Last September I wrote about a significant event that took place on September 8, 2007. The morning of that day God communicated to my heart in a powerful way that I was right where He wanted me to be...that He had plans for Charlotte and me and that we could rest in Him and His will for us. That happened on the second day of a leadership retreat through our church.
This past weekend we participated in another leadership retreat twelve months and many incredible kingdom building, community building experiences later. What I realized is that the significance of September 8, 2007, made another date very significant in my walk with God: July 5, 2002. That was the day that Charlotte, Eric and I arrived in Manhattan with dear friends from Central Wesleyan Church in Holland, MI, who came out with two pickups and two U-haul trailers to bring us to our new home.
For several years I had looked back on that date and wondered if I had somehow missed a signal. Was living in Manhattan really God's first and best plan for our lives? As I sat in a small circle in a pole barn in Pennsylvania last weekend during the retreat God's purpose became all the more clear.
I came to Manhattan with a lot more to learn about God, me and this city than I ever dreamed or realized. On July 5, 2002, I arrived physically, but the spiritual, emotional, psychological, and relational components were underdeveloped and needed testing, seasoning and developing.
Now for a guy who's almost 52 (on Saturday), that's not always easy. I look back and stand amazed (and sometimes bow in amazement) at the mercy and grace of God. What an awesome and glorious Father who loves me, continually manifests His patience, and is willing to use me to make a difference in His world. All glory belongs to Him!
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