The end of the trip, the beginning of the journey…

Thursday night found me at a condo with Josh Cousineau and Ramsey Tripp thinking over the past week. With no internet there, I wrote this up and have only done minor edits since then…

As mentioned, it’s been a long week. I’m fried, ready to head home, unpack, and sleep in my own bed for a change. But as I sit here looking over Lake Michigan from a condo that we have borrowed for the day, I find myself restless. I am tired, but I don’t want to sleep. At the same time, I feel that if I begin to read a bit, I’ll fall into a restless sleep. I would much rather sit and contemplate.

Over the past week I have heard from some great preachers of the Word in person! This is something that I never thought God would give me the chance to do. I have heard from Tim Keller, John Piper, Phil Ryken, Mark Driscoll, Josh Harris, K. Edward Copeland, Ajith Fernando, D.A. Carson, Ligon Duncan, Bryan Chapell, and a few others. These guys were all focused on one thing- giving glory to Jesus.

I was encouraged, challenged, provoked to thought and prayer, and strengthened in my faith in Christ. In addition to that, I have received some great resources that I will be making my way through as I continue on through this year (it’s the 60 book goal rearing its head again!).

But it isn’t just going to the Gospel Coalition that I have benefited from. Truly, I could have received the same words (and saved money) by just staying home and listening to the messages online as they came out. So what was the greatest benefit?

The two who were of greatest benefit to me were Josh Cousineau and Ramsey Tripp.

One of the things that I heard this week from (I think) Mark Driscoll was that in ministry, and life in general, it is important to seek the counsel of godly guys who are older than you. You can have friends of your own age but when you are going through struggles, problems, and life, your peers can only be of so much help. You must have older mentors. Almost every night I have stayed up late just chatting about life with these guys. There has also been the car rides with them (17+ hours one way). True, I was asleep for some of these rides, but over all, our time has not been squandered.

So what can I benefit from conversations with them?

Think about it. I’m a just-turned-twenty year old hanging out with two married-with-children guys for just under a week. Hmmmm… what can they teach me? Besides the obvious of how to serve God better, the even more obvious is how to be a husband. At the time of my writing, I’m a single 20 year old who is less than half way through college, dirt poor, and getting ready to serve more in my local church. Am I close to marriage? The Lord will decide that one, but there is no time like the present to prepare!

I truly believe that God has called me to marry. I am a guy in the truest sense of the word which means that there are obvious sexual desires that God has placed in me. I will be in need of a wife!

This is one reason God brought me to the Gospel Coalition. Here, I observed how two godly men daily show love and care for their wives through everything. They would call, text, email, facebook, whatever, daily! While not always talking about their wives (Anna and Kristen) I could tell that the guys had them on their minds, along with their children. Josh and Ramsey loved being here in the Mid West, but they love God and their wives more.

This is my encouragement.

A late night chat with Ramsey on this topic ended in him praying for me to have wisdom, guidance, and discernment in my current situation (20 year old, broke college kid; or, the 20 year old blogger that Driscoll always talks about!). I was then further encouraged when I heard that John Piper had to wait two years to marry his (now) wife Noel. So truly my greatest need is patience.

Patience for the right woman to come along.

Patience for her and me to be where we need to be for marriage.

Patience for God to move me in that direction.

Patience, patience, patience.

Who said this was easy?

We never said it was… but with guys like Josh and Ramsey to encourage me to wait on God and trust in His grace- the load is as big as a small stone.

Thank you, God, for these godly guys with great wives, great kids, and great hearts for You! They have greatly encouraged me in my search for a help-mate!

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