When I Was 12…

…it was 2004. Some important events happened that year, like…

-George W. got reelected as president (I’ll always have a mini-crush on W).
Friends ended (what a great show).
-Ronald Reagan passed away.
-Google introduces gmail.
-WWII Memorial in D.C. was opened to the public (this thing is great).
-The great state of Georgia approved a new flag.
-I met two of the godliest people I’ve ever known.

And I got to see both of them this week.

My old youth pastor, Matt, came to WBC at the end of the summer of 2004. He was my youth pastor from 7th grade through the end of 10th grade. He taught me in so many different ways, he was there for me when I needed someone to talk to, and he spoke a lot of spiritual encouragement into my life. The other day, he was on the phone with my boss Grant, and he said, “Tell Ashton I love her. She’s a great kid.” Seriously made my day.

Well, Matt was really close with Pops who passed away last Wednesday. His funeral was on Sunday, and Matt spoke at it. He did a great job, and while it was hard for me to watch him get choked up, it was encouraging to see someone I really respect show their emotions fully. After the funeral, I got to talk to Matt for a few minutes and get a good Matt hug. As unexpected as it was, it was great to see him.

Today, I had lunch with Bethany. Bethany was the intern when I was in seventh grade. Right now, I am how old she was when she was the intern. So weird to me. Bethany was the person that I always wanted to be like, and even though I didn’t officially set out trying to be like her (and we’re really different in many ways), I feel like the older I’ve gotten, the more like Bethany I have become. It was so great to catch up with her, talk about life, and be encouraged by the person who helped me “get it”. If I can grow up to be just a fourth of the woman that Bethany is, I’ll feel accomplished and successful.

I’ll end with a verse that I really like, that was introduced to me at Pops’ funeral on Sunday.

My times are in Your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me. Psalm 31:15

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