Endurance.  This was the character quality awarded to this young man yesterday at our school awards ceremony.  If you knew him and his story you would well up with tears as they announced it.  I could hear his mom cheering him on in my mind and I was deeply proud.

I have loved having “B,” as we call him, in our lives the passed few years. He is incredibly funny, he inspires me, and he has taught me about hope.  He will never let you know anything phases him, but he has truly endured and persevered much in the past several years. When I met him three years ago, his beautiful and strong mother Karen, was walking through pancreatic cancer. I was introduced to them through one of my close friends, who has known and loved them deeply for years.  Shortly after meeting them, Brian and my son began to grow closer and he spent lots of time at our home. We were never short of laughter when he was around and he fit right in.  We also had the privilege of being with his mom Karen often. Despite the painful journey she was walking through, she was always the one who inspired me every time I was with her.  I NEVER saw her falter in her faith, never heard her complain about what she was facing, her faith only got stronger. She was a fighter. She loved fiercely and I wished I had known her years before. As the disease progressed, she continued to speak life and love into those she knew right up until the day she went to heaven.  This all took place when B was just beginning high school, and it wasn’t even their first trial.   Karen had been a single mother for years and she lost another son tragically and suddenly a few years before.  I truly learned so many lessons as I walked beside them, lessons I couldn’t put into words here.

Brian worked hard, even when he didn’t feel like it.  He continued on in his school work, went on to play competitive soccer, and served at church. Despite the grief and transition, he continued to walk in hope. He also recently made the decision to attend The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in the fall and will play soccer for them!!! Tonight this special young man will walk across the stage and graduate, and we will celebrate along with those that have loved and supported him for years.

We are all incredibly proud of you, Brian. We believe in you, and we thank you for being such a joy in our lives!

“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” Romans 5:3-4


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