Today I turned 23. It feels like just yesterday I was in high school and not being sure what I was going to do with my life when I graduated. Now, at 23 I just finished up college and about to start seminary. I am setting in a church office as a pastoral intern and waiting for God to open the door for a full-time student pastor position. As I sit here and thank back over my short 23 years, one word describes how I feel…thankful. Every year when my birthday rolls around I have different feelings about it, but this year I am overwhelmed with thankfulness for all God has done in my life so far. Here are just a few of the many things I am thankful for this year on my birthday.
My salvation. I am so thankful that before the foundations of the world God knew me and planned to save my soul! It was back in 2003, on SuperBowl Sunday, the Gospel changed my life and it has been changing my life ever since!
My family. If it were not for my family, I would not be where I am today. They helped me get through college and are helping me get through seminary. I am forever grateful for their sacrifice and loving support of all I do in this life.
My gorgeous fiancée. I am so thankful God brought Crystal Garofalo into my life two summers ago! I am so thankful for all the memories we made that summer at Skyview and thankful God has kept us together until today. I am glad I can now call her my fiancée and I am looking forward to what God is going to continue to do in our relationships as we follow Him.
My ministry. If you notice, I put family and fiancée before ministry because I am grateful God has taught me this lesson early: my walk with Him, my wife (soon to be), and family come before ministry. I will not sacrifice those things on the altar of ministry! However, I am so thankful God has called me into full-time ministry and can’t wait to continue serving Him full-time in the local church.
My education. For a guy who hated school in high school, it’s hard to believe how much I love school now. I am all about college and I am thankful God allowed me to earn my degree from a Piedmont International University, the best undergrad Bible education you can get! I am also thankful God has provided a way for me to get my Master’s through Liberty.
These are just a few of the things I am thankful for and I am praising God for today on my birthday. Don’t allow days like your birthday to go back without stepping back and seeing what all God has done. He loves us and continues to work in us, and for that, I am thankful.