In taking time to reflect on 2014, I was reminded of the sovereignty, goodness and faithfulness God shows when walking with his children. I found myself recalling moments of great delight and deep grief — a tapestry of joy and sorrow that had been woven so beautifully.
As it is with the ebbs and flows of life’s journey, there are often seasons of intense grief amid great joy. And while it’s completely natural to want to fast forward through life’s pain, we can miss what God has for us in these seasons if we’re not careful.
As we learn to embrace life’s moments — the joys and the sorrows alike — we can truly appreciate the gifts wrapped inside: peace, patience, grace, growth, character, spiritual maturity and a deeper dependence upon him.
Here are some memorable moments of 2014.
- January began with the celebrations of two milestone birthdays: my step-son’s 16th birthday and my husband’s 50th.
- March saw us honoring Senior Vice President and CEO of Wycliffe Bible Translators Russ Hersman (Class of ’78) as Multnomah’s 2014 Alumnus of the Year.
- April was filled with incredible hope and excitement when Dr. Craig Williford was selected as Multnomah’s fifth president.
- May was a special month of celebration as MU’s class of 1964 had its 50-year reunion and we honored our spring graduates with a commencement ceremony.
- June was full with wedding celebrations in support of students and sweet friendships the Lord has given me at Multnomah.
- July brought difficult news of the loss of our fourth president, Dr. Dan Lockwood. I never imagined it would be so difficult to say good bye to such a great leader and dear friend.
- August was filled with more celebrations: my first wedding anniversary and my father-in-law’s 75th birthday. The month was not without its challenges though. I totaled my jeep after hitting a bull elk (ironically the day right before opening season). I escaped with minor cuts and bruises, but that’s more than I can say for the elk. We are thankful for God’s protection, as it could have been much worse.
- September brought the exciting news that our seminary was selected by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to receive part of a $1.5 million grant to incorporate science into our core theological curricula.
- October offered reasons for celebration again with the scheduled events of Dr. Craig Williford’s Presidential Inauguration. But that was followed by the difficult news that some dear friends (Multnomah alumni) had tragically lost their youngest son. My heart continues to break for them as they grieve incredible loss and learn what it means to lean into Jesus in new ways.
- December saw our winter graduates walk across the stage of Central Bible Church to receive their diplomas. As they move into graduate school, the workforce or wherever God leads them, we prayed for his blessing and peace on their lives.
Now here we are at the top of a new year. I’m not sure what 2015 will hold, but I keep learning what it means to trust in the one who does.
As you reflect back on 2014, my prayer is that you too would realize his goodness and faithfulness in new ways — even perhaps amidst suffering. For suffering, though difficult, can be God’s way of enhancing our sense of his presence within our lives. It’s often within these difficult places that we find some of his sweetest gifts.
As you walk by faith into seasons unknown, may you walk with confidence, knowing that he walks beside you. And may he continue to weave a beautiful tapestry, through joy and pain, as he shapes you into a deeper dependence upon him and into a greater likeness of his son.
For his glory,