year in review.

is this year already done? is this real life? it seems impossible that my sophomore year is done… that i’m a junior, an upperclassman. it definitely went even faster than freshman year. i’ve been blessed in countless ways, and, as expected, there’s been a lot to learn as well. allow me to make a list or two.

a few of the blessings

1.) getting to lead a study. leading the freshman cru study in deho this year was one of the coolest things i’ve ever had the opportunities i’ve ever had. i got to meet some of the coolest men, men who had a heart for knowing and pursuing God and the truth. i got to lead with three of my favorite people, too: nathan, with his analytical perspective, always adding something with his historical perspective and real-life applications; mitch, with his much-needed humor and lightening of the mood (and equally hilarious analogies); and michael, who was always the one to bring us out of our metaphors and analogies and address things the way they should be–in real world context. leading with these men was humbling, encouraging, and fun. they’re three of my best friends, easily.

2.) college mentors. this was my second year in college mentors, so i figured i knew what it would be like. but this year was even better than last year. it was definitely challenging in a lot of ways, but matt and dylan were great kids. i grew in patience, understanding, and made some great friends with the other mentors. much more than last year, i felt like we really were a buddy family, caring for each other and each other’s buddies. i’m excited to be doing it next year.

3.) awana. it’s always a blessing to be able to be more involved with new life, a church through which i’ve felt God’s love and experienced His teaching. the children’s ministry was an amazing avenue to connect with kids, parents, and other church volunteers. there are some people who sacrifice so much in order to teach kids God’s word. and the coolest part about it all is that many of these kids really do understand the significance of the scripture they’re memorizing, and how it applies to their lives. i’ve said this before, but i’m a fan of our God, who works in the hearts of His youngest children.

4.) humor and good friends. it’s might seem odd, an abstract blessing amidst all the others, but it’s been a huge blessing this year. so often i’ve been bogged down by school and work and stress, and the Lord has been faithful to provide times of laughter and joy in the middle of all of it. good friends have been there to encourage me, make me laugh, and lighten up. be it youtube videos (God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for this RANDY… amen), hilarious games (hear me, for i have spoken!), or quoting everything nonstop (oh, now i feel bad; bad llama!), they’ve always been there, and it’s been an incredible blessing.

5.) good, solid teaching and council. while i’ve mentioned this in passing already, this is easily one of the most significant blessings God provided for me this past year. at new life, in action group, meeting with cary and austin… it’s been everywhere. so many times throughout this year, i’ve been feeling like i don’t know exactly what to do, felt like i could only see one perspective even though i knew there were more, and when i asked God, he pointed me to people who were already in my life, willing and able to give advice. i was hugely blessed.

6.) the love of my family. it’s been a tough year, but through it all, nothing has been strengthened more than our love for one another, grounded in a love for Christ. how beautiful it has been to experience God through the conversations, encouragements, and laughter shared while spending time with my family. what we have is unusual and special.

stuff i’ve learned

1.) it’s good to have roommates that tell you to just go to bed, because studying or netflix or facebook is not worth hating life in the morning.

2.) giving up sugar for lent is embarrassingly difficult.

3.) the purpose of being there for a kid (or really, anyone) is not to change them. it’s to be there for them. no matter what.

4.) God knows what He’s doing. all the time.

5.) being humble and not being prideful are not the same thing.

6.) friends are good for many things… laughter, advice, a slap upside the head.

7.) there are few things more humbling than leading a bible study.

8.) it’s good to just let go and dance a little bit.

9.) it’s important to take a break every now and then.

10.) God’s mercies are new, every single morning.

11.) when we turn from sin, we need to be turning directly to Christ.

12.) walleyball is dangerous. but also lots of fun.

13.) pouring into people, and digging deeper, and getting to the root issue, and being vulnerable for a sec are all clichés, but when they happen, they’re also really awesome.

14.) the love of a family is one of the strongest bonds in this universe.

15.) confessing sin is a freeing thing.

16.) my identity is not found in my sin, but in Christ’s righteousness.

17.) i am most satisfied when i am pursuing Jesus. and that’s how God designed it.

18.) God is really, really creative.

19.) prayer is a powerful, powerful thing. again, how God designed it.

20.) i was made to work with kids. and to be at camp.

21.) there are some horrible evils in this world. but God is sovereign.

22.) sometimes, it’s best to just listen. no advice needed.

23.) i still don’t know everything.

24.) you can fit a lot of milk, gatorade, and yogurt into a 2×2 fridge.

25.) life moves on. this is good. but it’s also bittersweet.

there are a million more things i’ve learned and things that i’ve been blessed by, but twenty-five is a nice number, so i’ll stop there. camp is coming up. two weeks! i can’t wait.

can. not. wait.

i’ve already started talking to some of the new counselors for next year. and God’s really been putting it on my heart to pray for the staff and kids, and for the summer in general. i think my next entry will be a list of ways you all can be praying, if you’re interested. i’ll be updating the blog much like i did last summer, so if you’re reading, stay tuned this summer! who knows what it will bring. i just know i’m excited.

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One thought on “year in review.

  1. Jessica says:

    12. THANK YOU.
    20. yes.

    I’m staying tuned! I’m not touchin’ that dial!

    I’m glad you have this blog. Not only because I love reading it and get really excited at your new posts, but for you. As I was reading this (this is gonna sound bad, but just stick with me), I was like “man, Brad is so so blessed, but one day things will be bad.” and what I mean is that one day (maybe that was this day or this year or whenever) things are gonna get bad. REALLY bad. and that’s not me wishing evil upon you, that’s me knowing what God promises. But then you can look back on this blog and say “Holy cow! things were great! and God was near me and loved me and was doing things in my life!” and we know that God never changes. so when things suck, I want you to come back to this entry and use it as evidence that LOOK. God is here! He’s right here! And He wants to be your best friend. And so not only is this blog a record, but it’s evidence for you of God’s promises and His rewards.

    Did that make sense?

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