February 25th has become my most UNfavorite day of the year. On February 25, 2008 my marriage came to an end. I did not seek or want a divorce, but it happened. And, in some measure, I will bear its shame for the rest of my life.
Our lives are filled with good days, days of joy and success, days we remember with relish. But, we also all have those handful of days we would rather forget. Those are the days remembered in our nightmares.
I can remember the day one June when I was told that Coach Dean had been killed in a motorcycle accident. I was crushed, as were all of my 7th grade classmates at Lubbock Christian School. I was only his student for that one year, but Coach Dean had a tremendous impact on me. To hear he was gone . . . that was a blow!
I can remember the night I resigned as campus minister for the Green Lawn church. It was time for me to move on. I had done all I could in the job, and it was time for someone else to step in. But, I loved that work (it remains the favorite of all the jobs I've had). The feelings I felt that night came rushing back on the afternoon I stepped away from my job as preacher for the Cortez Church of Christ. The circumstances were much different, but the feeling of emptiness was similar.
I can remember the night Dale Hukle told me that he was leaving the Green Lawn church as youth minister. I was a 15 year old kid thinking I was losing my hero. Of course, his departure from Lubbock facilitated my introduction to Camp Blue Haven (where he would serve as director) and Denver, Colorado (where he would go as youth minister). But, that van ride home so many years ago will always stand out as a great moment of sadness in my life.
I can remember the night my dad called with the news that my grandfather had suffered a massive stroke. It was a Saturday night; in a few hours I was scheduled to deliver my first sermon as preacher for the Idalou Church of Christ. My grandfather inspired me to be a preacher. My grandfather instilled in me a great love for small, rural churches. I was looking forward to his sharing in my work at Idalou, just as he had done on occasion at Childress and Hollis, but that would not happen.
Days of sadness. We all have them. Living in this world, no matter how we may try, we cannot avoid them. They will come. We will experience them. We must. BUT, there's always a new day. In my 38 years (and counting) of life, February 26 has never failed to replace the 25th. And, my faith in God's promises tells me that it never will fail to come until ultimately the 26th dawns in eternity!
This past year has been difficult, especially those long stretches of being away from my beautiful children. But, in the past year, I have seen so many evidences of the new dawn. Life has continued. God remains good and ever-present.