Her name isn’t APRIL…

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and I may be a FOOL, but this last week has been NO JOKE!

I know it has been almost a year since I last posted and over the last couple years I really fell off the blog-train.  But I felt like it was time to get some thoughts down on paper and also get some of the “story” out since many have asked.  I’m sure most is from genuine concern and caring while a few might be interested in the juicy-gossip tidbits (I mean let’s be honest – you know who you are! ha ha).

The last week of my life has been a true roller coaster and I won’t go into great detail as I don’t think that is what is most important, but here is the general summary and then I’ll give you my take-away thoughts.

My engagement, which many of you were highly aware of due to the pretty awesome stage for which it took place in Las Vegas, has ended.  To go a step further the relationship has been stepped away from as well.  But I do want to stress that this is not some ugly – blame-throwing, “he said, she said” mess.  Instead it was a dizzying discussion of different directions being desired and thus a realization that maybe it was best for both parties to walk away.

So yes – this is NO JOKE – I am not getting married this summer and am no longer currently in a dating relationship.  Yeah I’d say that pretty much sums up what you need to know about that.

Shortly after I had to take my vehicle in for some repairs that I believed to be minor only to find out a couple days later and $600+ poorer that it was a slight bit more than I expected.  So yeah my week was going along swimmingly!

Fortunately this little thing called EASTER showed up and I was reminded first and foremost about how these “light and momentary afflictions” (2 Cor. 4:17) pale in comparisons to what Jesus went through for me and for my former fiance’ and for our families and for the guy who fixed my car and the list goes on.  I was reminded of the Power & Victory of what we celebrated on Sunday and how it truly DOES affect my common, ordinary, sometimes awesome and sometimes sucky earthly life!  It offers TRUE REDEMPTION for all things that satan may intend for evil and to harm me.

I was excited and fortunate to share in this celebration with great friends and fellow co-workers for Christ in Wilmington, NC as they had their first ever PUBLIC service as the body of Christ called Venture Christian Church!  I watched people loving on children and telling them about the GOOD NEWS of Jesus – I saw others who have been castaway by society and sometimes even worse, our churches, who showed up with probably plenty of fear and anxiety and yet were welcomed into the arms of a suffering Savior who used a Cross to “build a bridge”.  In the midst of all of that I was reminded that relationships, much like cars, may often break down and when we least expect it or can afford it – but then there is this Jesus ready to heal and to hold until the Son – um I mean Sun breaks over the horizon!

I wish this was where the story ended as we rode off into the sunset singing camp songs and winning points for memorizing Bible verses, but life continues to be a cruel mistress at times and a strong dose of reality hit ironically on April 1st!  I was called by my tax preparation person, which I had been unusually waiting with great expectation.  You see I had planned and prepared and felt as though this year I would be at worst breaking even and at best getting a few hundred dollars back (even more ironically I was hoping for that to have money to put toward the wedding ha ha ha – silly me).  She began the normal run of questions and finishing up her documents and then she began to give me the good news, only this time her good news ended with me owing better than $2,600!

Sweet mary – did you catch that $2,600!!!???
(as a side note for those who are reading this but might not know me well – in my line of work that is not a slight sum of money that is tossed about lightly on lottery tickets or itunes or designer clothes)

But what a fitting end to this seemingly tumultuous last week or so.  I mean Jesus did say if someone slaps you on the cheek turn the other one – here’s to hoping after the 4 cheeks that I possess the slapping will be stop!

And that is when I was struck – with the compassion and caring and concern of the calls and texts and messages of those who love me.  Those who wanted to pray for me and encourage me and to visit me or me to visit them.  Those who wanted to know if they could even help financially.  I was struck with the hands and feet and heart of a resurrected Jesus who has returned to His Heavenly home and is preparing a place for me – and for you, but decided to leave His Spirit to cause people to care and to better yet carry us when the car is broken down and the wheels have fallen off the wagon of our relationships.

So yeah – her name isn’t APRIL and I may certainly be a FOOL but this most certainly isn’t a JOKE!  If I am to be a fool – let me be a fool for Christ!  A fool that may need to be hurt to be humbled, slapped to surrender or rejected to be redeemed!  And all of that is okay because the work has been done, the price has been paid the words have been uttered “It is finished!”  And all of those things I must learn to remember not merely in the good times but also during the midst of life’s cruel April Fool’s jokes.

Now what are  you doing – why are you still here – why are you still reading?

HE IS NOT HERE – HE HAS RISEN and because HE LIVES – I CAN FACE TOMORROW!

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2 Comments

Filed under My So Called Life

2 responses to “Her name isn’t APRIL…

  1. Ivy Brothers

    WOW! You are amazing. Such insight. Praying for you. Love you and your family.

  2. Ken McCrickard

    Thanks Neal for putting this out there. You have always been special but this dose of honesty has to elevate you to the next level. I’m proud to call you a friend and add my name to the list of one who is offering to help. Stay strong and continue to lead by example. You wear the Alligood name well.

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