2017 ends with a BANG! 2018 is off and limping…

My 2017 ended by spending the last week of the year as music director for the student team that led worship for the Cru Indianapolis Winter Conference, which was attended by about 2000 people (shown above).  For the last 15 years, I’ve helped out with Cru’s conference in Minneapolis, but this year the Indianapolis conference wanted to move to a student-led worship team, and it was fun to see all of our experiences in Minneapolis multiplied to another city.

I loved coaching them and helping them see how God will use their talents and efforts if they will take steps of faith and obedience! We’ve been getting great feedback about what a blessing to the conference they were. And for me personally, it was more gratifying to serve this way than to serve by playing guitar.

So, 2017 ended with a BANG!, and was one the year’s highlights for me.

But… my 2017 also ended with a bit of a whimper. For a while now, I’ve been suffering with left wrist issues that make it hard to practice or perform for any length of time. So, recently I had some X-Rays, an MRI, and an EMG (nerve conductance) test, and they revealed moderate-to-severe Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and DeQuervain’s Tenosynovitis in my left wrist.

Evidently, it’s just a mess in there.

I’ve had my wrist in a brace and haven’t played guitar since early December. I’ve been on meds (steroids, etc.) and have been doing stretching exercises, icing it, and getting physical therapy to try and help, but it seems likely I’ll need surgery to avoid further nerve compression and facilitate recovery.  I’m praying that whatever course of treatment we pursue, there will be enough recovery to be able to play and practice again without pain.

So 2018 is off and… limping.  But, I have been cleared by my doctors to play guitar for a conference in Spain in late January/early February, as long as I continue the other therapy, which of course I will! We’ll serve by leading worship for Cru’s short-term missionaries serving in difficult parts of the world, some in countries I can’t name publicly. It’s a blessing to them, and another true ministry highlight I’m glad I don’t have to miss. Just as soon as I get home, I have an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon (who is a highly recommended hand specialist) to determine the next steps.

Whether it’s coaching the next generation of student worship leaders, or playing myself, the work we get to do is expanding God’s Kingdom in this world. Thanks for the sacrifices you make that help us keep doing it!

Please pray…
…for safe travels for our team going to Spain, and for our other team serving a similar conference in Thailand.  And of course, pray for the continued diagnosis and treatment of my left wrist!  I’m eager to see what recovery is possible, and get back to playing/practicing regularly!