Frankly, I am glad that 2006 is almost over. Hands down, I would have to say that this has been the worst year of my life. It has been a year that I can only categorize as a "Year of Losses." Aside from devastating financial loss, I also lost my last remaining grandparent and my dog. I moved my wife and family to Walterboro, SC during the summer. In the five months we lived there, many awful things happened:
- The transmission on my van blew up...at night...in the middle of nowhere.
- The water pump and radiator on my truck busted simultaneously.
- My dog Levi died very suddenly.
- My Grandma Vick also died very suddenly.
- The distance between my children and me caused me to become very depressed.
- Because of our landlord in Walterboro, we had to move right before the holidays, thus we had no money to buy presents for anyone.
It was not all bad, though. During those difficult months, the Evergreen Church family helped us in ways that go beyond anything I have ever seen. Furthermore, the Lord gave me an even deeper revelation of Himself in the midst of my trials. He showed me that my calling isn't and never was to be a pastor--at least not a traditional one. It was a great release for me to finally come to terms with that.
The Lord has also challenged the level of my faith. I have come to realize that after 3 years of loss and disappointment, I have stopped trusting Him. It's true. I believe IN Him, but I have stopped believing Him. I guess I feel that if I just give things up to God, He will just let me down. That is a lie, but I have believed it, and now I am working on changing that mindset. In doing so, I am rediscovering the joy of living by faith.
So...what does all this mean? Simply this: 2006 is behind me, and 2007 holds great promise. I am simplifying my life--scaling down a bit. I am working toward a lifestyle of faith and giving. I am waiting and listening for what God has in store for me next. I have reconnected with some treasured friends, and they have already been a source of encouragement in unexpected ways. My desire is to post again at this time next year with stories of God moving in new and exciting and fresh ways.
I will turn 40 in 2007. There is a saying that "Life begins at 40." I'll let you know...
Happy New Year!