2017 has been a great year with some tough challenges. I have noticed something over the last 3 years. The more I prioritize my time and life for GOD the more energy I have regardless of the circumstances. 2017 had a lot of challenges but the hope and power I had in the middle of problems were the strongest I've experienced. They were still tough, but I had hope for the majority of it.
At the start of the year, my relationship with Cynthia changed! We got engaged! It was followed by a bunch of planning and confusion about the timeline. Long story short, our engagement time got doubled in length. At first, I was hesitant of this because I want to get married! Why wait? But God assured me with a verse that I hadn't read in years....
"So Jacob served [Laban] for 7 years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days because of his love for her."
I felt like waiting an extra year was totally fine. In fact, it showed how much I valued the relationship if I was willing to wait for it. The engagement turned into 18 months, and the last 12 months have gone by quickly.
Then we got news of Cynthia's mom thyroid problems. This was a major shock to us. It was tough at the start but seeing how Cynthia handled the situation was inspiring. She also at the same time had some problems at her house which forced her to move. This was emotionally challenging as well. It was hard to see her going through all of it at once. I wanted to help but knew it was going to be a while before she got any news and she could move.
Work has been filled with patience on both fronts. At the gym, I have taken steps to heal injuries that I have had for almost 3 years. I was seeing little to no progress for the majority of the year, now at the start of 2018, I see SOME progress. On the Campus, I have been talking to students about all types of problems and issues and while the honesty they have been giving me has been humbling I haven’t noticed a ton of change in people’s way of life or trust in God.
The other news that came with 2017 was passing on my long-time friend Chris Ekren. We knew each other at the age of 4 years old playing hockey together all the way up to this past year, 20 years. It was a shock and it was amazing to see how people supported his family and wife and their response to the communities support. I felt helpless to comfort them. Small acts and prayer were what I could give. I will always remember him. One of the things that stood to me about Chris was that he could engage with anyone. He knew how to make people feel welcome and at home. It’s a quality I want to build into my life as well.
That was 2017, I’m excited about 2018.