In 1984 I had a supernatural experience that forever changed me. I remember so clearly asking Christ into my heart and felt physical change overcome me as the Spirit came. I struggle with flaws and I get in my own way sometimes, but God has always remained dear to me. At times I don’t understand it – the attraction, the pursuit, or aspects of His nature. But for as long as I can remember there’s always been an internal drive toward the God of the universe, fueled by a source entirely outside of myself.
In my teen years I suffered significant depression and found myself completely lost and unable to help myself. At rock bottom I cried out to the God I loved but who seemed absent and missing. The Spirit came upon me at 16 in a powerful way and in an instant, I was transformed and healed, given a purpose and a commission. I started a journey of understanding God from a new perspective and gained a heart for the suffering of those whose silent tears crush their weary soul.
I loved computer engineering and programming, became an amateur radio operator, started a BBS, and was home schooled through high school. All of this helped me become an independent thinker who cared only about being right before God with an honest and genuine heart. Culture, social expectations, religious tradition…so much of this was rooted in things outside of the Bible and the Kingdom, and I really wanted a pure biblical relationship with God. The God that I was growing to understand was pursuing me. How amazing is that? The supreme Being in all of existence was pursuing me, just as He does others. And none of us is anything but a leaf on a tree whose autumn will bring a beautiful fall to the ground, where we will be caught by a Loving Hand.
In 1996 I went to Messiah College as a Computer Science major and on the first day met Jessica, who would immediately become a good friend and then my girlfriend…and then a heart-wrenching breakup. After six months of that we grew and matured beyond ourselves and secretly started dating again. We were certain we were going to be married the first time and everyone knew it – the last thing we wanted to do was make things more difficult. Growing up was exactly what we needed. We approached our relationship with more respect and cherished what we had. When I asked her to marry me the following February, everyone was surprised because no one knew we were even dating! (Except her parents of course, whose blessing I got ahead of time as any good gentleman does.)
My career took me to starting an IT firm. My and Jess’s love for service to the Kingdom led us to being very active in church. God’s love for us led Him to consider Himself and modeled after that reflection, create a single, eternal human soul – then place it inside her body in 2007. And that changed everything.
My family is everything to me. Here we are during a photo shoot in May 2014, in one of my favorite pictures of our family. It’s just like this in a family of six – everyone going in different directions! Frustrating as it can be, it really is one of the joys of life.
My wife Jessica is an incredible mother. She’s bright and nurturing, attentive and strong, she laughs at all my goofiness and off-the-wall humor, and she truly is the glue and hub of our entire family. She’s a mother to the whole child, to each of our children. And that’s not easy, in fact it’s incredibly difficult and practically unnoticeable except to a spouse or God. Anyone can throw some food to put on the table or fold laundry (seems like she’s always doing one or the other!), but it takes an incredible woman to be a mother in the true sense of the word.
On New Year’s Eve, just a few hours before the ball dropped and welcomed 2014, while casually going about our evening, Jess and I at a single simultaneous instant felt God move in our kitchen and direct us to adopt an unborn baby named Evelyn. Out of the blue. Unprompted. Unsolicited.
The story is one of the most incredible experiences I’ve lived through, miraculous in the truest sense of the word. And now, each night in our house sleeps our little adopted baby Evie. This picture is from August 2014 and she’s five months old. (I’m her favorite person in the world. Don’t question it…that’s my reality and you don’t want to shatter it!)
One of the most memorable things anyone’s ever said about us came this past spring. Someone from our church named Angie was walking out the door after an evening at our house and she said, “You know what? You’re such a neat family.”
It warmed my heart like I can’t describe. I’m kind of goofy and get a “did he really just say that?” kind of humorous response from people, and always wanted to raise my kids to feel free to let their inner unique character come out. Through the freedom that comes with safety and unconditional love, each of us is who we are because God created us to be so. And what we do as a family is directed by our unique personalities. It’s wonderful to have that affirmation.
Here we are in July 2014 having lunch while at Storybook Land.
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