Dear Journal,
I received my Greek final back last night and lets just say this one won’t be posted on the refrigerator. Throughout the day and into the night my mind was racing about several students who have fallen through the cracks. I have these moments every few months where I  a) really hurt for certain students b) can’t see the good God has done, only the failures of me, the youth ministry and my church. So what did I do to get out of this funk of failure? I go to the store late at night and buy a huge package of fake crab meat and devour it on my way home. You know, the stuff that is really pink and comes in sticks? So as I’m munching on this “Krab with a K” I begin to think of the last place we lived because the Krab tasted like Wrightsville Beach smelled at low tide. At this point, I’m a flippin’ mess in need of a good night sleep.

I woke up this morning feeling the weight of several students and I could tell I was still in my funk. So I began to clean the house. (Cleaning the house can be therapeutic if you are in ministry because you can actually see completion!) As I was throwing away junk mail I saw a letter written to me from a student I had many years ago. To paraphrase she said:

Hey Nate, I just wanted to let you know you are thought of today! As I continue to get older and have new spiritual leaders and mature in my faith, I always look back and remember you. You were the first constant leader in my life who taught me to meet people where they are just like Jesus did and that “God don’t make no Junk!”

God used this young lady in a mighty way this morning! I began to cry tears of thankfulness (drama queen, I know) as I handed the letter to my wife. Then I sat down at my computer and had an email from another student from many years ago who wanted my advice as she discerns a call into ministry. OK God, I hear you.


With a grateful heart and a sick stomach due to impulsive eating,