This past weekend I had the privilege and joy of seeing my better friends graduate; it was a bitter-sweet experience. Bitter, because my friends would no longer inhabit one spot; there would be no more visits to Mobile. Sweet, because they are ready to move on to whatever God has next for them; God has so much for them!
Just a year ago I stood in their shoes; I was finishing my exams, packing my stuff, taking my walk, and saying my goodbyes. I remember how painful graduation day was and all of the uncertainty that swirled around what would happen. I was sure that my life was over and that the best of times had become the worst of times.
I happy to say that I was wrong.
Sure, there have been struggles and year is full of many disappointments and heartaches, but what year isn’t? At the same time this year has been an incredible year of growth and maturity, a year that has really began to mold and shape me more into the man God will cast into his image.
What has changed?
I am no longer dominated and inundated by sarcasm.
I thought that sentence would never be true coming out of my mouth…but it is. I knew at the end of last year that something needed to change, I was just afraid of losing who I was in the process. Well, with the help of God and the church that he placed me in to serve and minister, I have actually become a person who is beginning to look at things encouragingly and optimistically…I thought I would never see the day and I am happier for it.
I am no longer at war with the Church.
Through some painful sessions and careful soul searching, I have been able to deal with my past hurts and disappointments and allow God to heal me. Even though there are things about church I still am not a fan of, I do not rant about it and it is not a reason to get angry over. When it is my turn, God will hopefully bear with my stupidity and ignorance as much as he has borne theirs.
I have begun to appreciate my family.
I had avoided my family throughout college and having to come back and live with them has presented its challenges. However, I have discovered just how hard their lives really are and how little I care about this. I have tried to begin to understand them and sympathize with their pain…sometimes though it seems beyond reach or comprehension.
I am moving forward with life.
There is some sort of convoluted plan being worked out here. I am in seminary, even though it is not how I wanted to do it. I have failed to find work, but yet because of this I have had the freedom to focus on my studies and to invest time in other things when needed. While there are some aspects about this that are extremely frustrating, I am thankful for forward motion.
That is just some of the major changes that have occurred. It is amazing how different I am even a year later. To my friends, you too will be a radically different person a year from now…I hope that it is a person who seeks to glorify God.
Grace and Peace