Blessings of a year

Praying for a very blessed New Year!
This is the newsletter that I sent out to my family and friends. I’m not to fond of newsletters, but a lot happened this year and this is just a small update. This year has been one of growth and letting God take over my life. One thing I have learned throughout this year is exactly how good is God. So many things that could have seemed like disasters ended up becoming a blessing. God has been teaching me so much, sometimes it’s not the most comfortable lesson, but at the end if I take the time to reflect, it has always been good.

     1) My school created a new degree this last year- the one I really needed! This means I will be graduating with a Master’s of Divinity in Chaplaincy. (It doesn’t have the language requirement- no Greek!) This one looks a lot better on the resume than the Master’s of Arts, I was originally in, and thankfully it just took a year more to finish it.

2) After six years of working and living on campus, I felt the urging to move to a new apartment. My former roommate, Mandy, and I found a wonderful place that was actually former dorms to another Christian college that is just up the hill from school. With 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a brand new kitchen, it’s a wonderful first place.

3)  After six years of working on numerous papers on Disabilities and the Church, I ‘finished’ the main paper at 70 pages. It is still very rough and is in need of a great deal of polishing, but it has been an amazing paper to work on.

4) Because of this paper, my campus is putting on a workgroup for Spring 2013. I and the Dean of the Seminary will be leading this group to eventually make a class that will be offered in another year. It has been an amazing learning experience and to see how God is moving in this as been eye opening. It’s a topic that is needed, not only to be taught in school, but to be put to use in the church. Many of the professors have never been confronted by the need for a Scripture based theology regarding the disabled, so many of the pastors who graduate have not been given the tools to use within their congregations. Hopefully, this new class will give those tools. We are also blessed by having Joni and Friends be a supportive help in creating the class. We’re going to have the Oregon advocate be a guest speaker which is remarkable.

5) I am also going to be interviewed by the Alumni Magazine regarding this class. Kind of nervous about it, but I know this will be a great thing that will help get the conversation started on campus, about the need for learning how to biblically work with the disabled as well as how to be active ministers with them.

6) In September, while trying to be careful, I fell down the stairs to my new apartment. Since I never had a truly sprained ankle before, I figured it would take a bit of time to heal. Two months later, my foot was still swollen and had started to spasm. After meeting with a specialist and doing a month’s worth of physical therapy, it was discovered I had ruptured a ligament in my ankle. On December 11th, I had ankle surgery and the doctor was surprised by the amount of damage I had. Not only did I ‘rupture’ one ligament but I had also destroyed another. I am now recovering from having another person’s tendon drilled into my ankle bone in three areas. I cannot drive or put any weight whatsoever on my ankle for at least 2 months. Though it may be longer. God’s provisions are seen even in this! Surgery was right after my finals for Fall semester and after losing my custodial job due to new management. I was able to come home, where there are no stairs, and have help through the hardest part of recovery. I have been blessed by some wonderful people who have helped cover some of my bills. I have been absolutely blown away by the outpouring of love and support. I have no words to show my thankfulness for everyone. My roommate has also helped by asking our landlord if we can move our apartment downstairs. So I can stay at my apartment during the first months of the new semester without having to deal with those nasty stairs! What a blessing and answer to some worried prayers!

   7) I am graduating on May 10th! I finally have the classes and credits figured out and it is finally my time to graduate from Seminary! This school has been such a blessing and a wonderful tool in learning more about God. Graduating from the undergrad as well as attending the Seminary has made me so much more aware of the importance of knowing your faith and participating in that faith. God is SO good!

8) My mom had a very scary moment where she ended up having emergency abdominal surgery. Due to former surgeries she had a lot scar tissue that ended up wrapping around her intestine. Thankfully, she went to the hospital in time and they were able to keep her safe. If she hadn’t gone in when she had she could have died. Also, thankfully, her specialist from a different surgery was on call at the hospital the day (day after Christmas) that she had to have surgery. This was a true blessing. Despite being cut from stem to stern again, mom is doing well. God’s blessings are found even in this.

The most important thing I learned this year though is how very thankful I am for my family and friends. If you are part of my life, it means that God has brought you to me so I can learn something. And because of you- I have found out how amazing God is. So thank you for being part of my life. Have you taken time to count your blessings? I hope that you are shown exactly how much God loves you in this New Year. Remember, it’s not always comfortable, but it is always in the end for your good. Even in the midst of great sorrow and pain, may you feel God’s love and compassion wrapped around you. Know you are loved greatly.

  Praying that you have a New Year blessed with examples of God’s undying love for you.

“Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift” ~2 Corinthians 9:15

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