It has been awhile since I have written, and for that I apologize. The last 6 weeks or so have been somewhat of a roller coaster ride for me along the way …
Monday October 7, I left to attend Commissioned Officer Training with the US Air Force as part of my training to better serve the men and women of the New Mexico Air National Guard as a chaplain. The training lasted 5 weeks, and was an absolute blast! I had so much fun! Being an Air Force officer has always been somewhat of a dream of mine. So for me five weeks of getting up at 0430, marching to and participating in Physical Training (PT), marching back and forth from here to there, getting yelled at along the way for not giving the proper greeting of the day, or calling marching commands on the wrong foot, etc was all part of me "living the dream"! It really was great!
This was the high point of the roller coaster ride, but like all roller coasters there were bound to be some low points as well.
During my second week of training, I received news that my parents (who are long haul truck drivers) were involved in a serious accident just outside Boston, Massachusetts. My mom had received a broken shoulder, and my dad had been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit with more serious injuries.
Long story short, three days later my dad died.
Even now it is hard for me to write those words. It still does not seem real. For the early part of my life, my dad was my rock. We hung out together, he gave me guidance, and instilled in me convictions and morals that still direct my steps even today. I will forever be grateful that God chose Mark Clemens Kamphuis to be my dad!
Thankfully, my mom was spared more serious injury, so I still have her in my life. God is good, all the time, and I say that with deep conviction!
The thing I hold onto during this roller coaster of a ride is the promise Jesus made before He ascended to heaven. After giving what is called "The Great Commission" ("Go therefore into all the world and make disciples of all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I commanded you …") Jesus says, "And remember I am with you always even to the end of the age." God with us! He is Immanuel! He is my rock, and it is his promise that I continue to hold onto even now.
I know my dad is with Jesus, which is better by far. Being with Jesus is the goal of our faith, and it is the reason He came. He is "God with us" so that one day we can be with Him for all eternity. May the LORD bless you and keep you as you journey yourself on an occasionally bumpy, roller coaster of a ride along the way …