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significant

November 29, 2009 Leave a comment

I’ve come to realize something this morning, and it’s something that’s been simmering in my heart for a while. This morning at church, Mike told us a quote, “I do not fear failure; I fear being successful at things that do not matter.” As he went on to preach on our significance through Christ and “to sit down on the inside,” I realized how successful I am. But many times my flesh, and the pressure of the American dream around me, tells me I am a failure by those standards. I live in the town I went to school, hanging out with the same people, bumming off friends to live and work, and not even a job using your degree.

But these are not the things at which I wish to be successful.

I love. A lot. I live in a household full of support and encouragement and growth. I work in an environment focused on asking the wisdom of God in all decisions. I spend time building relationships that are Christ-focused and trying to make each other better. I have a church family in which I serve and receive love and worship and learn who I am in Christ.

This is where I am successful.

Don’t let anyone tell you what you do determines your worth. I have held onto this lie for far too long. I am not what I do. What I do is an outflow of who I am, and only things done under the power of God will last. All the good things I’ve done under my own power will burn away.

Burn away.

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Categories: Life Tags: , ,

Tom & Brad: 1 Year Later.

November 9, 2009 2 comments

Tom - at Fall RetreatBrad - at Fall Retreat

I can’t believe it’s been a year…

I was filling up at a gas station in Richmond while the girls went inside for a bathroom break and caffeine. I was excited to be the first car getting back to Lexington; I was exhausted and ready to graduate school in a little over a month. I’d had a good weekend at Fall Retreat, my last one, but nothing spectacular or earth-shattering for me. I had a massive test in my hardest class, Music History, on my mind, and I hadn’t started the incredibly large amount of studying.

But then I got the phone call.

It was from Erin, who was in Lexington, wanting to know if we were okay. I was so confused. But then she cleared it up for me. I had to go in the gas station and get the girls and we prayed and took off to Lexington. Then the phone call & text message floodgate opened.

The memories of the rest of that day and the following week are still so vivid in my mind. I sat in a cubby on the 4th floor of Willy T. unsuccessfully trying to concentrate for hours. I got in my car to just drive and realized I had nowhere to go. I walked without purpose around the BCM building, my home, unable to sleep or hold a commonsensical conversation.

I avoided the stretch of Interstate for a long time. It was actually only a little under a month ago that I drove it for the first time. I cried the entire length of the new guardrail they’ve constructed. The overwhelming thought was how unfair it was that they got to leave us here. They are eternally in the presence of the Creator of the universe, and we are stuck here in a world of pain and death.

There are some things I have come to realize are forever changed about how I live because of the accident:

• I forgive much quicker.
• I don’t take time with people for granted.
These both go together. Since Tom and Brad went to be with Jesus, I try not to spend any time with unresolved conflict, or not being completely honest with those I care for. I don’t always succeed, but I have definitely seen where I normally would have held onto my hurt, I now let go easier. Time is so special.

• I invested time in those younger than me.

I didn’t like that I didn’t know Brad until that weekend. So after the accident, I purposely took more of an interest in the freshman, especially once my job fell through and I was in Lexington for the spring semester. And I thank my Lord that He brought two of those freshman into my life for good, as they are my very best friends.

• I no longer believe it couldn’t happen to me.
When someone is on their way somewhere and they are late and don’t call, I almost immediately think the worst. I no longer think something horrible like that would never happen to me. I make those I love text me when they get home safe & meaningfully tell others to be careful while driving.

I will forever cherish the memories I had with Tom. From the “Mike story” to his killer skills. From his pick-up lines to his horrible chants at my intramural football games… “B-A-P-T-I-S-T, BAPTIST CAMPUS MINISTRY!” I’m so thankful I got to spend time with him that Friday before we left for Fall Retreat. We were two of the only people in the building that morning and we played Mario Kart and Killer, reminiscing about the time Andrew hit me in the face with a ping-pong ball. He always thought that was hilarious.

I’m thinking of the May and Hall families today. I’m praying for all of us who were effected by this tragedy. And I’m thankful God spared Ben, and I still have him in my life being goofy and leading a great praise band at the BCM.

Hope will always guide me.

Tom and I - Hayride 06Brad at UK HockeyTOMnBRAD

what I wrote the night of the accident: Goodbye Friend.