I Thought I would jump on the bandwagon and give my top ten events in my life over the last ten years. Without a doubt the last ten years have come with the biggest changes ever in my life with the coming of 5 boys and lots of other stuff you will see below and not in any particular order of importance, but in chronological order.
1. The Birth of our first Son Luke Timothy Kunkel – May 09, 2000
The birth of my first son would forever change my life in many ways. Luke was a special blessing. Jennifer’s pregnancy with Luke came with its challenges. Jennifer took the blood test that you can take with pregnancies. That test indicated a possiblity of Triconomy 18 which praise God was not the case, but brought some fear. Luke was what we thought a “normal” baby when he was born. I still remember the day, he was born through C-section as he was breech. We had to travel 2 hours to Oklahoma City from Wichita Falls, TX where we were living at the time because I was in the Air Force. The Hospital their was having issues with its operating rooms so we had to travel to OKC.
We would later that year find out that Luke had a hole in his heart. We would also find out that Luke was what we thought at the time just developmentally delayed. More on Luke later in the list.
2. My “Call” into Ministry – Fall of 2002
At the time I was involved in Youth Ministry at our church University Heights Baptist Church. We were serve at a youth retreat. God began to speak to me clearly there that the prompting of His Spirit that I had been ignoring for years was indeed some sort of leading into vocational ministry. What at the time I did not know! That call has since been clarified as a Pastoral Call into Urban Church Planting. That clarity came through a number of circumstances as did my general call into ministry. I think that we can often get caught up in a one time call, which I think is important but often times a calling is revealed little by little as we are faithful and obedient where God has us! Romans 12:1-2
3. The Birth of our Second Son – Levi James Kunkel – December 31, 2002
Levi was born at 8:20pm New Years Eve. Just in time for another tax break in 2002! His birth was a long and difficult one. Jennifer’s labor with him was about 20 hours in length. He was also born with a cleft lip and palate which was very scary. We had no clue this was going to happen even though we had numerous
Those first few months and even years were very challenging with several surgeries and procedures and hundreds of Dr Appointments with both Luke and Levi.
4. The Birth of Our Third Son – Jacob Daniel Kunkel – October 20, 2005
Jacob was born and was such a blessing! He was our first baby born that did not have any medical complications. So we were able to enjoy him in ways we couldn’t with Luke & Levi!
5. Luke – Winter of 2005
In the winter of 2005 we had some extensive testing done for Luke to find out what was really going on with him. At this point we were told and thought he was just developmentally delayed, because he didn’t walk until he was 2 1/2 and didn’t talk until sometime about 3 or 4 and in fact still is not real clear with his speech.
But through this day long extensive testing we found out that Luke had a moderate mental disability. This diagnosis really rocked my world as well as Jennifer’s. We were not expecting this and it was hard to handle. Not necessarily this diagnosis but the realities that came with it. Such as Luke would most likely live with us the rest of our lives, he would never get past a 6th grade education level or so, and he would never lead a “normal life”. And many other realities. Most of these realities shattered the many dreams you have for your kids as a father.
But Luke has been a special blessing and God has taught me many things and continues to teach me many things through Luke. God’s plans are not our plans, but His way is higher and better!
6. Birth of Joel Thomas Kunkel – February 15, 2008
I can remember Joel’s birth coming 3 weeks early and we were not prepared. For one I was pretty sick and couch bound. I was just starting to recover after several days off work and was at my first day back and Jennifer called and said her water had broke. So that was probably the most “exciting” birth as I got to rush home and then rush her to the hospital. All of the other births were scheduled with the exception of Levi I think.
Joel is a lot of fun. We have nick named him tank as he is all boy and likes to play rough and eat everything in sight!
7. My Graduation from College – May 2008
It only took me 12 years to finish college. But needless to say this was a big accomplishment for me as by this time we had 4 children. I finished college while a, husband, father of four boys, working full time, and heavily involved in ministry.
8. My Commissioning/Ordination as Pastor – June 15, 2009
I was officially commissioned as a Pastor after working for 6 1/2 years to get there. It was an honor and privilege to be called by God and the Pastors at Indy Metro Church to be commissioned. It is a joy to serve as a pastor at Indy Metro Church.
9. The Birth of our Fifth Son – Caleb Mark Kunkel – October 9, 2009
Caleb has been a lot of fun. We are trying to enjoy him as much as possible as we plan on this being our last child. He has been somewhat fussy, but the last couple of weeks have been much better as I have had several evening when I could snuggle with him for over an hour without him being fussy.
10. Levi’s Salvation & Baptism – 2009
I remember at the beginning of 2009 praying about and hoping that this would be the year when Levi would come to know Jesus. Earlier this year he did just that. We regularly talk about the gospel with our kids. One night when we were doing that Levi told us he had prayed and trusted Christ already. So we talked about that and it was clear he had made that decision. Not just from his words but also from his actions as there was a noticable difference in his behavior after his conversion.
In the summer of 2009 I was able to baptize him as well. It is such a joy to see your children following the Lord. It my prayer and goal to see the rest of our children come to know Jesus in this next decade. Levi also just led his friend to the Lord just this week. It is awesome to see him excited about leading his friends to Christ too.
It has been an awesome 10 years! I have lots to be thankful for and lots to be praising God for! It is a joy to be a husband to a great wife of 11 years and father of 5 awesome boys. We are blessed beyond description. I am looking forward to what God has in store for us over the next 10 years if the Lord does not return before then. Most of all what a Joy it is to know and serve the risen Savior Jesus Christ my Lord! All of these joys and blessings are not possible apart from him. Without Him I am Nothing! John 15:5