I can't remember a year when I have cried more than 2008. Several things brought on the waterworks...
The worst phone call of my life was the one back in June telling me that Sam Thomsen had died in a tornado. While my wife's emotions rolled down her cheeks, I sat on the bed in complete shock. The tears would come later. They still come every once in a while, like this morning as I browsed through old emails. I miss Sam. I miss his smile, and him poking me in the ribs. I lament the fact that I won't get to work with him on another sermon this year for LTC.
And then there was our ordeal with Garrison. Ten days in the NICU after he collapsed a lung. It's a disturbing thing to see machines keeping your newborn baby alive.
2008 also brought the most intense feelings of hatred/pity (and eventually compassion) for the members of the Westboro Baptist Church who picketed at Sam's funeral. After a time, I realized that hatred would do nothing more than continue their legacy...instead of the legacy of love that Christ wants us to show the world.
Other great events of 2008:
- My first intern! It really wasn't too painful...and Brent is a good sport! Now, I hope to continue and maybe even expand this internship stuff.
- Running my first 5K. It was a good feeling to run more than 2 miles (my previous record) and it helped that it was all for a good cause. I was trying to encourage teens to raise more money for the 30 Hour Famine (they did, we raised over $3,000!) and the proceeds from the race went to a local homeless shelter.
- Akastasia. Our annual youth rally was incredible this year. It resulted in two baptisms and a lot of open talk. I am also grateful that several other teens decided to be baptized last year.
- Seeing my 2nd son (Garrison Steven Samuel Wood) smile! This kind of brings meaning and closure to all those tears. It reminds me that tears and pain and heartache won't be around forever. His smile teaches me that I can have joy in the midst of pain.
I hope that your 2008 was joyful and fulfilling, and I pray that 2009 is even better!