Seven years ago today, the younger of my two sons went into surgery at two and a half months old. The doctors at Cook's Children's Hospital fixed a congenital heart defect and literally gave life to my son. In many ways, today is as much his birthday as is his actually birthday in June. Thank you, God, for Dr. Tham, Dr. Lai, and all the wonderful medical staff and support staff that used your gifts to give life to my son.
One year ago, this weekend, I moved back into my home after about six weeks of living in an apartment a couple of miles away. At that point in my life, my heart was broken. I had just gone on an official leave of absence from pastoring in the United Methodist Church. I was trying to fix a marriage that I had literally destroyed.
Over these last twelve months, God has blessed me in many ways. First, I have had much time to give to my boys as I my primary responsibility has been as a stay-at-home dad. Second, my marriage is stronger and more honest than it has ever been. Third, I have had to do some serious self-reflection.
In this self-reflection and self-questioning, much time has been spent working on putting down the demons of my past. These battles are not easy, and I have had to rely on God to help me do what I have found impossible to do by myself in the past. Much time has been spent trying to simply do better today than I did yesterday at the little things that are so important in life.
I still am not 100% certain where God is leading me in the coming months. I do know I feel I have less to prove in life than I ever did before. A year later, I know myself to be stronger mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally than I may have ever been in my life. I also know my greatest weakness is loneliness. Many people see me and think of me as an easy-going extrovert, but inside I am introverted and almost chronically alone.
I thank God for the new heart that is growing within me and for the salvaged heart that beats within the chest of a young boy. And I pray honestly, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me." (Psalm 51:10)