It is hard to imagine that you are the little baby that Anne & I brought home and now you are turning 22! Casey, we had so many prayers for you and things that we hoped that God would do with you! Today, I woke up this morning flooded with so many memories and realizations of how God has answered so many of those prayers…..:
- You would love Jesus! Seeing you today, not only loving the Lord, but also helping students not only meet the Lord but follow Him makes me prouder than you will ever know! I pray that that your love for Jesus will continue to grow with every year that goes by and the further you go the more you realize how much HE loves you!
- You would love your family….It is such a blessing to have you come home from your apartment and sit around the table and laugh and talk about life! In what I do every day, I realize what a gift that is and how blessed we are! This was one of our greatest prayers for you…..we always wanted our home to be the safest place in the world to be you! When MM is home from school – that table always feels complete!
- You would be respectful & Kind to others….In a world that is filled with so much hostility – we prayed you would be someone that would be a breath of fresh air for others when you walked into the room! I know that this something that will develop over life but I know for so many, you are that to them. You have been given a great ability to use words to write and what you wrote the other week about the situation at Allatoona and how you felt about the people affected made me so proud! Don’t stop developing this gift!
- You work hard – One of greatest prayers is that you would be tenacious about whatever you were involved in and work hard. I know that I probably drove you nuts about this growing up but it is so awesome to see you living this out now! Pushing through college while working PT and doing all that you do is a trait that will take you a long way in life!
- You love sports…This was my selfish prayer (probably not one mom prayed) but certainly one that I did! TO say that prayer was answered has been an understatement. I think your love for sports has eclipsed even mine! I am so thankful because some of my favorite memories together with you have been going to or from a baseball, football or basketball game! The talks in the car or the airplane or now, even coaching together in the dugout, are memories I will cherish forever!
- You would find great friends ….This weekend when some of your friends came in to stay at the house, it was a reminder of how God has answered that prayer for you!
- You would find your calling…..Our friend Ira quotes the famous phrase all of the time, “There are two great days in life, the day you are born and the day you figure out why you were born”. I am so thankful you figured out why you were born! You can now find purpose and direction for the rest of your days!!! It is the greatest feeling in the world to know your why!
- You would find your “best friend”….Our prayer for you & MM has been that you would find someone that you can’t just live with but someone you truly can’t live without! We pray that you will enjoy marriage one day as much as we have!
Casey, I could go on & on…..but I will stop with this thought….When you were growing up, I heard this phrase about parenting, “If you will be their parent now, you can be their friend later”. Parenting was tough for many of those years because we wanted to do what was easiest for you & Mary-Michal, but we knew that what was easiest and would you make you like us the most was not the best thing for you. I know it kept you from doing things you wanted to do and probably hindered your social status with friends but I am thankful that you stuck it out with us so today we can enjoy what we enjoy! You are probably my closest guy friend in the world and outside your mom & sister…I would choose to be with you over hanging with anyone else! I love you Casey Linch and I pray that year 23 is your best yet!!! You truly do make us proud!