I thought I would feel a sort of desperate motivation to make this - my tenth year of YM and my last year in my 20's - THE year that I made something big happen.
I thought I'd also feel a lot of regret about where I'm at, and more importantly where I'm NOT, in ministry.
But do you know what I feel more than anything looking back on the last ten years and thinking about what I've "accomplished"? I feel thankful.
Thankful that ten years ago someone took a chance on me and gave me an opportunity to speak, to teach, and to lead. Thankful that over the years teenagers have let their guards down and allowed me the privilege of walking with them as they seek to discover who God is and what His plans for their lives are. Thankful that parents have allowed me in to their homes to engage their children and families and be a part of something bigger than what happens within the four walls of the church building. Thankful that in the best of times and in the worst of times I've been afforded the privilege of simply being present in young people's lives.
But more than anything else, I'm thankful that God has used me to introduce people to His Son and then say "forget me, follow Him."
For the past ten years, and all that God still has in store, I am so very thankful.
PS - If you've been a part of my journey over the past ten years - whether in a big or small way - I am deeply indebted to you for your friendship, wisdom, and presence in my life! Thank you so much! People who I am especially thankful for and who deserve being mentioned by name are: Trisha, Teresa, George, Will, Steve, Dale, Joyce, Travis, Chad, Julie, Pastor Tim, Pastor Steve, Pastor Ronny, Greg, Heather, Amanda, Bob, April, Amy, Cindy, and Ron. And many, many others!