The fact that I sent away 2011 asleep in my bed shouldn’t in any way reflect the kind of year it was. I can’t think of another year in my life when so much happened. I’m really thankful for all that God did in 2011. Sitting here this morning on the precipice of 2012 I look back and see all the things that are different from last year this time.
Last year this time we thought we were soon headed to Ethiopia to adopt a little girl. Here we are one year later back home with a little boy. 2011 saw us make two trips to Ethiopia. The whole process was a remarkable experience but the high point had to going there to get Gus. I’m so glad to have had the opportunity to see it and meet so many great people. And now we have him and sometimes I just can’t believe it. The adoption process is great and hard and exciting and gut-wrenching all at the same time. I feel like God has repeatedly used my children to show me what it means to live on the strength of Christ.
Last year this time I was still in youth ministry. I’ll say it again: I didn’t mean to be a youth pastor after I left Chicago. But God had other plans. I’ve loved being a youth pastor for these last 10 years or so. There are so many relationships that have been born out of that time. I came back from Ethiopia and left 2 days later and headed to Louisville, KY for what will most likely have been my last Summer Camp. It was a great time seeing old friends and enjoying the company of the students who came along.
Last year this time I didn’t think of myself as a church planter. In God’s providence I am now doing something that I am certain I can only do with His help. I’m so thankful for Cornerstone Church. I finally get to preach every Sunday. I’m praying that God will use this little church to bring the light of His Word to Savannah.
As if those things weren’t enough there was so much else! I finally made it back to California after about 5 years. It was great to see old friends there. I finally made it to Israel and it was amazing. There were definitely some heart breaks along the way. But I understand more and more that God uses all of it to mold us and shape us. Oh, and more than one person commented on the amount of gray in my hair. I hope the gray hair combined with the heart aches mean I’m at least getting a little wiser.