This by far has been one of the most trying months of my life.  I know that I am not alone.  I know that many have suffered through what I have lost.  And I know that many have suffered far more than I can possibly imagine.  But even still, I have been struggling.  I already have a hard enough time in the winter.  I suffer through what is often called seasonal depression.  For me, that season tends to be in the winter months.  Strange as it may seem, even when I was in Florida I had this issue, so it is more than just dealing with the cold and snow.  So, when this blessing of a new child fell into my lap, or better put, Dawn’s belly, I was ecstatic.  I had something I could hang my hat upon all winter.  When depression came knocking at the door, I didn’t have to let it in, because I had a baby on the way.  Depression had no room in my heart.  In fact, Dawn and I knew for a month before we announced the news concerning our little “tie breaker.”  I was so excited that I wanted to shout it from the rooftops.  I was thinking of different ways to announce our super awesome, incredible news.  My favorite two was the once we posted on facebook and Dawn’s idea about the big reveal to our kids.  (What made that even more special is my sister was here to see it).  But, this blessing is no more.  And depression didn’t just knock on the door, it kicked it down.  I have preached often about how to overcome depression and it is time I start practicing a little of what I preach.  So, I need to count my blessings.
I wake up every morning and am greeted by 4 amazing children.  No, I am not delusional, I know they aren’t perfect.  But, they are mine.  My beautifully, amazing gifts from God.  I see their smiles, I hear their laughter, I even get to see them play games as I write this article.  While my quiver is not completely full it has enough to keep me happy and blessed.
Earlier I mentioned that I was not alone.  5+ years ago the Lord blessed me with the opportunity to move here to central Iowa.  No, when the temps drop into the -30s I don’t particularly feel blessed, but to be part of a family such as this, I couldn’t ask for more.  It is amazing to see a body of Christ react so quickly when one of its own is hurting.  The meals have been delicious, but that has not touched my heart nearly as much as the thought.  We lost our unborn baby and you all reacted as if my baby was already here.  I can’t tell you how much that moved me.  Too often I have seen people be cold and callous over the whole thing as if that’s just the way things are.  I thank you, and more importantly I thank God for bringing me into this family.  He certainly has blessed me though you.
While I don’t like to always count physical, and certainly financial blessings, I can’t ignore the fact that God has been good to me there as well.  When Dawn and I first decided that it would be in our best interest for me to enter the “ministry” we took a job with a small church in central Illinois.  While we love the brethren there, we were put into a position to make a rash decision.  The church couldn’t afford to pay me more than $375 per week and we were losing most of our outside support.  So, I took the first job that opened up to get out of debt.  The work there was hard and I was warned after I arrived I never should have moved there because of the bitterness and anger that church had.  This led me to make another rash decision that ultimately led me to think I shouldn’t preach anymore.  This is when I moved here.  God has been good to me.  He has blessed me over and over again through you and other churches.  Dawn and I can make big decisions concerning our family without money being a factor.  Which is wonderful.  It enables me to stay focused upon the work here.  And for that I am eternally grateful.
This past year I also got my life back.  As you all have witnessed, I am no longer the sinful glutton.  I have labored hard to shed the weight, and by the grace of God I have been forgiven.  Why just yesterday I was reminded of where I used to be.  A man came in, about my age and about the size I was when I first started.  It was his first day in a class.  He struggled as much as I did on my first day.  It was then that another blessing dawned upon me.  God was giving me a chance to impact someone else’s life.  After class was over I could see how discouraged he was.  I talked with him about my journey… hoping that my journey will inspire him to keep trying.
These are just a few of my blessing I counted this week.  What do yours look like?   -WTK

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Blessed Beyond Measure

The Light
Volume 6 Issue 5