I can easily say, this has been the most exciting year of my life. But I think that this year has represented the hills and valleys that I have gone through to get to this point. Even as I begin to write this, I am faced with the realization that there is absolutely no way to cover the things that I am so grateful for that entered my life and gave my life a distinct flavor that I will never forget, nor should I want to. So, I am going to try and break some of these things down to some categories so that we can all keep our sanity.
1. People. I am pretty sure that I can't even put into words how much I have been blessed by the people that God has put into my life. Whether it be professors, mentors, family or friends, I have been so richly blessed by people.
Professors like Scott Johnson who challenged me to think outside my little perfect world or Chad Meister who taught me to think critically and to consider the opponent's schemes so that I could understand my own beliefs better. Professors like Tim Erdel to gave me confidence that I was able to do things well even though my past told me otherwise or Ted Bryant, who I didn't even have a class with, that inspired me with his walk with Christ and willingness to share it with others so that they may know Him more. Professors like Dave Schmidt who made it a point to make sure that I graduated sooner than later.
Mentors like TL, Captain Bley, Tank Lehane, or The Talented Mr. Prenkert who have invested so much into my life whether from afar or from doing ministry together, they have changed my life and given me some great perspective on life and ministry. I can't wait to see how God continues to use these guys to help mold me in the coming months and years (?).
Family that has given me some healthy challenges and much needed refreshment. I have been given a task and my family is still a major part of that task. I am so blessed to have the family that I do and the ways that they choose to show me love. God truly had a plan.
My friends are such a huge part of my life in the past year that it is impossible to list the many things that warm my heart each time I think of all that they mean. The fact is that in the previous four years or so, God has blessed me with friends who love me and push me. They allow themselves to be used by God. They inspire me to be better. They stay up late. They try to make me stay up late. We did crazy stuff together. We traveled. We cheered. We cried. We celebrated. We made the most of what we had. We talked. A lot. We debated. We yelled at each other. We pondered our futures together. And apart. We had heart to hearts that we probably should have saved for another time. You forgave me. Many times. You made fun of me. I made fun of you. We won. We lost. I got mad. You laughed. We all laughed. We prayed. We worshipped. We served His people. We continue to try and serve His people. We sang. We shouldn't have sang. We went places together I never thought we would go. We went to places we always go. We ate. Too much. I'll be right back. It's ok. We said goodbye. We will say goodbye again. And again. And again. And again. I hope.
Thanks to all the people in my life that have made this year worthwhile. God has used you to make me more of the man that He has intended me to be.
2. His Presence. I have been amazed at how much I have been in touch with the Holy Spirit this year. There are two options to explain this one. I have so much more closer to Christ that I can no longer ignore His voice, OR He is speaking more than before. The problem with option number 2 is that He is always speaking and moving me. SO, I guess I can say that I have been closer to Jesus more this year than any other year. I think that this is simply me recognizing how He speaks to me and how I hear Him. Hearing God's voice has been something of a learning process for me and for what He truly wants from me.
I am so thankful for His presence in my life. I would be in a much different place if He didn't show up in mighty ways on April 4, 2007. Thanks to all of those that He has spoken through. Thanks to all of those that have pushed me to continue to search for His voice. He is so Good.
These are just some reflections on a late night. I am richly blessed by Him, His people and the experiences that He has had me go through in the past year. I just need to stop and reflect on those blessings more than once a year.
What about you? How has He blessed you this year?