A few things that I've read lately have made me think a lot about the people who have had the greatest influence on my life so far. For the most part, they're not well known people . . . they're family, and youth leaders, and summer camp counsellors . . . people who took an interest in my life. They're the people who cared about how I was really doing and took the time to answer my questions, and listen to my struggles, and encourage and pray for me. Honestly, I don't know where I would be today without them.
When I think about these people, I realize that I want to be someone like that in other people's lives. I don't want to just pass though my life and not take the time to really care about someone. I want it to be my priority to take the time to really listen and encourage those I meet.
Really, this post is just to say thanks to those people cuz I know some of them read this blog.
Thanks to my incredible family . . . my parents and my grandparents in particular. I've always known that you were there and that I could come to you with anything. Thank you for being there and for showing me the way to go by how you live, not just by what you say.
To the amazing youth leaders that I had during high school . . . my youth pastor and my small group leaders. You probably knew more about my struggles with things in high school than my family did and you were always encouraging when I needed to talk. And you weren't afraid to challenge me when I needed it. Especially one small group leader who came back year after year . . . when my world in high school began to fall apart cuz I was no longer able to play sports I didn't really tell anyone, but so often it seemed like you knew exactly what to say when I needed to hear it.
To my summer camp counsellors . . . I think all of you had some kind of an impact, but one in particular . . . I was privileged to spend a lot of time with you - first with you as the junior cabin leader for a cabin I was in, then with you as my cabin counsellor, then with you in charge of the junior staff program when I was junior staff, and then working with you as summer camp staff for two summers. I consider it a privilege to have been able to learn from you and to have been able to work with you. Your love for the kids and for God inspired me in so many ways.
And then of course there are many friends who have come and gone in my life . . . some for short periods of time and others for many years . . . you have all played a huge role in who I am today whether you knew it or not. Your encouragement and the time that I could just enjoy spending with you has also helped to shape me.
And my Bible college profs . . . after going to university for two years I was amazed by how much all of you cared individually about each student in your classes. And to one in particular . . . in your Spiritual Formation class . . . your heart, your love for God, and your desire to see each student grow was so obvious in everything you did - from the discussions in class to the comments you wrote on my assignments. You weren't afraid to push me in my walk with God and you were willing to share yourself too.
I'm sure I could list more people if I spent more time. None of these people are well-known authors or speakers . . . but all of them has played a huge role in who I am today just by their presence in my life. I think I need to be more intentional about letting these people know how much I appreciate them and the role they have played in my life. I so often take them for granted. Yet, I know that I have been hugely blessed to have them in my life.