I met Madi five years ago. I was interning with the youth group at my church, and she was entering her final year of high school. I’m pretty sure I was supposed to be the “adult”, mentoring the students and helping them learn more about themselves, about Christ, and about each other. But, turns out that when you hang around high schoolers…you become like them…and I loved every minute of it. I had a blast hanging out with them and seeing their carefree passion for life and their love for their Savior. It was contagious. Amongst many of the other students, Madi & I hit it off right away; laughing at the same stuff that no one else got, and finding ourselves coming up with secret codes and jokes that would cause people to just shake their heads. Ahh, those were the days.
Madi and I always seemed to “get” each other. I grew from mentoring her, into being her friend…and I considered it such an honor to walk through life with her. Although most of the times we experienced together were full of joy & celebration, we also experienced times of heartache…like the day our dads were diagnosed with cancer.
Though we’re so much alike, this is one thing we never hoped to have in common. But God works in mysterious ways…and through even the worst of times, we’ve had beautiful opportunities to hold each other up. Last weekend, she decided to surprise her family and fly home from Texas to spend some time with them…and I was blessed to get to spend time with them too.
I absolutely love this family. Maybe because they remind me of my own. Kreg is one of those dads who exudes a quiet strength, a bravery…something you can’t put your finger on, but you know it’s there. He is not only an amazing Godly man and father, but a pillar of strength for his family. He has a kind heart and a gentle spirit…and it only takes a few minutes of being around him to know how proud he is of his family. He’s facing one of the hardest battles of his life, but he faces it with unwavering trust in the One that holds His hand through it all.
Leslie is more than a mom & a wife. She’s an encouragement to her family, reminding them that even through tough times, they are still blessed. She’s the beautiful woman that stands behind her husband, knowing that each moment with him is precious. She’s the tender mom that loves her children more than life itself…and it shows in everything she does.
And let’s not forget Payton. He’s 16 and on the brink of what should be some of the best years of his life. Yet while other kids his age base their existence on school, popularity, and sports, he knows the important things in life, and doesn’t take them for granted. He walks with a maturity that looks much the same as the man he calls dad.
I know I got a little carried away talking about this family, but I couldn’t help myself. They choose faith over fear every single day. They choose today’s blessings rather than the worries of tomorrow.
They’re amazing. I think you’ll think so, too.