I'm twenty-six. I'm celebrating my five year anniversary in just a few days (Cinco de Mayo) by taking a much needed vacation to Asheville, North Carolina, where I hope to enjoy some rest and some fun times with Keisha and Avonlea. Keisha and I visited Asheville for our honeymoon, and it only seems fitting to return now.
I'm not much on sentimentality, at least for most things. I prefer to live in the Now and look ahead to the Later. The Past is an ever fading whisper that lives only in the mind and hearts of us all. Holding onto childhood trinkets and slips of paper seems mostly pointless to me. But now that Avonlea is here, I'm finding that there are some things that I want to keep. Why? I can't say for certain. Perhaps it's to help her understand a part of the Story that is her life.
Today is the last day of the A to Z challenge. I've pretty much winged most of these posts off the cuff, with little foresight and no real plan of action. For today I've decided to list (in no order) some of the zeniths of my life, some of those times I can look back and see myself on the top of the mountain, so to speak. To be honest, it's harder than it sounds. I've lived a blessed and happy life. I consider much of my life to be in the upper elevations of the mountains. Anyway, below are three major highlights.
1. My salvation from sin and hell by Jesus happened when I was eleven. I didn't know exactly what that meant and how to apply that to my life for several more years, but it was then when the Spirit first called to me and I responded in earnest.
2. Keisha married me. The wedding was a blur and the church was packed. We had several friends and family come in, some even foregoing the Kentucky Derby (which was on 5/5/07) to celebrate our nuptials. I played hangman with my groomsmen in a Sunday School room while waiting for the event to start. We asked one of the pastors to present the Gospel during our wedding, as we knew that this was one of the only times several people in attendance would step inside a church. I had a Darth Vaders shaped and colored groom's cake, though I didn't get to come in to the "Imperial March" as I'd hoped. Five years later and I'm more in love now than I was then.
3. Avonlea Brynn Stewart came into this world in a rush of emergency due to Keisha's soaring blood pressure and loss of fluid. We went to a regular check-up and two hours later I was in scrubs and brain addled. I remember it all very clearly. I paced back-and-forth outside the operating room, staring at myself in the small mirror, heart pounding, my breath fogging my glasses beneath the hospital scrubs I had on. I was rushed inside, where I took Keisha's hand in mind and waited. Soon a baby cried and Daddy followed suit. I had a daughter.
I could talk about the euphoria that follows a challenging game of tennis that I happen to win. I could bring up the day I graduated college with my engineering degree. There are so many more things in my life that are high points that I'm stunned thinking about them. I'm incredibly blessed. Likewise, there are plenty of vales and caverns between the peaks, things that have grieved me to no end, and I'm just as stunned thinking about those.
I'm twenty-six years old and I am the person I am today because of the zeniths and voids I've lived through. I like to think of my life as a slow rising slope, ever-moving upward and to greater heights. There are interruptions and downslopes, some severe, but they are not enough to sway the line downward. By myself I would definitely be approaching uncharted depths, but thankfully I am not by myself. No, I have the constant presence of the Spirit within me, guiding me. I have the loving arms of a wife to encourage and help me whenever I need her. I have the undeniable and unconditional love of a daughter that sees me as her Daddy. I have friends and family that are united by something stronger than blood. I have a community that challenges and inspires me. I'm zenith living, and I praise God because of His manifold blessings on me. Even when I cannot understand how He's working in certain situations, I know that He is, and that's good enough for me.