Yes, I know, I know — I am a few days late. We are already in 2019 (yay, happy new year). But better late than never, right?
So here goes my attempt at recapping some of the highlights (and lowlights) of 2018:
Separating with a good friend of mine was probably about the most challenging part of this past year. While it came as a result of an extended period of prayer and dialogue, it was still painful, led me to tears, and kept me up many nights. It hurt. I looked back again and again. Whenever I shared with others about it, it brought me a sense of hesitation, confusion, and shame.
But I learned. As I evaluated the termindated relationship and examined what might have brought it to an end, I began to see my failings, weaknesses, arrogance, and sinfulness once again. I learned that I needed to repent, to grow, and to become a servant — day in and out, every day. I learned that it was okay to be in pain. I learned that things like this take time to pass. I learend to let go.
I found a new job in a new industry. I left my previous employer with whom I had stayed with for a little over six years. I prepared for interviews, went in for interviews, said goodbye to my good colleagues (and now good friends), joined an excitingly cool company, and became that new guy who knew very little to nothing about the work. What a lesson in humility. What a blessing it was to be admitted into a team of folks committed to helping one another and doing excellent work (go Performics).
Entering second year serving on staff with my local church, I never would have expected I would learn this much. God revealed specific areas in my life filled with arrogance, impatience, and selfishness, and led me to grow out of them (actually, I believe this is more still work in progress). Working with a group of God’s sons and daughters who will be the spiritual leaders of our next generation is a blessing and a burden. Watching them and talking to them with the eye and the heart of the Good Father is especially challenging. And yet, despite the failings of my own self and other staff on the team, God still makes a way to let his glory shine. I will continue to fight and resist the temptation to become a celebrity in the church circle; and I will make it a goal for 2019 to intentionally hone my ability to faithfully respond with, “yes” to what I’ve been given (albeit small).
Friends are dear to my heart. And I am grateful that I got to spend so much quality time with many of them over the course of the year. I took a number of road trips to both far and near. I was blessed to be on staff with a group of them to coordinate, plan, and host a nationwide young adult conference over the Thanksgiving holiday, for now the second time in a row. Together we ventured out to a handful of new, existing restaurants for late night meals and celebration of major holidays. We sat around played JackBox TV for hours at a time. Oh, the joy of being single and family-free
Last but not least, there is my family. Not an year of frequent visits at all. The parents and the two sons continue to communicate sporadically via the Internet. To make up for my lack of visit to my parents in the motherland, I took a trip out to Northern Europe to visit my brother instead. What a blast. We drove around all of Northern Europe, visited and climbed (via car) one of the renowned fjords in Norway, spent nights in exotic-yet-affordable hotels in the region, and got a pretty good feel for what living in this part of the world must be light. They could really use more daylight during this time of the year, though.
So there you have it: a very brief recap of my 2018. Thank you for staying in touch with me. I pray for all the best in my and your journey in life in this new year ahead!
via Stockholm, SWEDEN