Since everything is so current, I may be biased but 2009 has been one of the most (if not the most) difficult year of my life – and yet, incredibly formative for the reasons I share below.
How was this past year for you?
As part of our human inclination and disposition, we make plans and we do all that we can to pursue those plans. Things turn bad when some of those plans don’t come to pass. Things suck when everything feels it’s moving in the opposite trajectory of what you hoped for.
In their hearts human beings plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9
To list a few challenging things in 2009:
- Absolutely bizarre but someone managed to hack into our ATM card and emptied out our account as we began 2009. We managed to work with the bank to get most if it back but it was so weird.
- Two of my closest church staff moved on from staff. One is still at Quest but is traveling the world with his wife (lucky jerk) and the other moved on to greener pastures to plant her own church in Seattle (lucky jerkette). Thankful for them but emotional nevertheless.
- I ruptured my Achilles – the other one. It really hurt – physically and emotionally. I officially retired from basketball and relinquished any ambitions to be the first 39 year old rookie in the NBA.
- My wife practically became a full time student and that was exhilarating for me to see her soar, fly, and pursue her passions…but it was tough on our collective schedules. Really tough.
- Financial pressures galore this past year as we sought to honor our pledge of donating our year’s salary to One Day’s Wages. Who in the world could have anticipated the financial crisis? The lowest point: Being quasi-homeless and couch surfing for 8 weeks. Thankfully, we had dear friends who took us in. Thank God for friends.
- Had one of the scariest experiences of my life when our eldest daughter (food allergies) had a bad reaction and resulted in us doing what we feared the most: injecting her with an epi-pen and the ER when she began to have difficulty breathing.
- It felt like numerous folks questioned my leadership, sensibility, and integrity or at least that’s how I felt. But then again, how could they not? But it was tough – really tough. And after awhile, I began to question myself until Grace sunk in again. In my weakness, He became my sufficience again.
Yeah, I think it was the most difficult year. But as the year winds down, I can’t convey how grateful and blessed I feel. Why?
We made it through. I feel like my family and I endured the eye of the storm but nevertheless, our love, respect, and care for one another has only grown. My faith, trust, and love for Christ not only endured these trials but only grew deeper. I was humbled this past year and learned to trust again, rest again, and rely again…
I share all these things to give God glory for the ways that He works in my life – even the ones I dislike – and in some way or another, to a be a source of honest encouragement to you.
And I have this strange feeling in my gut (that’s also hard to explain)…
that 2010 and beyond are going to provide some of the most abundant and fruitful years for me, my marriage and family, and my ministries and leadership.
A videographer from Recycle Your Faith swung by Seattle several weeks ago and interviewed me about life. It was a fairly long chat but here’s one of the clips about things not turning out as you expect…