We started North Creek Church with 20 children and 19 adults almost 10 years ago. As those children turn 18, I write a blog just to honor them. We had the privilege of not only reading this blog to Kylie on Sunday, but also presenting her with a college scholarship. Enjoy!
You were 7 years old when we started our church, but just a toddler when we met. I remember your pig tails and freckled cheeks staring up at me from about the height of my knees.
And now, not only are you turning 18, but as I write this you have one Sunday left at North Creek Church. This week you will head to Northwest University to pursue a ministry degree. It’s the last Sunday at a church we started with the hope that our children would be molded and shaped by God in extraordinary ways.
If you are the product of those dreams, God delivered on every prayer.
As you walk towards college and your future you are holding every character quality I would have wanted for you. Congrats on taking this opportunity for all it was. God has been faithful to you.
In Year One of North Creek I saw Jesus give you FAITH. Faith that God would establish us, grow us, and allow us to be useful for Him. I watched as that small seed grew up in you to be a mighty and unshakeable faith. A faith that is fierce, unwavering and non-negotiable.
In Year Two I saw Jesus give you COURAGE. That was the year He called you to tell the world about Jesus in full time ministry. Even that young you simply said, “God is with me wherever I go, so what should I fear?” You have courageously taken every step since that day in the same direction with His plan at the forefront of your agenda.
In Year Three I saw Jesus give you INFLUENCE. That was the year you made a public declaration for Jesus through your water baptism. You stood up for Christ and in that posture you were given a spiritual platform. People look to you as an example of what it is like to lead a life of surrender. You have held that mantel of influence with grace beyond your years.
In Year Four I saw Jesus give you HUMILITY. That was the year you started the youth ministry where your mother was the youth pastor. That is no small task to be asked to do, but you gave respect to your leader despite the fact that she was “Mom”. You humbled yourself to God’s plan and allowed yourself to be shaped within those confines. He honored, and will continue to honor, your humble heart.
In Year Five I saw Jesus give you GENEROSITY. That is the year you began giving your money to missions. Kylie, I know that you understand how profound it is to give your money to fund the work of Jesus. As you go to the mission field, you will rely completely on people sacrificing their money so that you can tell people about Jesus. You have sown what you could and my prayer will be that others will do the same for you.
In Year Six I saw Jesus give you SELF CONTROL. In the thick of junior high, the temptation to conform to the world was all around you and we watched with baited breath as you chose, over and over again, not to fit in, not to gossip, not to tear down, not to fall into sin…Every decision trained you to behave in such a way that brought glory to God.
In Year Seven I saw Jesus give you COMPASSION. That was the year you took your first oversees missions trip the Dominican Republic. I watched as you kept giving, loving, and pouring out despite how tired, hungry, or hot you were. You brought a deeper love for humanity home with you and Jesus has continued to grow your compassion for His people.
In Year Eight I saw Jesus give you RESPONSIBILITY. You got your driver’s license and I think the whole staff decided it was time to put you to work! This was the year you took on greater roles in our church. You invested in our children, served at every event, and proved yourself to be a reliable and loyal servant to Christ.
In Year Nine I saw Jesus give you GRATITUDE. You went on another missions trip to El Salvador. You came home with a new depth of love for Jesus and a gratitude for your life and calling. You weren’t resentful for the calling and training that God had for you, but you embraced it with a grateful heart.
In Year Ten I saw Jesus give you PERSEVERANCE. This was the year you were tested beyond measure. As your leaders, we couldn’t protect you from the realities of life. We couldn’t shield you and we couldn’t tell you how to respond You had to sort out the pieces with Jesus and decide what to do with your future. You were faced with the fact that Satan doesn’t play fair and people can hurt you.
And then I watched as you lifted your head, stared into the eyes of darkness and made a decision. You didn’t allow discouragement to cloud your mission, but instead said, “People may let me down, but my God, my God will never fail me. So, I will give my life for PEOPLE anyway.”
And for that, my dearest Kylie, we will all get to watch as Jesus gives you the NATIONS.
Go change the world. I have no doubt you are quite prepared to do just that. Thank you for allowing us all to be a part of your story.
All my love and prayers, Kylie.