It has been awesome having a front row seat to your first year of life. I love the way that your face lights up whenever you catch me smiling at you.
Having just finished up Thanksgiving I am very grateful to be your Pop Pop and to have a chance to see you grow up. It came very close to not happening.
Just a little more than 30 years ago, on November 28, 1988 a very powerful tornado came through the neighborhood where we were living in Raleigh. It was 1 AM in the morning and we were sound asleep. Your daddy was just a little more than 1 year old at the time and was also asleep across the hall as was your 2 year old Aunt Christy. We were woken up by our golden retriever Cassidy who was scared to death, by the roaring sound of a nearby train, and by the pounding of stuff hitting our house. Turns out that stuff was from other houses in our neighborhood that had been torn in half as well as the remnants of K-Mart from 3 miles away that had been wiped off the face of the earth.
We were very fortunate and had minimal damage but just a block away dozens of houses were completely destroyed and a little girl was killed when a chimney collapsed in on her while she was sleeping.
The horrific F4 tornado stayed on the ground for 84 miles. It destroyed 425 homes and 78 businesses, left 157 people injured and killed 4 people in total.
So you can see what I mean when I say that I am grateful to be your Pop Pop. I am excited about what the Lord is going to do in your life in the years to come and anticipate that He is going to use you to be an incredible blessing to others. My prayer for you is this…
May the Lord fuel you with His abundant grace and give you more joy than you could ever possibly imagine. May your life overflow into the lives of others in such a way that they are overwhelmingly blessed as God’s Spirit produces bountiful fruit in your life that is used to nourish and nurture the people around you. And may the joy of the Lord always be your strength.
So Happy Birthday #1. I’m looking forward to celebrating many more with you along the way.
Never ever forget that you are very loved,