Thank you, God, for the last three years.
It's been an amazing journey that I could have never imagined or designed myself.
The last year has been a difficult time that has exposed and tried me in ways I would have never imagined or designed myself.
I moved from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Enid, Oklahoma exactly three years plus one week ago today.
It took the first three months before I ever even once felt homesick. It was Easter weekend. Easter Sunday. And after three months, the pangs of not having seen my family in as much time hit me all at once that day.
I sent a package back home to the kids - my brother and two sisters - with everything they would need to assemble their own Easter basket.
I wish I could have been their when it arrived - to help them put it together.
There were only a few major holidays where I wouldn't be able to see my family. It's hard for someone - a kid, really - who's moved out of his house for the first time and living 500 miles away.
I thought I knew what to expect. I had been fairly warned of the differences between Albuquerque and Enid - between big city and small city living. I had friends educate me on how small the community is and how much there is - or isn't - to do here. In fact, I felt so well-informed that I barely had any culture shock upon arrival.
Although, I'll admit - it took me awhile to realize that when people referred to Walmart or Starbucks - you never had to follow up with "Which one?" There is only one.
The thing I didn't expect - that I didn't realize would happen to the extent it did - was how much I would learn about myself out here and just how much that would change me.
Like I said, this last year has been especially difficult and, at times, even painful but the resulting change has grown me into a better person with a greater understanding of myself.
If if it had been up to me, I would have skipped over all of the pain. I would have bypassed the parts where I hurt myself and others through my actions. I may have strayed from the best path for my life but God still has a plan.
It's been a journey that I would have never imagined or designed myself.
And the next year will be a journey I can only begin to imagine and who's design I leave up to God.
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Directors and Producers
Lucky 13 and the Spelling Bee