Tomorrow is the most meaningful day on the calendar to me!
13 years ago on July 31st, 2001 I made a commitment to God to serve Him in full-time ministry!
10 years ago on July 31st, 2004 I made a commitment to my wife to have and to hold her for as long as we live!
To be honest, I didn’t even realize that I was getting married on the same day that I had committed my life to serving Jesus full-time. I only realized it when my brother pointed it out to me during his best man’s speech.
13 years ago I was in the middle of enrolling at college. I was going back-and-forth with what I ought to do. Part of me felt obligated to go into ministry but I didn’t really want to do it honestly. What I really wanted to do was pursue something with sports journalism, or broadcasting. I know, you’re astonished, right?
I was in Angola, IN at a family reunion and driving home from hitting some golf balls at a local driving range. I was following the car ahead of me for some reason and accidentally blew a stop sign. As I passed the stop sign, I was blind-sided by a pickup truck going 60mph. I was in-and-out of consciousness and all of the sudden there was a huge machine called the “Jaws of Life” prying my door open, because I literally couldn’t move an inch. They ripped the door open, loaded me on a stretcher, put me in the ambulance, and headed to the hospital.
An hour later, I left the hospital with 3 things: 1) a tiny scar under my chin, 2) a ticket for running a stop sign, and 3) a new-found perspective on life.
God spared my life. That night I got on my knees and committed to serving God. I told Him, “With this second chance, I’m going to live my life the right way. I’m going to live for you.” I enrolled in pastoral ministry the next week. God changed my attitude completely. The thing that I was running from (serving God full-time) all of the sudden became my dream. I went through 9 years of higher education and have now been serving at theCross Mount Dora for 4 years!
The 13 years since the car accident have been the greatest years of my life, in large part, due to a very special person that I met named Allison Emi Buck!
Allison and I met through a mutual friend at Concordia University Wisconsin. We hit it off right away. We were annoying to be around (at least that’s what our friends told us) because we often went into our own world. We were infatuated and would do anything for each other. She’d play Madden football with me and I’d watch some British Meryl Streep movie with her. We fell in love very quickly. We were young but I knew what I had in Allison: a beautiful, godly woman. A woman that could actually challenge me in my faith. It was an easy decision for me to ask her father if I could marry his daughter, though I’m not sure it was easy for him to say “Yes” to me!
10 years ago, Allison and I gathered at Trinity Lutheran Church in Sheboygan, WI to be married and I remember her walking down the aisle and I absolutely couldn’t believe it was happening! I started crying (shocker for a Zehnder, right?) and was just stunned at how God had blessed me to give me this woman to be my lifelong partner in marriage and in ministry.
10 years later, we are still havin’ and holdin’!
July 31st will always be a great day for me because this is the day where I am most clearly reminded of God’s blessings in my life. What blessings has God given you? Is there a specific day that you get to be reminded, celebrate, or remember that blessing? Maybe it was a day of celebration for you, like a wedding day. Or maybe it was something that at the time seemed like a tragedy, like a car accident, that later turned out to be a blessing in disguise. What days remind you of God’s blessings in your life?