Kindergarten graduation. Elementary school graduation. Junior High graduation. High school graduation. Moving to a new house. Moving to a new city. Going to college. We all go through changes of season in life. We all experience new things, both small and large. Some of us are reluctant when it comes to change; others embrace it. Some hate leaving things behind because of the great times they had; others can’t wait to move on because of the hardships they had to endure.
I’ve been through several changes of season in my life, although none have been terribly dramatic. I typically approach these situations with mixed emotions. Whether it was graduating from 8th grade, graduating high school, leaving certain friend groups behind to embrace new ones, leaving behaviors and choices behind to strive for a new way of doing things…I’ve always carried a bittersweet feeling with me. This has never been truer for me than the transition that now lies on the horizon.
If you know me at all, you know that I got engaged recently – February 19th, to be exact. I couldn’t be more excited…almost three months down, about five to go and I’m so ready for October 18th to be here. There’s no other person I’d rather spend the rest of my life with than Lindsay. She is a wonderful, kindhearted, caring, loving, beautiful woman of the Lord and she shows me Jesus in new ways each day. As she and I have mapped out a rough draft for what our future might look like, Nashville, the city in which we met at school, will be our home for the foreseeable future. Naturally, this means I’m saying goodbye to Lexington. Tomorrow, I’ll leave, and while I know I’ll still make frequent trips home to see family and friends, it is certainly the end of an era for me. Though I know many of my friendships and relationships will endure, they are surely about to change drastically.
With all this in mind, I wanted to take a bit of time (I have really no idea how long this thing is going to end up being), to thank the Lord for his provision, for the time he gave me in Lexington, and for his sovereignty.
“Father God, only you know what lies ahead. In the midst of uncertainty and, of course, a bit of fear, I confess that I trust you. I confess that my plans and my abilities and my desires are selfish and futile and that only you know what is ahead and only you can make plans for me that will satisfy and fulfill me. I ask that you will.
In light of what comes Thursday, Father, I need to thank you for a whole lot. I’ll start with people. Thank you Lord, for all of my friends and family. Thank you for those who were there from the beginning. Thank you for all the crazy Combses and all the crazy Taylors. Thank you for the Sullivans. Thank you for all of their home videos and for all the many, many years of fun that our families have experienced together. Thank you for both sets of grandparents. Thank you, God, for all my aunts and uncles. Thank you for the special bond I have with Saundra. Thanks for Homer and Diane…(still miss and love you guys). Thanks for Nick and Andy and for bringing Nick into her life in a time of need and hurt. Thanks for baby Jack and for the years to come of loving on that little guy. Thanks for all my cousins. Thanks for Uncle Les and all the fun he always brings into the room. Thanks for the trips to Milwaukee. Thanks for ball games and tailgating and Uncle David’s vegetable soup. Thanks for Aunt Cathy smacking me around when I was little and deserved it!
Thanks for my friends, Father. There are so many. Thanks for the ones who have been around for as long as my memory serves me…the Lavenders, the Drakes, the Howards. Thanks for the ones who have come and gone. Thanks for the friends in elementary school, junior high, and high school. Thanks for the Lauren Fowlers of the world who I’ve known since kindergarten (and stayed friends with). Thanks for Ian and Kelby and Tyler and our Commonwealth Campouts. Thanks for me meeting Ian on the 50-yardline after we beat LSU. Thanks for Tori and Gina and Jenna and Alison and Wesley and all those awesome girls. Thanks for teachers. Thank you for Mrs. Wooten and Mrs. Brown and Mr. Conforti and Seamands and Merz. Thanks for Mrs. C. Thanks for my coaches – Geldy and Bo. Thanks for my teammates…for Blanton, Hager, Chandler, Scott, Sprang, Cameron.
Thank you, Father, for my best friends in the world. Thank you for what you did in and with us senior year. Thanks for Whop and Ted and Steele and Carter and Joe and Neil and Michael and all the others. Thanks for Derek and Keith whose relationships I consider absolutely invaluable. Thanks for changing me and all of those guys even though we’re a bunch of bums.
Thanks for the years of basketball as a little guy. Thanks for the years of golf. Thanks for early mornings and late evenings at the course. Thanks for the way all the guys at Andover in the shop treated me when I was a punk kid…Gary, Bart, Josh, Eric, Hunter, Wes. Thanks for the guys I looked up to on the course…Derek, Jordan, Adam. Thanks for all the guys and girls in the grill who treated me like family…Larry, Teresa, Deborah, Blaire, Sarah. Thanks for the guys I get to play with now. Thanks for my current teammates. Thanks for all the tournaments…all the blood, sweat and tears. Thanks for winning state senior year…thanks for losing by a shot junior year. Thanks for all of those experiences.
Thanks for not giving up on me in all those years of being a total idiot (I guess I still am though). Thanks for teachers and friends and family who I know were praying for me in those years of making horrible decisions. Thanks for getting caught in Philadelphia. Thanks for unhealthy relationships. None of it goes unused…I’ve learned from all of it, Lord. Keep teaching me.
Thanks for Young Life. Thanks for the churches that have shepherded me and provided growth. Thanks for Porter…for Kenneth and all the others who loved on me. Thanks for Southland. Thanks, gracious Lord, for Mosaic. What I beautiful community that I didn’t deserve. Spirit, stay active and keep using that church in incredible ways. Thanks for the love of those guys and girls. Thanks especially for Jimmy and Smitty and all that they’ve taught me. Thanks for all the mornings I met Smitty at 6 on 5th street or at the High Street Y. Thanks for all the B-Dubs trips with Jimmy and the rounds of golf.
Thanks for all the places, Lord. Thanks for Whop’s house and Sonic and Common Grounds and the Y and LCA. Thanks for all the rich memories in those places…for Risk at Whop’s, for football and basketball games at LCA, for reading and studying at Common Grounds, for getting my butt kicked at the Y.
Most of all, Heavenly Father, thank you for my family. Thank you for my wonderful sister Whitley, my beautiful and loving mom, and my amazing dad. No one deserves to spend 21 years under a roof with people this amazing. I know they’re still family and I will always be their son/brother, but thanks for these first 21 years. Thank you.
There are literally countless things to be thankful for, Lord, and this barely touches the service, but how could it go unsaid? I thank you for all of these things, Lord, but more importantly…I thank you for all of these people. I pray that though the times I see the in the future may be few and far between on this Earth, I will be with them for eternity at the resurrection when you bring your throne to Earth and live with all the resurrected saints. May I remember that Lord…this is not good-bye. This is see you later.
Thank you, Father. Thanks for your love. Thanks for showing yourself to me through these people and these experiences. I hope that by reading this, just a few of the people mentioned can really understand how unbelievably loved they are.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Seriously guys…I love all of y’all. I hope a few of you get to read this. Thanks for the years. Thanks for the amazing memories. See you soon.