For 28 years I’ve been able to call Highland home. I grew up here. The memories I have and the relationships I have built have impacted me greatly. From growing up through children’s programs, choir, and RAs, and later having youth ministers like John Gribbins, Virginia Boaz, Mike Harper, and Lyle Edwards. And being able to go on a mission trip to Macedonia in the spring of 2005 during my senior year of high school.
I suppose my most meaningful faith-based experience was when I was eight years old. I was born with Neurofibromatosis and Scoliosis and at the age of 8 had spinal fusion surgery to correct a 67 degree curve in my spine. That was something that was tough for me then and at times is still tough for me today. However, that experience is what lead me to become a Christian. I can still remember coming out of surgery and doctors asking me to wiggle my fingers and my toes…when I was able to do that, I knew that God was real, that he was in control, that I was in his hands and that he was watching over me.
I feel this experience shaped my life and directed me down my selected career path as a mental health therapist. My purpose on this earth, for as long as I live, is to help others, to be present with them, and to be the hands and feet of Jesus, going wherever, and doing whatever it is that I am called to do.
When I think about a Bible verse that has specific meaning to me, I think of Matthew 6:25-27 which reads: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?…” and that chapter, in verse 34, goes on to say “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
I look forward to this deacon journey on which I am about to embark and thank you all for this opportunity to serve. ~ Tyler Swim