Full Circle







Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

Nestled in the Hudson Valley, approximately 90 miles north of New York City, is my home town of Hyde Park. Except for a year of early marriage adventure (when my bride and I lived in Florida) I have lived here my entire life (to date anyway!).

I’m a free range, organic type of person. I usually don’t fit well into a box or a formulaic pattern of doing things… it just doesn’t work for me.

For years this town didn’t work for me.

I was an outcast to most… the poverty I grew up in kept me from social success (whatever that is). The abuse I suffered at home stunted my personality and kept me in the shadows. I existed on the edges, roaming the outer rims of life, hoping for a chance to be accepted. The dream of leaving this place of curses was always present but always teasing me with false expectations. I knew I wasn’t going… anywhere.

Then Messiah came.

If anyone belongs to Christ, there is a new creation. The old things have gone; everything is made new! 2 Corinthians 5:17

Living on the edge took on a whole new meaning, it wasn’t meaningless exile… it was the adventure of discovering who I really was. The desperate years of wanting escape has been replaced by a love for the town that seemed bent on my ruin.

Here I am… full circle.

Tonight I give the invocation at the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce meeting. I get the honor of praying a blessing over the town that once held nothing but curses for me. Over influential movers and shakers of my small community, I get to impart words of life… the Messiah’s words.

Would you join me in that prayer?



Dusty Rayburn said…
Amazing grace and love heals the most vicious of wounds and enables us to become an agent of His restoration and power.

I will join you in prayer.
Jay Cookingham said…
Thanks Sheila! The Father sure knows how to set up a story doesn't He?
Jay Cookingham said…
Amazing is the word Dusty...thanks Bro'!
Jay Cookingham said…
Bill, I so desired to make a difference in this small town of mine. So thankful that God is giving me that opportunity!
jasonS said…
God is the Master of turnaround for sure. What an awesome testimony! Thanks Jay and praying with you.
Dan Black said…
Praying God greatly uses you.
TCAvey said…
It's awesome how God works!

Your post reminds me of my own past. I hated the small town I grew up in, but as I'm getting older I long for it. Only God knows if He will one day bring me back there...I think I'd appreciate it now.
Jay Cookingham said…
Thanks TC! It's amazing how God has turned my heart around...it would be very difficult to get me to leave now.
Jay Cookingham said…
Thanks for the prayer support Jason!

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