Saturday, October 20, 2018

Her Influence

Back in the day... there was no telling this guy anything.

"I'll never get married. I'll never have kids. No way."

I'd had some bad experiences and my stubbornness was the law of the land to me. I had it all figured out and nobody was going to tell me any differently.

Fast-forward to today... and I put on a badge that says "Child Advocate" every day when I walk into work and I've some how, some way dedicated and committed large chunks of my life to advocating for kids.

God's funny like that... isn't he?

Wanna know what was a big part of chipping away at my super tough guy, macho exterior that wanted nothing to do with kids?

The birth of this little girl in the mid 90s... that's what!

That's my niece Ansley...

The first child in my life that I would have died for...

The first child I "advocated" for and allowed to climb into my heart!

I mean look at us... I'm pretty sure she's laughing hysterically saying:

"Seriously, Uncle T... a beeper? A pager?"

A God I didn't even acknowledge back then - took the life of this little girl - and thrust her deep into my heart...

She loved me and laughed with me and taught me - with Him guiding - the LOVE OF A CHILD.

She was always a joy. Always funny. Always smiling and laughing.

And slowly... and surely... she helped to soften a hardened heart.

Years went by. I got married (God laughed at my previous stance)...

God gave us our kids and we started some work in His name... and I knew deep down in there somewhere - part of what brought me to even being able to do the work I do was the life of this little girl some 20 years ago.

And Laura and I prayed and prayed and prayed... we just knew that with as much influence she had had on ME - that she would be an amazing influence in the work going on at Brighton Academy.

And hear me... I could post a billion more pics of her life - cuz I have 'em - and she has never not loved me or my family any less than she started out with me.

I could post a bunch of those pics and tell a ton of tales of her life and her love...

But for now... I'll just post ONE more...

This one!

Because last night - with my whole crew around her - we prayed for her and sent her off with well-wishes and her Aunt Laura to head to Brighton Academy.

And my heart is full. Two of my favorite girls - headed off to be light shiners and life changers.

Ansley says crazy things like "I look up to you and Laura" and "I admire you and your life..." and crazy talk like that.

And she probably has NO IDEA what God did with my life through her.

Don't look up to me Ans! Look in the mirror and see God staring back... He used you more than you'll probably ever know.

I pray you have an amazing time and I can't wait to hear about it!

Thank you, Ansley!

Love, Uncle T

No comments: