In light of the spirit of the holiday this past week, I thought I would write about what I am thankful for this year.
I am thankful for my parents and my family. They have all been a wonderful to me over the years and although we may be quite different, we are family. I am thankful for the qualities my parents instilled in me at an early age and the support they have been through all my good (and boneheaded) decisions in my life.
I am thankful for Northwestern College and the life they prepared me for. I am thankful for the education I received there, the worldview I left with from there, and the relationships that were formed with roommates, classmates, faculty, and staff. I am ever thankful for my roommates, John, Bryant, Gumaro, Joel, and Hans and the friendships that I greatly miss while I am away from them. You guys have deeply shaped and formed me over the past 3 years. And I am thankful for the technologies that allow me to stay connected with all of them even when we are separated by oceans. I am thankful for my girlfriend Brittnee whom I met and began dating while at Northwestern. It has been terrific having her in Denver with me and sharing life with her. I am thankful for the faculty and staff who gave so much to me, not only academic knowledge, but knowledge about life. I am thankful for the religion department at Northwestern and the high quality of academic training they provide.
I am thankful for the churches I have been associated with and the pastors that have taken time to encourage me. I am thankful for Alton Reformed Church taking me in as an adopted son and all the support they have provided me in the last year. I am thankful for the pastors there, Mike and Elizabeth Hardeman, and all they have done to help me along in the ordination process. I am thankful for my current church, First Reformed Church in Denver. Here, I have learned what it means to be the church with people who you would not choose to worship with if you had the choice. The love and care they have shown me makes it the place I want to be every Sunday. I am thankful for all the pastors that have guided me in my life – Matt McFarren, Mike and Elizabeth, Jon Brown, Bryan Boersma, Harlan Van Oort, and David and Nancy Phillips.
I am thankful for the privilege of education, of learning, and of reading. I take this for granted far too often.
I am thankful for another year of good health.
I am thankful for God’s faithfulness in my life.
I am thankful for Denver Seminary and the newly formed relationships that are blossoming here.
Mostly, I am thankful for life, and all the twists, turns, and redirections it takes. Life may be a rollercoaster and I may not have a clue where I am going at times, but I am alive, and this is the gift that I am most thankful for.