding us up in prayer, paying for all our expenses and loving us through this hard and tragic season. THANK YOU!

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4