hpim1317.jpg Greg and I traveled to Dallas this weekend for a wedding of a dear friend. Throughout the weekend, we got to visit with many old dear friends, as well. We have not been away for fun since last spring break. We all need time to pull away from responsibilities and everyday life. It was refreshing…we laughed and ate good Mexican food and mostly slept well. It has been almost 7 years since we had been there together. I lived there in 1999 experiencing my first ‘big girl’ job and my first apartment on my own. As we drove through the streets of Lewisville, a heaviness came over me. Three weeks after I moved to Dallas in ’99, my mom was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Greg was traveling a lot speaking around the country, so I was sad and alone. It was probably one of the most lonely and sad parts of my life paired with the fact that I really had no idea who I was or where I was going. We made it through that time…thus the fact that I am Mrs. Pinkner. Instead of sitting in that heaviness of memory, I thought of all of the blessings I have today. The many people who know me–the real me (funny, I think I know who the real me is now, as well), a church family, deep roots in community, and fruit in my life (at times it seemed there was not even a wilting grape during that time). There are so many people that I know in need now and so much work to be done, it is hard to remember a time that I did not have that. I remember what is was like to be deep in depression…I think it was a cumulation between unconfessed sin in my life and circumstance. God began a time of purging in me. This weekend was a reminder to me as I interacted with the people from various stages of the last 10 years of my life (and many more of Greg’s life), that we are always in the process. He is always moving and growing us…purging sin, replacing it with godliness, disciplining…all in love and truth. What will I think when I look back on this time in 7 years, in 20 years? I thank him for the richness of life right now…hard, beautiful, purposeful, rich. I thank him for the partner in Greg that he has given me and how he has grown us from the first months of our dating until now. And, as we saw friends–Mike, Jeni, Agnew, Wilson, Leslie, Kevin and Lorraine, Dainon and Julie and many more–I am thankful for people along the way to laugh with, be sharpened and encouraged by, and to bear with. There are many in our lives that we get only brief glimpses of…together for a time. I love the friendships that you can just pick up when you pass…I have been blessed with many of those. I am reminded now of eternity where, in Christ, we will be together. I am also reminded how quickly things can change in our lives…our locations, our circumstances, our friends. May I hold closely to Him wherever he takes us.