September 1, 2014

by Matt Konow, Executive Director

This year it’s different. For the past 16 years I have had friends and family ask me the question, “Are the girls ready for school to start?” This year, however, the question that has been posed is “Are YOU ready for school to start?” The reason that the question has changed is that my wife, Amy, and I are reaching a rather significant milestone.

We have been extremely blessed by having at least one of our two daughters attend either Emmanuel – St. Michael or Concordia Lutheran High School since 1998. This year, however, both of our daughters are leaving for college. They won’t be there every day. This is a BIG CHANGE!! Many times this past summer, Amy and I have looked at each other and asked, “How did we get here?!”


I know that quite a few of you have gone through this transition, and that many of you are making similar transitions as well.   From the moment we hold our children in our arms, we know that changes are going to take place. No matter how we plan (or in some cases refuse to acknowledge it), nothing really quite prepares us for these “milestone” moments. The pride as you watch them grow, the tears as you realize they don’t need you as much as they used to, the joy in watching them face adversity on their own and learn from it. All of these feelings may make you ask, “How did we get here again?!”

There are times when we ask ourselves that same question in a different context. It could be the unexpected death of a loved one, the sudden loss of a job, a change in a relationship that you didn’t see coming and don’t know how to cope with. We all, at some point in life, will be driven to our knees by an event that turns our world upside down. The worry and the fear that can choke us and make it difficult to breathe leave us feeling like we are alone. The enemy excels at exploiting our sinful nature to gravitate toward feelings of helplessness and anxiety when things happen in our lives that we don’t understand or aren’t equipped to handle. By focusing so intensely on these earthly concerns, we sometimes forget just how blessed we are from an eternal perspective. That is why our Heavenly Father sent Jesus into this world. We have a Savior who willingly came down from heaven, who willingly lived a perfect life, who willingly took our sins upon himself, who willingly died a gruesome and terrifying death on the cross in our place, who willingly descended into hell, and who TRIUMPHANTLY rose again in glory and majesty! God commanded the people of Israel after the death of Moses in Joshua 1:9; “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Take comfort from these words when you face challenges and changes that make you feel discouraged, afraid, or alone!! Carry them in your hearts and your minds so that you can hear the assurance found in Romans 8: 38-39; “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”