Last year was a difficult one, and many of you have walked with us during the challenges, successes, emotions and frustrations. As I look back on our life in ministry, I see many of you walking alongside us through so many phases of our life, and I am humbled, honored and thankful for the people who have loved us, shown us grace, forgiven us, taught us, helped us, encouraged us, gave us advice, supported us and pointed us to Christ.
Leland and I were talking the other night about the many mistakes we have made in our life of ministry, both in our early years in Boulder, CO as well as our time in Belton, TX. And how we continue to make mistakes, but we are learning to be different, and hopefully more like Jesus. There are several times I can look back at my life and realize how stupid, stubborn and arrogant I was, and how frustrating it must have been for those around me.
And then I am even more humbled and thankful because we’ve had so many people who walked alongside us to help guide us, to nudge us in the right direction, to help correct our ways, to patiently listen to us when they probably wanted to roll their eyes, to take time to get to know our hearts even when our words were too direct, and to really love us even when we were difficult to love. Wow! The phrase “It takes a village to raise a child” is so true, not just for raising children but also for adults as we grow up and continue to mature in our faith. We all need people in our lives to disciple us, who have walked through a phase of life before us and can give us perspective, and who can give us wisdom that is beyond our understanding at the time.
I can look back and see those people. Many of them are still walking alongside us today, and for that, I want to say THANK YOU! Thank you for always trusting God to lead us, thank you for always pointing us to Jesus, and thank you for being an example of love to us. For that, I am forever grateful.