2013: A look back

Chip Oglesby bio photo By Chip Oglesby

2013 has been one roller coaster of a year.

It started in January one morning when I was at the South Carolina home. A friend called to ask me if I heard that Rick Stilwell was in a wreck and if I knew if he was okay?

I didn’t know that would be the day that I would lose a close friend and mentor.

Rick’s passing was very hard on a lot of people and drew a lot of us closer together. We all gathered at his funeral to pay our respects.

Now we all remember him through his memories and online presence; facebook, twitter, and stickers that we all carry with us. #livelikerick

In February I packed my small U-haul up and headed back to the mountains of Western North Carolina.

As I said goodbye to Columbia, there was peace in my heart. My little home of six years had served me well, but I would always miss my friends.

After arriving in Asheville, I settled into a job that would always be remembered as one of the worst work environments I had ever been in.

Only a few days after starting in March, I got a call from my sister “Dad is in the hospital and it doesn’t look good.”

To understand how emotional this was for me, you would have to know that my dad was in and out of hospitals for a good part of my life. He also never told us until he would get out that he had actually been in the hospital. Frustrating, right?

My dad told me earlier in the year that he was worried I would be upset that he couldn’t make it to the wedding, but he didn’t know how to tell me.

I already knew he wasn’t going to be able to make it and reassured him I wasn’t worried.

My dad passed on March 12th and his funeral was later the next week.

During that time, I got married to the love of my life. That was the happiest day of my adult life. During that time, I was constantly reminding myself,

> > "Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5 > >

Overweight, depressed and miserable, I left my awful job in the middle of June. I had enough.

I am so thankful to have my wife in my life. She has always been my biggest champion and she gives me so much strength and courage. I don’t think I would have made it without her.

In July at my churches small group, a friend of mine introduced me to someone who would give me a new chance at redemption. His name was Matt.

Matt owns a small web company and he offered me a job. It would be a great time of healing and growing personally and professionally.

I understand now the bible verse that says “What was meant for your harm, God will use to your advantage.”

My first job served its purpose and when it was time for me to leave, that’s what I did. Now I am so much better off.

As I sit and think about all that has happened in 2013, I get both excited and nervous about this coming year.

2014 will be a year of rebuilding, rebranding, learning acceptance, growing spiritually, mentally and physically.