So, we met in WalMart.
I saw you wearing your bright turquoise “Are you IN?” Northern Hills Church t-shirts and you were so young and beautiful (I’d seen you in the hallways at church) I didn’t think we were really in your league, but I passed Wrex and said,
“Yes. We’re IN.”
Then you called out to us. And Stef, you won my heart wholly when you said, “You’re Tredessa’s mom: I want to be just like her when I grow up.” Of course I adored you both right away.
Then you helped birth Heaven Fest. You just came right in and became a part of this whole crazy thing. And we never want to do it without you…not ever!
Then you just became part of the gang, family parties and holidays and even let me be there when Baby Sawyer came along, just a little less than a year ago. And you helped me make our grandbebe Christmas cards and wrote us songs and just made yourselves a place deep in our hearts.
Then you had to leave.
There you are in Texas until the new job gives you permanent placement. Could be far, far away. Or closer. But it won’t be at the corner so close by, the place you were so near. We’re so proud of you for your courage to follow Father Abraham in a faith adventure with God – just going out into the holy wild to follow His plan, in faith believing. I know it is being credited to you as righteousness. We are so proud that you have made choices setting you up to know Him more, to follow Him more closely, to be His more wholly and to be and do all He has for your lives. And you have gone together, as one with Baby Sawyer. You are a family, full of love and hope.
So I hope you have left behind fears and tears and broken things. I hope you know it is good to leave behind old baggage and unfinished projects and half-grown gardens. Because this is from God, a fresh start in a new place. It is God and it is good.
We will always hold you close
Just know that we treasure you for the gift you were to us while you were here and you will never be replaced. Your generosity and kindness, your willingness to bear our burdens and laugh with us, too, have given you place in our hearts, in our home, around our table and in the familia.
Yes. You are IN.