Tuesday, September 30, 2008

the seasons of email

So I was doing some thinking the other day (I know, it was a scary experience), and I discovered something about the correlation between seasons of my life and my email addresses. It turns out that I seemed to always change my email address (for whatever reasons) at about the same time that a season of my life was changing. Let's take a walk down the past 12 years...

Winter-ish 1997 - I had been out of high school for about 8 months or so, and had been saved for just over a year. I experienced my first Winterfest (in Lancaster, PA!!) and had discovered that there was more to serving Jesus than just attending church; He wanted me to actually live for Him! Getting saved was great, but living for God became a whole new & wonderful thing. At some point we had gotten a computer at home and I was finally able to connect to the internet. My very first email address was DrwMeCls2U@aol.com (stands for Draw Me Close to You, just like the song). It defined the passion of my heart and my first steps in this thing called Christianity.

Summer 1999 - I found out that I was accepted to join a program called Master's Commission, a 9 month discipleship program for college students. I had never dreamed that this kind of thing would actually happen to me, eventhough I had hoped for it for over 2 years. I had no idea how I was going to pay for it, how I would get there, what I would do if things didn't work out, or what I would do afterwards. All I knew is that I was about to do something amazing that I desired to do with all of my heart. That summer I chaged my email to Sparky35n6@yahoo.com (from Proverbs 3:5-6, "trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths."), just because I wanted a cool new address. Two weeks before I was to leave for MCDC, with no money to pay for the year at all and hardly any support from home, I started to pack up my stuff. I simply stepped out in faith and trusted what I felt God was telling me to do. That year marked the start of an incredible change in my life. My relationship with God grew so much deeper and stronger - I have never been the same since.

Sometime in 2002 - I had spent 3 years with MCDC, was the Assistant Director of the program, and was facing a lot of changes related to the future of that program - where were we going to live, what was our name going to be, will we still have financial support, are we going to have to close down? At some point during that year, and for some unknown reason, I changed my email to Sparx1925@yahoo.com (from Job 19:25, "For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He will stand at last on the earth." aka my favorite verse). The only thing that I knew to be constant was God and that hope that I had in my Redeemer. We moved our operations to the campgrounds in Columbia, MD and the program stayed alive for 2 more years before we closed it down on our terms. I stayed in the area and ended up getting a job with the school system working at an Outdoor Education Center and renting an apartment with a friend of mine. I was now trying to figure out what to do with my life and where to go from that point.

Summer 2005 - I was getting ready to move from Pasadena, MD to Westminster, MD and I had no clue what I was going to do when I got there. I was excited about moving to a new area where there were people that already knew...kinda. Before the move, I changed my email yet again, to carpe_deo@yahoo.com (carpe meaning to seize, deo meaning God). In the midst of all the uncertainty, God was the One person that I continued to hold onto. I ended up working part time for the Westminster Church of God, and then full time as the Youth Pastor, and finally switching roles as the Discipleship Pastor/part time substitute teacher.

Looking back on those different periods of life and the particular emails that I have had, I can see how God was speaking to me and carrying me into the next season. I can even see how those periods reflect the seasons of nature. We all go through these seasons if we will pay attention to it - and not all seasons are as fun and fruitful as others.

DrwMeCls2u: Spring - New life, excitement, growth
Sparky35n6: Summer - Continued growth, a time for breaking from normal routine of life.
Sparx1925: Fall - Growth isn't as visible, change is happening, low enthusiasm
carpe_deo: Winter - Not much activity, growth drastically slows down, few periods of excitement. (that is not to say that life at Westminster has been horrible, cause I have enjoyed being here so far - only that personally, things have been a little life-less...if that makes sense.)

So my seasons seem to last about 3 years before changing to a new one. And here I am standing on the brink of a new season, with a new email address. I can honestly say that I did not see a new season coming and decide that it would be cool to change my email. I decided to change my email (out of what I feel God saying to me) and after seeing a pattern from my past, can discern that God is getting ready to change my season. What excites me is that the next season in the cycle is spring, and with it, comes the potential for amazing things.

There is more that I'm sure I could share, but I know that I've gone long enough. Based on my previous post, and what God has been speaking, my new email address is silentecho27. If you are one of my regular contacts, you will be getting an email very soon about this change. If you want to know why I'm changing it, just read the really long post before this really long post!


Regina said...

By comparison, my email journey has been pretty lame. I've had the same address since... well... since I first had an email account.

But it's nice to look back on the different seasons of your life, and on the verses that pulled you through. For me, it's always fun to re-read books and find the notes I've made/post-its I've stuck in the margins.

April E. :) said...

Wow...I haven't had an email journey like that. I feel as though I am missing out a little.

Oh and Winterfests in Lancaseter PA...with the Octagonal or was it Hexagonal Hotel...and freezing outdoors temps waiting to get in.


I kinda miss it.