Saturday, April 19, 2008

"It Is Finished . . ."

"It is finished." - Jesus Christ

I've always thought those were the most dramatic words ever spoken. Every time I read Jesus saying them I feel a little shiver run through me. Today I spoke them myself. Today I graduated. Of course, unlike Jesus, I am not saving the human race, nor even accomplishing anything outstanding really. And I have two more classes to polish off during the summer. But something changed for me today when I graduated.

First, I think I accepted the truth; I am now a counselor. Whatever that means, I am it! Somehow in my mind I had convinced myself that I was just a guy expanding my theological and psychological knowledge. A course here, a course there. The self-deception felt necessary sometimes - to protect myself. I'm in a program where the practicums are pass/fail; you either can do it (counseling) or you can't. I've seen the pain of those who didn't make it. After surviving three years of it, I feel like I guess I'm somewhat "legit." At least my school think so!

Secondly, now that I have graduated, I can feel the responsibility to do good with what I have learned. It is time to "get in the game," to reengage in ministry. Not only this, but I feel like a new chapter of my life is beginning and that so many things in my life need to change. I am excited about this new inner drive to serve and improve, I love change.

Thirdly, I am extremely humbled and thankful My family (my poor family!) has supported me greatly the past few years. Jobina's sacrifices alone could fill an entire book. My kids have put up with a lot. And my parents and Jobina's have been so supportive, caring, and understanding, that when I think about it I get pretty emotional. And to my friends who I've most ignored - thanks for not giving up on me. Seriously, thank you to everyone who's supported or encouraged me - I don't honestly think I could have made it without you.

Lastly, I realized that I need to recharge. My frantic pace combined with too many responsibilities and my penchant for procrastination has left me feeling "thin" and tired. Tired emotionally, physically, socially, and above all spiritually. I need to reconnect to God, my family, my friends, and even my self. I look forward to a season of refreshment.

I'm not sure what God will have for me after the summer, but I'm praying that I will be open to it. Whoever you are reading this, May God bless you today as he has me. Adieu.

May Light increase!


Lee said...

We're excited for you and your family!

Anonymous said...

Like I said on Jobina's blog. It was a team effort! To see team Westman in action has been truly inspiring! Congratulations to you for entering this new chapter of your life! I know you are going to be amazing at whatever it is that God has planned for you. I'll be praying that your summer courses are not too taxing and that you find time to rest and regroup. Now is the time to focus on that wonderful upcoming vacation of yours! Have a great time!

Love you all!

Stacey said...

Congratulations Mark! The pictures Jobina posted on Facebook and her blog are great! You look happy and relieved as I'm sure you are. It IS finished, the door closes... and now another one opens with new challenges, changes, opportunities, and hopefully you will take the time to regroup. As Michele said, your great vacation is a good place to start and thankfully its coming up real soon!

Way to go Team Westman!

Elayne said...

CONGRATULATIONS Mark! What an accomplishment! We are SO PROUD of you and we are confident you will be the best counselor out there!!
So glad to hear that you are aware of the need to be recharged and have taken steps to do that.
Wish we could have been there to see you accept your diploma so we appreciate all the pictures Jobina has posted all over the map!
God bless, strengthen and keep you in the days ahead.
Mom & Dad

Rayna said...

I already said it too, but it is so worth saying again and again! CONGRATULATIONS! So happy for you that you made it through and can now apply all that knowledge.
As for needing a break - that is totally understandable. I pray Belize will be that for both you and Jobina and that you both come back refreshed and refocused and ready to get into the new norm that your family will have now that the school chapter is pretty much over!