This was published on January 24, 2008
Life seems to be full of mountains and valleys. It seems like I've been spending a lot of time in both lately. It seems like I get to the top of the mountain and then immediately find myself in a valley shortly after that. I'm beginning to see how much a part of life that is. How necessary it is to experience suffering in order to experince joy, I'm beginning to see that no matter what there is always going to be moments of dissapointment and difficulty in life, but there will also always be moments of intense joy. That's how God works, that's how Jesus lived when he came to earth. Part of living my life as a disciple is to be as fully present in the valley as I am on the mountain. To know that the view from the mountain will be that much more beautiful if I learn to appreciate and embrace the tough times in the valley.
Life has been interesting to say the least since the last time I blogged. I survived the hell that was finals week and ended up with 3 A's and a B for my first semester of graduate school. I was pretty proud of that. Being in the valley of studying and finishing papers was tough but was well worth the view at the top of the mountain when I got my report card.
I went home to Rockford for the first time in a year and a half. It was so strange being home. I don't know if I should even call it home anymore. It was so good to be there and wonderful to see my old friends and family but I don't know that I would call it home anymore. For the first time home felt like my parent's house instead of my home. Which is ok, just part of the moving on process. I was able to spend a lot of time with old friends. The high light aside from Christmas Eve and Christmas with my Family was throwing a wine and Cheese party with all the old crew. We had a great time. I think over 30 people came. It was so fun to remenise and catch up. However my time at home was not all wonderful. I was supposed to head back to Denver on December 29th but ended up extending my trip until January 3rd. My best friend Melissa's mom died suddenly of a heart attack at age 56 on December 28th. Phyllis Perrone was an amazing woman who served her children, students, and husband well. It was a really hard few days and I can imagine is still tough for the family so please continue to keep my friend Melissa and her family in your prayers.
After all of that I headed back to Denver for a whopping 14 hours and then flew out again for Joe Boctor's wedding. It was interesting going from a funeral pretty much right into a wedding. I don't think I have ever experienced that wide a range of emtions so close together in my life. But Joe's wedding was a blast. It felt so good to be reunited with so many of my household brothers. Some of whom I had not seen in at least 3 years.
After the wedding I returned to Denver for 5 days and then went to Wichita for the Knights retreat. This was a much needed retreat. As always it was very rejuvinating to be around my boys. They are such a blessing in my life, and although I miss them terribly I continue to have peace that this is the way things are to be right now.
After the retreat I came back to Denver for all of 12 hours yet again and then flew out to Lincoln, NE for the national Totus Tuus meeting. It was a long couple days but also spiritually uplifting and very informative. It will be interesting to be on the coordinator side of it. I'm really looking forward to the summer with Totus Tuus. I think I will gain a wealth of experience and also really grow in the process.
So now I am finally back here in Denver. For a long while without going anywhere hopefully. I'm slowly getting back into my routine. The first few days back in school and back in town were tough. I was experiencing a lot of doubt again and questioning God for bringing me here to Denver. But I am slowly climbing back up the mountain and out of the valley. I have to keep reminding myself that change even if it is good is hard. I have to keep telling myself that just because something is God's will doesn't make it easy. But I'm slowly starting to come alive again. The funk I was in after Thanksgiving is finally starting to fade. My prayer life is getting back on track and I am finding ways to manage my jobs and school without freaking out as much. There are moments still when I despise my Youth Ministry job but I'm starting to accept it as a cross God is given me. I'm not sure what He's doing to me and through me here at this job, but I know something is happening. His grace is working and I'm excited to see what happens.
So thus begins 2nd semester of my life in Denver. The climb uphill has begun, will I see the view from the top soon, or will I fall down into the valley again? Who knows, that is in God's hands. It won't be easy, it won't always be exciting, but it will be what God wants it to be, no more, no less, and that in the grand scheme of things is all that matters!