Today, our sweet Lauren Kassidy turns 17. Lauren is our firstborn and has carried the burdens of that place in the family very well. She has set a good example for her siblings by being hard working, honest, and trustworthy. She has faced many challenges in her few years: six moves for one thing, and the intense pressure of being a “PK”. She has been with me the longest and through some of my darkest valleys. She has endured a lot of pain herself, but still keeps smiling and making others smile, too. She is a testimony of the grace of God, how He can heal our hearts and carry our burdens, and turn our mourning into dancing. When I want to quit, I need only glance down the hall at my Lauren to get encouragement.
I have many wonderful stories about Lauren, but I think my favorite is the time Terry was going out soul-winning at our first church in Texas. When she heard she could go with her dad, our seven year-old Lauren eagerly ran for her Bible and notebook, and clipped a pen to her shirt, for writing down prospects’ information. Her enthusiasm was contagious. (Of course, I had to take a photo.)
Whether she’s seven, seventeen, or anything in between, she has always been sweet.
Lauren has a vivid vocabulary and a sharp wit. She is a thinker, and it’s hard for her to hide her frustration when she sees injustice occur. She is passionate about her interests, and therefore, she does nothing by halves.
When I held her in my arms seventeen years ago, I had no idea what I was doing. My prayer was simple: Lord, help! And He did exceeding, abundantly, more than I could ask or think.
I love you, Lauren, and I’m so thankful to call you mine.