Smeagol is Free!
A hermitudinal view of...stuff...


2004: The End

Strange as this is going to sound, I did some of my deepest thinking last night as I lay in bed next to Scott. (He'll hate that introductory sentence, and he'll probably hate the fact that I'm going to leave it at that and not furnish any explanation.) I was reflecting on this past year, a year that has passed by with far too many intricate details that I cannot seem to remember, save when its mementos come upon me unbidden in the tiny moments of the when we're lying in bed in Emily Cavanaugh's house, trying to fall asleep. "What," I thought to myself, "are the biggest lessons the Lord has taught me this year? What events are the most memorable? What joys and trials will cause me to smile and cry when I think of 2004?" Then it hit me. Like the sudden onrush of dawn after the deep, cold, dark of a tenderly hushed morning (it's amazing how poetic Ohio has made me...hehe), I beheld clearly what one theme has tied together the most precious lessons and events of 2004.

And you'd like to know, wouldn't you?

I know, I know, I'm terrible. I should be shot for holding out ;) Many of you might be able to guess; those of you who've been reading my blog for some time ought to be able to discern precisely what one theme has continually resurfaced, whether or not I wanted it to. Truth be told, however, it's not necessarily in my blog where the events that are tied directly to this theme have been spoken of. It's in the conversations I've had with friends, or emails with those involved in certain circumstances, that I've shared the majority of my thoughts on this topic. It's mainly because these events have been so sensitive in regard to those involved that I've not been able to speak on it very much here. Yet, when opportunity has presented itself, or I've felt like it, I've written on it. Such writing has often been to my dismay, because this theme is not one that I like to talk about all the time.

If you don't get what one theme has tied together 2004 for me by now...shame on you ;)

From the very beginning of 2004, even the very first day, the Lord was pleased to teach me about relationships. The New Attitude Conference was one that asked the question of those in attendance, "is He enough?" In other words, is Christ enough to pervade every part of our lives and ever fiber of our being, so that in spite of the myriad questions and doubts that surround the singleness that so many of us face, we will walk in righteous faith? In many ways, I'm still answering that question. The beautiful thing is, Christ is ever faithful to show me how He's already answered that question for me on the cross.

I spent the better part of the first three weeks of 2004 answering that question from various angles with Andrew. We would sit at that kitchen table in Jeffersonville, Indiana, and talk until the early morning hours started to turn into the breakfast morning hours. I remember the "five year plan" that we sent to Gary; my my my, how even one year has changed our outlooks on that! Whereas our conversations normally consisted of 90% "other stuff" and a mere 10% about girls, we suddenly found that ratio changed drastically in January. I daresay that this January will see the majority of that ratio claimed even more by the ladies on our minds; indeed, that ratio has already gone up.

The end of the semester was strange. I had to deal with a rather sticky situation with a couple of people who are rather close to me, and that was not fun. *Sigh*...I'm still dealing with it even now, but in a much less stressful manner. The Lord taught me much through it, and I'm glad that He prepared me to deal with it the way that He did.

Then June was upon me. June changed that day, though I knew it not :) Then August...then September...oh my, September was a doozy...October was great, but ever so confusing...then November. Yes, November was painful. I would not want to go through November ever again. I think that was the hardest month of my life, in all honesty. It was harder than coming here, harder than the summer of 2001. November ended on a great note, however, and that note has held its tune through December.

I'm glad for what the Lord has done this year, despite the fact that I've often felt like I was beyond the breaking point. That question that was asked on the first of January still challenges me daily. "Is He enough?" At times, I've doubted. At times, I've despaired. Yet even now, He answers that question for me. He has wiped away every tear, held me through every soul-wrenching sob, and pulled me back after each and every wandering. Come to think of it, I was beyond the breaking point. "Let the bones which You have broken rejoice!" If He had not broken me, He could not have healed me. If He had not broken me to the point of tears, I would not have seen the rainbow of His promise we behold only in the veil of tears. If He did not cause me to suffer, I would miss out on sharing in the sufferings of Christ my Lord, for whose sake I daily take up my cross, and in doing so, die to myself. If He did not remind me in His Scriptures that this was for my own good and would redound all the more to His glory, I would have long ago despaired.

As I look around me at those closest to me, so many of my friends were affected by the relationship bug, to one degree or another...Andrew, Brian, Scott, Jim, Kevin, Jared, Jonathan, Brandon, Mike, Aaron...*sigh*...the list goes on. Many of us were guys that people thought were very much content; indeed, we were! 'Tis just that the Lord sometimes chooses to humble us through such creative means, and believe me, this is a year that I have indeed found to be humbling. The laughter I heard over the phone from Andrew, Brian, Jon, and Kevin was more than enough to remind me that I'm just as prone to "falling" as the next guy. Interestingly enough, my friends seemed to find so much more joy in hearing about my state of confusion than I did in sharing it, particularly when I couldn't get a word of advice out of them through their first five minutes of incessant laughter.

Yet, I do not despair. Indeed, I rejoice :) 2004 was crazy, and more than a little remarkable. Relationships...*sigh*...I hate to write more about it, because it seems like everybody and their monkey is talking about them, but it's true. It's what the Lord was pleased to teach me about this year. And you know what? I'm glad for it.

Happy New Year!

ps - Stacey Franklin smelled my armpit today when we were walking around in Easton.

pps - Heather Smith doesn't like feet. She barfs if you touch her face with your bare foot. Or if she eats ice cream. But if she eats ice cream, she'll also fart.

ppps - Emily Cavanaugh is our mom.

pppps - Ask Scott O'Neal about his pose for me in bed.

posted by Bolo | 1:01 PM
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