This Thanksgiving, God means something different to me than most holidays. I’m closer to Him than I truly have ever been, but it has taken a lot of work. This holiday was meant to be different; I was supposed to be more ‘complete.’ This year I will not be sitting around a dinner table with potential in-laws, faking a smile here, nodding accordingly here, and checking the football scores on my iPhone at the opportune time. I thought that’s how this Thanksgiving would be, but it’s not. Life changed for better for worse. These two months have been the longest of my life and I have thoroughly enjoyed them looking back. Now that the fog has lifted I’m starting to see the road again, just a different road. A more unselfish road, a road that is not self seeking, slow to anger, not proud, a road that is teaching me to walk again. E.L. Doctorow said, “Grief is like driving at night, you cannot see any further than your headlights, but you can make the whole journey that way.”
I’ve grown in ways I could not fathom. When we tell God that He is our refuge, that is simply not good enough, God wants us to demonstrate that He is our refuge. He did that to me this semester, and I pray that He continually humbles me. I was humbled greatly this semester. I am thankful for the pain and the suffering. I will be real with who I am and the pain that I have gone through, a classmate of mine, Tammy Marcelain shared this wonderful quote with me and it echoes how I am trying to cope with what has happened in my life:
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
I’m not going to hide what happened, I’m not going to run from it, I’m going to be real with the situation. Grow from it the best I can with God’s grace. I’m a broken man saved by God.
My Thanksgiving Prayer,
Most Awesome God,
I am thankful for my housemates, Joe, Wesley, & Kristian. They are taking care of me through it all and I am grateful for their love.
Countless professors and staff at ACU who have shown me love beyond a student/teacher relationship. You all care for me and I am so grateful for you all.
Bob , you are a Godly man and reminded me that I have a destiny and it is good.
Casey, you listened and were real with me.
Andy, you showed me the book of Exodus in a different light. When I came to you and said I was in the wilderness, you said our lives are a wilderness, but God is faithful.
Steve & Lynette, you two got me to stop looking at myself and looking at others and realizing we are a people of hurt. When you took me to jail and I was able to pray with those at Middleton, I finally understand 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing.”
Bill, One day at a time sir, one day at a time.
Randy, you showed me how to let go and give it over. You taught me that God is using this death of a relationship to prepare me for the work at Lifeline next summer.
Mark, you surround me with such a warm embrace and told me, "The depth of your pain reflects the depth of your capacity to love." I will keep loving.
Brent, I love you for who you are and how you treat me like a brother. Your encouragement and love has been a Godsend.
Heather, thank you for your affection, words and love. Your laughter is contagious.
Bethany, thanks for walking with me and sharing your pain and reminding me life does goes on. You are a beautiful person.
Luke, thanks for being you, the sonic runs, making me sing and go to God when I didn’t want to.
Chris, thank you for the many times praying with me right on campus in crowds of people.
Jim & Linda, thank you for your love, wisdom, encouragement, and strength to pick me up.
Aunt Kelli, There is so much to say thank you for. I love you and thank you for being more than an aunt, thank you for being a servant to all those around you.
God, you bless me in all things. I will rejoice in your steadfast love. In your Son’s name I pray,
It’s been and will continue to be a long road, but the pain and hurt reminds me that this is not my home. 1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.” John 14:1-4
While this place is not my home, I will love the best I can with all I have towards others and not just a particular person. Thank you God for shaping me, never be content with your creation.