It has now taken me almost a full two weeks to write this post. I think it is because an attempt to sum up 2008 in order to welcome 2009 has proved to be a bit more difficult than it sounds.
2008 was a bit of bipolar year for us. On the one hand, we began at the Young Life All-Staff Conference…always amazing, and then headed to California and Disneyland with the girls...a precious, forever kind of memory. We welcomed a sweet new nephew in May, had a summer assignment back in California that was great, kicked off a great year in ministry, and celebrated the holidays with a lot of laughter and family. It was a great year.
On the other hand, 2008 brought some of the hardest times, too. It brought heartache that was painful to watch and even more painful to enter into, suffering that continues to leave endless questions, and a steady supply of challenges that I know are meant to equip us for some future good, but just feel like one more thing sometimes.
So, it’s not exactly an easy thing to wrap our year up with any kind of general feeling about it. It was really good, and really hard…and the hard part was also really good. Am I speaking anyone’s language out there?
My description, thus far, might lead you to believe that I’m melancholy about the year. But that isn’t true at all. Actually, my sense, when I look back on the year, is that it was full of a kind of richness that I’m not sure I’ve ever known before. There was a deepening of some sort…a deepening of faith, a deepening of convictions, a deepening of friendships, a deepened sense of purpose, and the list could go on.
That kind of year can be hard because it challenges you and it changes you. And I just realized that the word “change” is in the middle of the word “challenge.” And with that very profound discovery, I’ll leave you. More to come later, though, on just how I’ve been challenged/changed…stay tuned (all 4 of you!)