About 3 years ago a tall, lanky kid walked into our lives....or maybe I should say we walked into his. I'm not really sure how it happened, but we sure are glad it did. We haven't updated much on the adoption of our 2 boys from DR Congo, and that's mainly because not much has happened....maybe I should say nothing has happened, but we have no doubt the Lord is working in His time, so we'll stick with 'not a lot' has happened b/c we know He's at work!
So right now it's just us, Joelle, a lot of pictures of our boys, and what is now a rather large Senior in high school named Luke. The tall/skinny kid has become a not so skinny and even taller kid-guy-man thing! He's got a great family, and a mom that has done an incredible job raising 3 teenagers as a single mom. He's not a Lemons, but in our hearts he might as well be. Though the nickname 'Skip' is much better than 'Lem' I suppose.
I wanted to take a minute and brag on Luke. He lost his dad when he was only about 8 years old to a big fight with cancer. We never met his dad, but have heard some pretty amazing stories about the man of God he was, and about the fighter he was as well. 3 years ago I was Luke's Student Pastor, and after a pretty amazing Summer Camp experience we started meeting nearly every week for Bible study and a family dinner with my girls. I didn't really realize what that would turn in to. Any time you consider 'mentoring' a student it's scary. Is it going to work? Is he/she going to stay committed to this? Am I going to have time to stick with this? What if we fail him? What if he fails us?
It's been a bit of an up-and-down road. I'm not the easiest guy to stick with on bad days. But we've done it. I've watched him walk with the Lord and I've watched him struggle. We've spent time on trips, eaten hundreds of pounds of food, ski'd, swam, wrestled, hollered, given each other the silent treatment, prayed, been excited together, and been angry together, and I've beaten him on PS4 more times than I can count (you know it's true). But what I've seen over the last 3 years is a boy begin the process of becoming a man.
This past weekend me, the girls, and Luke had the opportunity to travel up to a Division I college to visit the campus and football program. I'm grateful his mom allowed us to take him! Luke's worked so hard for years, and the hard work has really started to pay off. I watched the kid I have known for years now become faced with the biggest decision of his life so far, outside of his decision to follow Christ. I watched him handle things with grace, humility, and wisdom....as much as a 17 year old can when he's faced with grown men courting him for a scholarship. I listened to him ask questions that mattered, and I saw him look a head football coach of a Division I football program in the eye and tell him, 'I need men that will build into me as a man.' Then I fought back some tears in the coaches office because I realized there comes a time in every man's life where he really begins to 'get it.' And that moment was happening right in front of me....and why the heck do I cry so much these days?!
Our family is so proud of you Luke! You've stuck with us, worked hard, and done what you can to do it with integrity and faithfulness to Jesus. I don't believe God 'rewards' us because of our faithfulness, but I do believe He entrusts us with more when we prove we'll be faithful. And maybe that's exactly what we're seeing.
Joelle loves this guy like it's going out of style, and I think Amy and I do as well.....maybe. He's stolen the heart of our family, and maybe even helped ease the anxiety of waiting on our 2 boys to come home. That's not easy to do!
I wanted to take a moment to brag on him. This is our family blog....and Luke finally made his way into it! haha
These last 3 years have, in a weird way, been like watching a butterfly emerging from it's cocoon.....and (most of the time :) ) we like what we're seeing. A Division I college quarterback more interested in becoming a man that can please the Lord than a great player. A guy that my daughter looks up to constantly taking time to bend down and love on her as a big brother. A guy that lost his dad so early in life, no doubt living up to every expectation he must have had when he held his son in his arms for the first time. We are proud of you....and so glad this is just the beginning!
Here are a few pics from the last few days. Congrats on your commitment and scholarship buddy! We are so proud of you! #ReignCane #Tulsa #ButFirstWinTonight