How do you describe seven months of growth and pain? How can the human mind, advanced as it is, convey such powerful emotion, dreadful turmoil, and difficult growth?
As always, this post is a life update. Given my lack of time, I have to resort to publishing these but rarely. Before I begin: I pray for wisdom as I write. I do not want to defame or insult anyone, and thus I will take extreme care in my descriptions of the past months.
At the end of February, I suffered the loss of a friendship. I believed this step away from friendship to be temporary, but I discovered that it was permanent (against my desires), mere days after my eighteenth birthday and graduation date. This loss sent me into the deepest time of depression I had ever experienced. For once, I knew what it was like to battle dark and even suicidal thoughts.
Yet God brought me out of this in the most unlikely of ways: through baseball. I am a basketball player, and had hardly touched a glove/bat in well over a decade. Thankfully, one of my friends was wise enough to see through the darkness I battled, and he suggested a new sport.
I took to baseball quite well, started in a few games, but the real joy was in the companionship. This filled the void left in my soul, and restored my heart and mind to a place of joy while the loss of my friendship was still believed to be temporary.
I graduated and turned eighteen towards the end of May. Shortly thereafter, my family prepared to return to Uganda for the very last time (due to unfortunate circumstances, we are in the process of leaving Ministry). Covid is, unfortunately, a reality, and our plans were abruptly cancelled when Uganda announced a country-wide lockdown.
By this time, it was the beginning of June, and the time had long since passed for the relationship I had briefly put on hold to be restored. It is in deepest grief that I say that this did not go as planned. The relationship was lost for good. It was an incredibly difficult loss of friendship, and this loss was made more difficult because I had to process the discarding of my expectation of return to relationship. Yet despite the difficult time, my respect for this person remains as high as possible. Hurt and deep pain exist, but they are a child of God and deserve to be treated as such.
Needless to say, it was a difficult time. I cried for a week. This was my best and closest friend, after all. As always, however, God is incredible, and He worked some incredible things in me. He used this time to further expose root heart issues that would have remained hidden otherwise. He showed me the truest depths of my sin and idolatry, and taught me that the only times He has to remove something from my hand is because I refused to give it to Him open-handedly.
I bounced back quicker than I had personally anticipated, much to my relief. I returned to college prep, and for several months, I believed I would be attending Moody Bible Institute. I even paid a deposit to the school.
Again, quite unfortunately, Moody Bible Institute released new Covid protocols for their students, and I, an unashamedly unvaccinated adult, was not willing to deal with these restrictions. I then shifted my attention to Boyce College in Louisville, to which I was accepted promptly a week before move-in day.
I have now been at Boyce for two and a half weeks, and I have loved every single minute of it. This campus is stunning, and the atmosphere is like no other. It is now incredibly clear to me that God had this place intended for me. I am majoring in communications and may consider a minor in Business.
I am incredibly grateful for the presence of an older friend of mine, Amanda York. I attended high school with her, and although we had not known each other quite well, we became friends over the summer. She helped push me towards Christ, especially as I battled grief.
I am increasingly grateful for my lifelong best friend, Josiah Kegg. Josiah was, by the grace of God, my neighbor for two months during the time I was in mourning. He kept me grounded in the Word and in Truth, constantly challenging me in my spiritual walk.
Another friend I am grateful for is Drew Mehall. Drew was the first to push me towards baseball, and he constantly kept me true to myself. He saw through my depression and called me to something greater. He pushed me to place a higher emphasis on my relationship with Christ, rather than with Man.
I’m also grateful for my parents. They stood by me through thick and thin, literally keeping me from falling (as I wept) or overthinking my own issues (as I worked through my grief). Without them, I would (obviously) not be alive and I would not be even a tenth the man I am today.
Finally, I am grateful to God. He has revealed Himself to me in ways that blow my mind. He is my gracious Father, my caring King, and loving Judge. I owe everything to Him. May the praise and glory go entirely to Him, for He is the only one deserving of glory.
God has meant so much more during this journey. He has worked in my heart, growing me in ways I never could have dreamed. He has never left me and has always stood by my side. He has revealed Himself to me in so many ways, and I feel as if the last year has grown me enough for three. To Him be the glory, the majesty, and the praise.
Soli Deo Gloria