“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in unity.” I Timothy 4:12 (NIV)
Cole and Sadie were born six months apart. Even though they are first cousins, they have spent all of their lives doing many things together like siblings would naturally do. Because they were in the same grade at school, they took classes together and spent many hours doing homework together. When they were in the 4th grade, our families moved across the street from each other, and their bond grew even closer. Reed, John Luke, Sadie and Cole would spend hours together in the tree house, fishing in the pond, riding bikes and playing in each other’s rooms. When they got a little older, their talks turned from dinosaurs, Buzz Lightyear and Jessie to boy problems, girl drama and ATV dares (they laugh now, but it took a while!) They didn’t think anything about it, but I knew how special these relationships were. I didn’t grow up with a big family, and I lived hundreds of miles away from any cousin. To have your cousin become your best friend, even if you never acknowledged it, was becoming more of a blessing each day. I knew it in my heart, and my heart smiled.
Last Monday, if you noticed, I didn’t post a devotional. It’s not that I forgot or didn’t know what to write about. I did. But I was so overwhelmed by life’s circumstance of watching Cole and Sadie graduate from high school at the same time. Knowing how our own personal lives have changed in the last few years with the fame of Duck Dynasty, being vey purposeful with our children has been a big priority with Jase and me. We’ve tried our best to rely on God’s word as well as older and wiser men and women in our church family to guide us. Seeing Cole and Sadie enjoying this final moment of “childhood” together, laughing, taking pictures, being goofy and celebrating just another one of life’s moment’s together, again brought a smile to my heart. These kids, along with Reed, John Luke, and now Mary Kate and Brighton, have hearts that not only have been molded by Christian families but also by Jesus Himself. They are making their faith their own and not the faith of their parents, which is what we have been preparing them for.
John says in III John 1:4, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
I know that John was talking about his convert, Gaius, but I can’t help but feel the same pride in my own children as I get to actually watch them with my own eyes.
While every other graduate in their class has made plans to go to college this fall, Cole and Sadie will be doing a tour. Yes, they are the only ones out of 60 graduates not starting college right away. Instead, they have decided, along with Reed and Brighton, John Luke and Mary Kate, to suspend their education in order to try to influence as many young people across the nation to be original in this world and live as God intended us to live—holy and pleasing to Him. Remember when you were young and you had dreams and plans for your life, maybe some of you even planned on changing the world? Well, these kids have that same dream, and they are putting it into action. These six dreamers are traveling on a bus for 3 ½ weeks stopping in cities from New York to California hoping to inspire people from all walks of life to get excited for Jesus.
Paul continues in I Timothy 4:13-14, “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift…”
Our kids have accepted the challenge that God put on their hearts. Satan will try to stop them, but he will fail. There will be challenges (like living in bunks together on a bus for close to a month!), but the memories they will share will be priceless. And the hearts they will change will be irreversible to the Kingdom of God.
Just a few days ago, Sadie told Korie, “Mom, I just want to thank you and Aunt Missy for having babies together. I don’t know what I would do without Cole. He’s my best friend.”
So, even though Korie and I could have never predicted that having children so close together could have the possibility of impacting the world for Jesus, our God did. He was preparing Cole and Sadie through all of their shared experiences and countless hours together to form a bond that no one saw coming, not even them. Have a dreamy week!
Catch the Live Original Tour in a major city near you this fall! Go to www.liveoriginal.com for schedule and tickets.