It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Yeah, I know that’s not very original, but it does describe 2009 pretty well for me. Except I might reverse the order.
This past year has held more challenges and difficulties than any year of my life up until this point. And yet, as we get ready to turn the calendar forward into a new year and a new decade, I find myself admitting that 2009 held a lot of good things for me and my family – and I wanted to share a few of them with you.
- We learned that home is where the family is, not where you grew up. I said good-bye to over 30 years of living in the same town, but I didn’t say good-bye to home – it came with me.
- We experienced the support of friends like never before in our lives. Our small group stepped up at a time of great difficulty. And Pete and Sharyl, Jeff and Cleary, Russ – how could we ever express adequately how much you mean to Kelly and me? And if I mentioned everyone, I’d have quite a list.
- We have enjoyed being part of the body of Christ and meeting new family members – Tom, Joy, Tina, Shannon, Jamie – you’ve come alongside us at just the right time.
- We have come to realize how important discomfort is in our lives. When everything is going the way we think it should, we tend to lose our passion for God and for others.
- Our kids have discovered that they can survive outside the bubble in which they grew up. And they’re also starting to get a burden for sharing Christ with new friends they’ve made.
- We’ve come to understand church from an entirely new perspective. After 24 years in the same church we didn’t know what it felt like to be an outsider, but now we do. And that experience has helped us really think through what a church should look like, and what it should be about.
- We’ve also learned about contentment, and what the most important things in life are. Every one of our needs has been met, and some of our wants have become far less important to us.
- My brother and sister have also faced incredible transitions as well recently. It’s been neat to see how God has used the circumstances in each of our lives to bring us closer together – though we all live far apart from each other. Rick and Gaylene, I love you both.
- We’ve also enjoyed some fun times. Lots of soccer for the kids. A great vacation in Washington, D.C. courtesy of my niece and her husband. Another family camping trip on the shores of Lake Michigan. Family game nights where we have laughed and laughed. And an absolutely great Christmas.
Yes, 2009, you threw us some punches, and we even staggered a time or two. But we’re still standing – because through it all God has been faithful. But to be honest, Old Year, I’m glad to see you go. I am convinced, however, that we will look back on you someday as being one of the most important years of our lives.
The worst of times? Maybe. The best of times? That, too.
Filed under: Random Thoughts