Baptism1Most years, I approach the end of December looking so forward to the big “end of year” recaps. I like the Top 40 countdowns, the sports moments, and all of it. Even our social media sites like facebook and wordpress are kind enough to provide your top “moments” from the year. In years past, I have spent December recapping some of the top posts from the year that was. For some reason this year, I just don’t have the desire to do that. I told my wife tonight that I didn’t want to do a recap of 2013 and yet here I am…at the keyboard. I’m going to make a statement that I don’t even want to make, but it’s simply for lack of a better term….

2013 was a tough year.

I stop short of saying that 2013 was a “hard” year because it’s all relative. When I consider what others are going through and the battles they are facing every single day, my 2013 struggles are a joke. Honestly. Simple, small, petty struggles. Yet I have never not been honest on this piece of the internet so I have to say that in my shallow world, 2013 was a tough year. It’s not been my favorite. It’s been a year of transitions, some of which continue even as I type this. For a guy that likes constants and hates change, this isn’t a year I’ll look back on for balance and consistency.

And yet 2013 was beautiful.

baptism21As I look back on 2013, I won’t look at the entire body of work. There is actually a large part of it that I would just as soon forget. However, there are moments. Absolutely life changing, special and memorable moments. Those are the keepers. Those are the things that rise from all that I’ll gladly bury from this year. They are moments which can’t be taken away or erased. For that and those that made them possible, I am forever grateful. Let me give you 3 examples….

I baptized the sons of a family that is near to my heart. It was at their request that I entered those waters. It was their moment as a family. It was with their trust that they placed these 2 precious boys in my hands. This had absolutely NOTHING to do with me. I was just the guy that had the absolute blessing of lowering them into the water and raising them again as they publicly declared their young faith in Christ. I can think of no greater honor outside of baptizing my own children. Thank you Alting family. Words seem shallow but thank you.

baptism3I baptized a man that has become a brother to me. We both bleed Carolina blue (which has nothing to do with baptism but it had to be said). I have witnessed this man lead his family. He loves his wife. He cherishes his children. He honors them. He protects them. He constantly puts wind in my sails as a father and husband too. What a true honor to share this foundational marker in his life. Together we drove a stake in the ground and raised a flag on his life. It flies over this family and his home. Thank you Jeromy Rose.

I baptized someone that I didn’t even know at that moment. In the months that would follow, I would get to know her story. Today, Ashely, Brandon, Sebastian and their soon-to-arrive baby are like family. I love them dearly. I am so proud of all that is happening in this young couples life (I also stole their photo from facebook. Hopefully that is cool.) To know I get a front row seat to watch God work through them has been awesome. Just awesome. As I look ahead to 2014, I cannot wait to celebrate the child they will welcome into this world. Who knew that day we would soon be like family?


God knew.

When the calendar turned on 2013, God knew what the next 365 days would hold. Not only did he know, he allowed every moment. I have reminded myself over and over again this year that He sees a much larger story. I just get the daily clippings and footnotes. Each day a puzzle piece that is creating a story. 2014 holds more pieces and memories. Maybe larger pieces for a larger post next year. This year I will look back at the many moments like the ones I mentioned above and smile.

This year, though not my favorite, has been filled with blessings along the way. All reminders that….

God is in control. God is good. All the time.