As 2011 comes to a close and 2012 is about to begin it has caused me to reflect on my life over the last year. Looking back I’ve realized just how dark some of the places are that I have been. In April I lost my grandfather on my Dads side, which was somewhat expected due to cancer. I had a few weeks to prepare for that one. My dad’s mother passing a week after my grandfather caught me off guard though. That was tough. Really tough.
Over last summer I began a dialogue with a family member over what we each believed in regards to Christianity. Knowing what I know about this particular person I now regret not seeing that those conversations were going to turn out hurtful to me. The conclusions that were reached was that I was wrong and basically condemned because of a disagreement. I came out of that situation feeling defeated, rejected, and attacked on a personal level. The fact that I live with this person did not make it any easier. If that was the God I was around all the time because of my living situation then I wanted nothing to do with it. Sadly I abandoned God for a period of time because of it.
And then the semester started. Not only was i still trying to cope with my family situation I had school deadlines and stress to manage. At the time I couldn’t understand how or why God could let me suffer like that. This fall semester is one I will never forget. November 4th of this year seemed like a normal day but it would end up far from it. I remember I was at Red Lobster with a buddy when we saw posts about a possible bus accident with a group of ACU students. The next couple of hours were filled with confusion. Later that night I found out that the bus was indeed from ACU my friends Jason and Kathleen were on the bus that crashed. I can’t begin to tell you what it was like thinking two of my friends might have died. But I am thankful they both survived. ACU is still feeling the ripple effects of that day but each day we get stronger. The memory of Anabel Reid, a student who died in the crash, will live on at ACU and in the lives of those who knew her.
One thing I see in my life the longer it goes on is that God has a hand in everything and that God can and does take horrible situations and is able to bring about great lessons and blessings from them. I loved seeing my Dads family after my grandparents died. I will always cherish the good times I had with them on that trip and every trip I have taken out there. And because of that tragic accident I have seen the ACU community come together like I have never seen before. Praise God for that. And because I’m challenged and questioned by my family I am even more convinced I want to go into ministry and counseling.
A wise person once told me that whether a pebble or a boulder falls into a lake it still makes a ripple. In this same way difficult times act on our lives. The key is to not make a pebble out of a boulder or vice versa. Whether you face pebbles or boulders never forget to look for God’s presence in every situation.