Four months have gone by since I last wrote – though not from lack of inspiration. I’ve been quite occupied with many things, and figured that my birthday is as good of an opportunity as any to break the silence. Today I turn twenty-eight years old, and would like to take this opportunity to look back over this past year and think on what God has led me through.
The most significant change in my life over the past year has been my girlfriend of seven months now – Melissa. She has been a constant grace to me, she is a gentle and kind listener, a faithful encourager, a patient and trusting friend, and she has sharpened me in countless ways over the past seven months. I am immensely thankful that God has seen fit to allow us this time together, and I am excited about where he is leading us. Before Melissa and I began dating, it had been three years since my last relationship, and five years prior to that. God has been so gracious during that time to shape me and grow me – I can say with much weight behind these words: God is good and faithful, through the dark and sorrowful seasons as well as the light and joyful times. Know his voice, trust his Word, and have faith in his sovereign plan through all seasons.
Another more recent shaping of my life is that in mid-November I left my position at Wyndham to begin working for one of the elders at my church – Blake. Blake and his wife Debbie own several companies and were in the market for someone who could help them organize and run at least one of them. I’m primarily helping Blake run his gravel-hauling business, but I’ve also filled in somewhat for his church furniture manufacturing business. So for the last month I have learned far more about business, budgets, learning quickly, and adapting to completely new and different environments than I thought possible. Though I am very thankful for my time at Wyndham, I must say that I am in a much better position that utilizes my gifts, helps me grow and prepare for my ultimate calling to be a pastor, and God has seen fit to have me work with very godly generous people who make a personal investment into every aspect of their lives. I’m learning, I’m being stretched on a daily basis, and I am thankful to see the Lord guiding my employment opportunities over the past year to have me arrive at this place. I also look forward with eager anticipation to see where he will lead in the future.
I feel as though I have settled into life in Missouri now. I’m leading in several capacities at LifePoint Church, I’m making progress in many areas of my life, and I get to see God at work in and through my friends as well. I could go on and on about the smaller and larger graces that God has blessed me and my friends and family with over the past year, but suffice it to say that he is good and he does good. Several friends have gotten married (I even got to officiate one of them!), several friends have become parents and others are expecting to meet their children for the first time very soon.
So as I turn another year older today I celebrate not only another year come and gone with many evidences of God’s grace, but also look forward with anticipation to what God will do in the coming year(s). It seems as though the melancholic season that was my mid-twenties is now behind, and God has given me the good grace of celebration and thankfulness for this season. I pray that I do not take this time for granted, and that I give God the glory for what he has done. Whether you are in a similar time of celebration and change, or whether you are in the darker and more trying times, I pray that you too will see that God is good and does good; he is ever-faithful.