At the end of our senior year of high school a fellow classmate handed me a wallet sized picture of herself. She had written a nice message on the back. It was the things to do at our school in 1994. I thanked her and immediately flipped it over to see her precious words. Perfect bubbly letters said, “Never change! Stay just the way you are! xoxo.” [flowers, smiley faces, hearts and her signature.] Even though she had already walked away I said out loud, “Well, that ain’t gonna happen.”
I didn’t intend on freezing myself at the maturity level of a high school graduate. I appreciate her sentiment; she affirmed my character. Nice. Still, I had ambitions of change, things I wanted to learn, places I wanted to go. In pursuit of these goals I refused to stay the same.
Quite a few years have passed since then. I have met so many people who have been like rocks along a stream altering its course, altering my course. I procrastinated with this list because I reached 10 too fast and still had a huge pile of people to name who changed my life. I decided to, instead, make a list of people groups. In fact, these people groups continue to determine the direction of my life. For that I am eternally grateful.
10. Antagonists – Challenge me to be strong and know what I believe.
9. Bosses – Taught me the value of a strong work ethic, and confirmed I prefer to be self-employed.
8. Pastors and church leaders – Walk alongside as we love God and love people together.
7. Teachers – Display my passions and help me strive for accomplishment.
6. Friends – Lifelines. Reality checkers. Dream believers.
5. Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and Grandparents – Bloodlines of validation.
4. Siblings – Lucas, Emily, Terry, Shawn, Nick, Kent, Jerrod and Eric, I love you!!!
3. Kids (mine and other people’s) – I imagine I shall forever have young people in my life.
2. Parents – You guys continue to amaze me with your boundless, unconditional love.
1. Spouse – Teammate. Soul mate. Partner. Mind reader. Friend.
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