Friday, June 3, 2011

'Til We Meet Again, Birmingham

So, tonight is my last night in Birmingham. As of 5 p.m. today, I was officially out of the collegiate athletics business and no longer employed at Samford. For a while now, I've felt God calling me to another career. For a bit, I thought I was being called to ministry. Now, I know I have been called to ministry. Just not the kind of ministry you think of when people say the word "ministry".

For 27 years of my life, I have watched my parents minister to people of all ages through their careers in education. Then my sister joined the ranks of teaching and I've been able to see God work through her.

I think for so long I tried to go as far away as I could from "they family business" that it eventually brought me back to what I was made to do. We all know that we can't escape God's will for our lives, and it is no different in this situation.

God has orchestrated an opportunity to for me to go back HOME to Jackson, be close to my family and friends, and do what I've been created to do.

Samford and Birmingham have played no small part in this orchestration and I will never be grateful enough for the people that God brought into my life here and for the things that I've learned.

So, in perfect Walden fashion, I've just formulated a list of things that I've learned and that I will miss from Birmingham:

1. I've learned that there's no getting around the fact that God is in control and that he's got this whole life thing rigged.

2. I've learned that you have to roll with the punches but never let someone punch you until you roll. Stand up for yourself but remember that respect is a two-way street.

3. I've learned that when a job makes you lose your passion for something, it's time to reevaluate.

4. No matter what anyone says, church and good small group are essential to Christian growth.

5. I'll miss seeing Hollie every day and all the complaining and encouraging and laughing that comes along with it. Friends like that are few and far between but it makes it easier knowing that I have four of those kind of friends waiting for me when I get home.

6. I'll miss Salem's and they way that Mr. Wayne and the hombres know exactly what I want before I even start to order it.

7. I'll miss my volleyball girls. They keep me laughing, feeling like a 20-year-old and up on the latest dance moves.

8. I'll miss baseball, because it's the only sport that I could legally cheer at.

9. I'll miss my football guys: Davis, Alvin and JT. And their moms.

10. Most of all, I'll miss my church. God knew what he was doing when he moved me to Birmingham, gave me a place to live and introduced me to a roommate who took me to a church that would rock my world for five years. I've been a Christian since I was seven years old, have won many rounds of Bible Baseball, but never have I really understood the Word and seen it in the light that I have for the last five years. And frankly, I needed it. God has opened my eyes to what I have been put here on Earth to do, and that is to glorify Him and proclaim his name to the ends of the earth.

So that's what I'll do.

And Birmingham, this isn't goodbye. It's see ya soon. I'll be back, probably more than you would like.

P.S. I wouldn't be my mother's child or my sister's sister if I didn't end this post with this video. Enjoy. And sing along. You know you want to.