It’s that time of the year when everyone is looking back and looking forward. In past years, I was kind of anti-New Year’s resolutions, primarily because I have rarely seen anyone keep them…including myself. However, a thought hit me recently that God created us very specifically. He created us with a need for focused periods of renewal. And I can understand the draw and benefit of New Year’s. Am I going to go out and change things drastically in my life? Heck no. Drastic changes don’t stick oftentimes. However, in my short life, I have seen that changes in how I think and perceive the world do stick. Those are much more intentional and effective. This is my New Year’s resolution.
Reflections on 2010
I started 2010 with my middle finger pointed at 2009. What a crappy year that was. Moving, a new job, and marital problems that led to separation and an impending divorce made the way for my own personal hell. As 2010 began, I was excited to close one book and open another. I had hope coming into the New Year, like a high school graduate embarking on their new found freedom. And all in all it was a good year. I gained a new opportunity at work that has led to greater responsibility and the ability to travel some. Music emerged once again as a tremendous piece of my identity, as I met a couple guys that share a passion and vision for music like my own. And with the music has a come a unique ministry I never would have dreamed of! Sure, heartache was present. Learning to live life without daily interaction with my kids has brought tears, frustration, and loneliness. I watched as my marriage of 11 years officially ended and my ex was remarried. My grandfather passed away in October and, as far as we know, he did not have Jesus as Lord of his life. Through it all, though, I have learned a few things…
- God is. I know that doesn’t seem very profound, but it is the only way I can put it. In the midst of the trials and the good times, He has been there every step of the way. My buddy Pete wrote a song with a line “Right from the start, You held this broken heart.” I’ve lived that. I’ve seen God’s faithfulness, never giving up on me and all my stubbornness and junk. He has wrapped His loving arms around me through family, friends, and music. And the biggest of them all is that He has shown me He is in control, ruling sovereignly over all things. He is, after all, the Author of time…He is before time and after time, He is in time and outside of time. He is. God is.
- The importance of expression. The resurgence of music in my life has come with a color and depth that I have never known. Ashamedly I admit that song writing and music for me used to be about creating hit worship songs so that I could “make it big”. How foolish of me! Now I write for me and to God. If someone else relates to a song I’ve written, fantastic. But that is not what it is about. I have learned how to write songs of life and how I feel about it. Sometimes it can be messy and dark, other times it is beautiful and light. The therapy and release I have experienced from expressing myself in this way has been wonderful. And God has used some of those songs to minister to others, and that is, as a friend of mine would say, wicked. Ha!
- Love can bloom again. I have to be honest. Divorce, no matter the circumstances, is one of the most devastating things a person can encounter. The rejection felt has shaken me at my core and any self worth and confidence I had was completely leveled. I have often wondered through this process if I could love again, could I trust and open myself up again to another person to that level once more. A friend’s status on Facebook recently was “What a difference a year makes”. How true it is. Though I am not ready to jump head first into anything, I do see that time has brought some rehabilitation to my heart and with it has come a growing willingness to put myself out there again. It is scary…not going to lie! But I know that life is wonderful when shared with one you care about. And only time will tell.
- My kids will always need me. I am the most blessed man in the world to have four children as amazing as mine. They are unique and special in their own ways, but they come together to bring immense joy to my life. Nothing puts a smile on my face better than to see them and laugh with them and love on them. And I realize how much they will always need me by the way I look to my own parents. There are not many people who are as fortunate as I am to have good, strong, loving parents with a solid faith in the Lord. Even at 34 years of age I find myself relying on them for support and wisdom. I respect them so much. And it’s that type of relationship that I desire to have with my own. One where they know without a doubt that Dad will always be there, regardless of what happens. And that they know they are a top priority in my life, above career, above music, and any other endeavors I may find myself on.
- God will always be. God is the bookends of life. (I realize that sentence is probably grossly incorrect grammatically, but my teacher friends out there will have to let it go.) It is vitally important to keep this in perspective. Life starts with God. Life ends with God. And it is most definitely filled with God. Not sure where I would be today without His watching over me and leading me…without Him holding my broken heart and nursing it back to life.
These are but a sampling of what I have learned and seen this past year. But they definitely hit the highlights. And I look for 2011 to build upon them and for life to be even richer and filled with opportunity to grow and laugh and live!