There are so many people: family, friends, pastors, small group members, neighbors, complete strangers, casual acquaintances, divinely appointed run-ins, etc. that I owe a great deal of thanks to. To be sure, I thank God for each of you daily. I cannot even begin to name names, because it is probably each and every person reading this and then some. However, every one has played a part in the transformation that continues to occur in our hearts and in our family. The undeserved love, support, encouragement, discipling, and accountability that so many of you have shown me and my family over the past few years humbles me and reminds me each day that God intends for us to work not only individually, but communally. In fact, I believe God intends way more of the latter and less of the former. It is because of our wonderful community, locally, virtually, and globally, that we have been able, to the best of our abilities, to be faithful to God's will for our lives. Without that love and support, we probably would have been frozen at the starting gate...fearful to take that first step.
However, with your love and support, we can continually tell God, "Bring it! Send us! Pick me!" For that, we are extremely grateful and thankful to each of you. I sincerely mean that. I know that without your love and encouragement, our family would look completely different. And, if our (imperfect, flawed, goofy, quirky) family encourages just one person to step out of her or his comfort zone and say, "If they can do it, so can I" my heart will be content. To be honest though, I wish that many more people would step out of their boats and into the wind and waves with Jesus. The world is so very broken, desperately hurting, and in urgent need of Good News. The Good News that Jesus himself demonstrated in the flesh and asks each of His followers to embody for the world. It is so much fun out here, friends! It's a messy kind of fun where you are not sure where you are going, but absolutely know you are on the right path. That is my wish for each and every one of you. That you ask God how God wants to use your life and then allow him to do so. Just as you have all encouraged us, I guarantee you that others, including myself, will flock to your side to cheer you on. Pinky promise!
I want to thank all of you, for helping me realize that my purpose in life has nothing to do with me and everything to do with God and God's will and intent for my life and the life of each person in our home. From the depths of my heart, I would like to thank, in no particular order: family and friends, prayer warriors, justice supporters, be-the-church folks, do-the-gospel folks, garage-sale organizers, clothing and item donators, local church leaders and friends, rambling-phone-call-listeners, local homeless friends, 24-7 adoption community support networks, seminary professors and community, jokesters, live-in-the-mintuers, dive into the Worders, etc. etc.
To be honest, I am not completely sure where God is taking us in this next chapter, but am happy to be at cruising altitude for the time being. We are cruising with a full plate and frequent turbulence; yet, God still whispers, "Be prepared. You are on the journey of your life!" What I do know for certain is that we are not the same people we were just three short years ago. God stretched and pruned and refined and grew us into new creations who are on a mission, God's mission, to use each and every day to the fullest for God's glory. We are all created by God and for God, and it's only in God and God's purpose for our lives that each of us will find the peace we so desperately seek.
I love each of you. Thank you so much for being part of our lives and sharing yourself with us. Now, if anyone is free to help me paint our living room this weekend, please let me know. Food and beverage will be provided. :-)
"By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." -John 13:35