Working in the youth group at Grace for so long, it's funny to pick out a certain kid who's made an impact of some sort in your life. Kayla Smith is one of those students. I didn't know her real well at the time, but we were going to Mexico and as you all know, if you've gone on the Mexico Mission Trip before, the students are encouraged to find someone to mentor them for the duration of the training and the trip. Well, me, being the "we'll see if I'm going to do this"-type, prayed: "Lord, I haven't done this before, but I'm willing to do this now, but (why is there always a 'but' in there) You will have to bring someone to me." I figured that was the end of that prayer and I would be 'safe' for another year. You see, I didn't feel confident about doing a one-on-one for some reason. I'm more of a two-on-group type of person where the other person is the main teacher. My gift, and comfort zone, is behind the scenes helping.
As it turns out, the Lord had other things planned for me. As Kayla and I were walking downstairs to the youth room, she just asked me, point blank, "Will you mentor me?" You know I had to say yes, because I told God I would. That was the start of a beautiful friendship. We met every Tuesday at her house and went through the Mexico devos and things like that. I found out later, from her mom, that Kayla told her she knew who she wanted to mentor her, so Kathy knew before I did that Kayla was going to ask me to be her mentor.
When Mexico was done, I don't know where I got the courage, but I asked Kayla if she wanted to continue meeting and she said yes. We continued meeting on Tuesdays, through her high school years going over a lot of things and we both learned a lot more about God, about ourselves and about each other. I love the fact that I was even privy to some of her "Andrew" stories and prayers. When Ken was reading about their relationship at the wedding, I remember some of the things we discussed and prayed about. And now she is Kayla Smith.
I have missed getting together with her. She graduated, went to college and, of course, my life changed, too, as did my location. But, I never thought I would love technology like I do now as far as facebook and blogging, and, of course, emails. I enjoy the fact that we can write to each other and still ask for prayer about things and share things. Of course, she has Andrew to share with now. I know, though, I can always check in on her and now him.
I thank You, Lord, for bringing special people into our lives. I thank You for Kayla and her love, friendship and encouragement and for the time we did get to spend with each other for those few years. She is a blessing to me. And You have truly blessed her life and I've seen her grow so much in her faith and walk with You. Please bless her and Andrew as they are now husband and wife, new roles You have given to them. May they continue to grow closer to You and to each other. Amen.