I’m sitting at Octane in the Grant Park area, with one of my dear friends, Bri behind me. That’s one of the things I loved about living in Atlanta…it’s this huge city, but always felt like a small town when you ran into someone.
Bri and I went to Kenya together last October. With him being here, and the thank you notes in front of me, that got me to thinking…so, here’s a public “thank you” to those people who had a hand in this trip.
Thank you to…
Andy Stanley – for creating an environment that not only brought me to church every Sunday, but that got me interested in reading the bible. For telling this “christian” girl that God desires a relationship with Him. Not just an attendance checklist. And to the entire Northpoint Community for allowing opportunities to grow with small groups, volunteering and global x.
My Kenya teammates – you made my first mission trip so easy. Each of you had a similar heart, and a desire to see and hear God in Africa. I could myself lucky to have walked away with the dearest of friends. Your enthusiasm for this opportunity has been electric, thank you for believing in me.
To Neeley, Carolyn, Katie and all the BLC girls – thank you for laying down the foundation for my relationship with God to grow. I have used your words and your technique for seeking Him. I know that I came to you during a transitional time, thank you for showing me grace and mercy, always.
To Jones Memorial – for creating opportunities as a child to grow up in a loving, christian community. A girl couldn’t have grown up in a safer environment to live and learn about our Heavenly Father. I think of you often with your stained glass windows and Christmas ornaments made of styrofoam and glitter. Or when I hear a handbell. Or the Bible Tells Me So Show.
To Cassie, Amelia, Dana and Heather – I have loved growing with you over the years in our weekly small group meetings. Of all our memories, the ones shared in each other’s living rooms have been my favorite. Thank you for letting me test the waters with being open, and showing me love and mercy.
To Jim for putting up with me during this super emotional time. For letting me cry and freak out. For keeping me busy. And for your excitement and encouragement of this adventure.
My Cambodia teammates – for showing me God in another language. For showing me through Kate and Rolanda that I wasn’t crazy for thinking about becoming a missionary. To Claire for taking the giant leap of faith – I can’t wait to walk with you next year! And to Carrie for allowing me to witness her great love of the people of Cambodia, especially those kids.
To my folks for being so patient with me as I figure this out. And for adapting to change with me. I know my leaving doesn’t only change my life, but it changes yours. Thank you for taking care of Page…she means the world to me.
To Kristen, Jillian, Julie, Ashley and Lindsay, for being the people I do life with. For supporting me. For telling me the truth when I don’t want to hear it. For making life a little sweeter, and for making it that much more difficult to leave.
To my Tanner group for being the best friends a girl could grow up with. I was always jealous of our parents relationship, and then I realized that we had one of our own.
To my family; aunts, uncles and cousins for your support of me. I am realizing that most families aren’t like ours. And I am grateful for all the time together. Thank you for the get togethers every holiday, every birthday and every celebration. Growing up seeing each other each week is normal for me. Keep it up, even when it gets harder.
To Nana for telling me after I told her I was moving, “I’ve been waiting for this phone call.” I can’t imagine going through this next Bachelor season without you. Expect our phone calls to be about what’s going on with that.
To Mitchell, Margaret, Joel and Lauren and their family group. Prior to meeting with you guys, I had on more than one occasion shared with friends that I wasn’t sure what I was doing. Not only did y’all provide a safe space to share my story, but you encouraged me with your words. You made me feel my story mattered. That I had a purpose. So thank you for showing me that.
And to the countless others who encourage me with sweet words. Even when I don’t know what I’m doing….you know He does. Thank you for your part in sharing His word in Africa. May the world feel smaller to you.
all my love,
PS – After running through the list, it is apparent that I will forget someone. If that is you, know that it’s not on purpose. Call me out on it, and I’ll publicly make it up to you. ab