Yesterday I talked about our move to Texas. It has been amazing.! I've got a lot to talk about how amazing and different it is here, but today I wanted to talk a little about how I and my wife got to the point of wanting to move here.
About two years ago I began to think a lot about seminary, but it goes back even further than that. About 15 years ago – yes 15 - I was in my early 20's. I had a great job and a great life, but something began to bother me. I began to wonder if life was just working and making money. I was OK. I was making money and having a blast, but something about how I was living and what I wanted out of life seemed to be at odds. So I began to think about college. I hadn't finished my Computer Science degree but I soon realized that I wanted to go for a religion degree. I thought “Religion - yeah that's more me. There's purpose in that. Right?” So I moved to Tigerville, SC to attend North Greenville College (now University) and to be a religion major. I did OK at that plan, until I met my wonderful wife. We had a whirl wind courtship and a year later we were married. A year after that we had our first child. My life had completely changed from a single guy living in one state building a career to being a student, husband, and father in another state all in the matter of two years. I wasn't a great student and even though I saw value in my degree, it was all academic. I had no idea what I would do in the future and a wonderful wife and child were a lot more important than school. North Greenville had a job opening in the IT department so I took it.
Life was really awesome. But I still was wondering about life. I thought, “Maybe working and making money and having a family was all that it was about. I kept asking that question and God began to give me some answers. Maybe even answers that I should have been ready to hear but I didn't know how. God had some major work to do on me. Shortly after my wife had our first child she had to have her gaul bladder removed. My father-in-law and I were sitting in the waiting room at the hospital waiting on my wife's doctor to come out and tell us her status. I began to talk to him about what I was feeling - about why I had gone to North Greenville, about my desire to understand life's purpose, and my guilt for having dropped out of school and my religious degree program. I felt like I had traded my desire to find out more about life for a wonderful life with my wife and child, and I felt guilty. My wonderful father-in-law said something that day that changed my life. It was incredibly simple but also was incredibly amazing. He said that God had given me talents with computers and technology and God had given me a wonderful, awesome wife and baby plus God had given me something else that I hadn't recognized – a desire to be available to Him to be used by him (although at that point I had no idea what that meant). He said I didn't have to be a religion major or a preacher or a teacher to have a relationship with God and to do things that he called Christians to do. On the contrary I was more in line with his purpose for Christians than I had every been. I could work a job, have a family, and be used in other peoples lives better maybe than if I were a preacher. That moment and what he said changed me!
From there the story gets even weirder or better or whatever you might call it. I continued to change and I want to tell you more about it so check back tomorrow.