Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Reflections on 2007 Part 2 (Spring)

As I started reflecting on the last year, I realized--there were a ton of things going on in my life in 2007. I don't know about you, but sometimes even the complexity of life can seem so routine that I can run through days and weeks and feel little sense of accomplishment. Or perhaps my days (and yours) are so chock full of busy-ness that we don't fully grasp all that is going on in our world--inside and out..

Or maybe big goals are accomplished after a long grind, and life has so many challenges we fail to celebrate major successes. For instance, back in May, when I graduated with my Master's degree in English as the culmination of 5 years of study, it really didn't register with me because I was alone and didn't really celebrate. A few friends attempted to brighten my day by taking me out to dinner, but my mom was in the hospital. What I remember most about that day was how deeply alone I felt amid all of the families celebrating while my mom was fighting for every breath. My solace that day was having my mom tell me "Every day you make me proud," as I left her hospital room telling her I'd try to make her proud walking across the stage at graduation. She really wanted to be there , but she really needed to be in the hospital.

On top of graduation, I also was captain of a team in the Wood County Relay for Life. My dad, one of my best friends, Dan Van Valey, and I made a front page appearance in the parkersburg newspaper. We were so hopeful that my mom would be out of the hospital. She spent much of the week on a ventilator, and I think she came off it on Thursday. We were thrilled to say the least! And our team of 20 people raised over $1000 dollars in a very short time as a handful of us walked through much of the night.

And then after a tumultuous 3+ weeks in the hospital, went home to be with Jesus. I miss her dearly, as I'm sure everyone whose life she touched misses her. She was a beautiful human being who led a beautiful life on this earth. These last few months have been really strange without her presence here. My best friend in the whole world, Willie, wrote a song for my mom. If you never met my mom, suffice it to say, she was the kind of person people write songs about. I miss her!

It seems like every season has a mixture of joys and challenges. As I reflect back on this time, I can't help but see how Christ was walking with me in all of the pain and all of the rejoicing. He sustains me and gives me direction when times are tough. He also reminds me that as long as I have breath, I am to seek first His kingdom in all that I do.

Was 2007 defined by challenges or triumphs for you? Whose Kingdom are you seeking with your life? In the middle of the challenges and the triumphs I am tremendously thankful that he has given me a community of friends and family who love me and support me in every situation. Last Spring brought that truth out to me in the form of txts, emails, voicemails, and visits from people who gave Jesus hands and feet in the middle of my world.

1 comment:

Luke said...

Wow, crazy man. Great stuff.

Also, my wife has started listening to your church's weekly message podcasts! She loves them.