Making a Difference

“…some have compassion, making a difference;” ~Jude v.22

We have all had those people in our lives who made a difference.
You know, the unsung heroes.
The ones who never made a big noise or stayed in the limelight.
Ones who never made a name for themselves and who the world may not remember….but they have made a considerable impact on our lives.
They helped mold and make us into the people we are today.
They had compassion, and made a difference.

God has been repeatedly bringing this verse to my mind lately, and along with it, men and women who have made a difference in my life. I am going to start a series highlighting some of these precious people. This will in no way be all-inclusive because there have been far too many to list.
So in no particular order, let’s get started!

I grew up in the outskirts of Atlanta where my family went to Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church (now Peachtree Baptist Church in Senoia, GA) and my siblings and I attended their Christian School.
There were so many wonderful people who loved us and took us in as their own. (I’m sure we’ll come back to some of them later.)

When I was in Kindergarten, there was a senior that year who caught my attention. Contrary to what some may think, five-year-olds remember teenagers who are nice to them!
At the time, neither of us had any idea of the impact God would use him to make on my life.
A year later (I think? My dates are a little rusty), a girl from up North came down to go to the Bible College. I distinctly remember this girl with the big hair (lol!) smiling at me when we passed in the halls.
Fast-forward a few years. This young man and woman were married, she was teaching at the school and expecting their first child. I was in fifth grade, and while they probably had no idea, I was watching them intently. I thought they were the coolest couple, and I adored them. That summer, my family and I moved and we were only able to visit the church once or twice a year.
As I approached my high school graduation, God was dealing with my heart about where I should go to college. As it became plain I was to go to Georgia Baptist College, I was excited to get to spend time with them again. I honestly had no idea then exactly how much time I would be spending with them!

By this time (2003), he was an assistant pastor at the church and the principal of their Christian School where I was going to be teaching K3 and she taught all of the education classes at the college. They now had 4 children and they needed her to teach in the school so their two-year-old twins would be in my class. (They were my babies!!💜😘)
He was my boss, and she was my professor…but they were so much more than that.

Every morning, he had devotions and prayer with all the teachers. His door was always open for anything we needed. I was an 18/19-year-old who was completely in over my head, but he never lost his patience with me. He calmed me down, and showed me what to do. I never wondered if he was praying for me, because I heard him when he prayed with me.
I spent more time with her than I did any of my other college professors because she taught most of my classes. Many of them were independent study, and I quickly fell behind. I went to her for help, and even though her plate was already full and running over, she never failed to go above and beyond to help me any way she could. We would sometimes have a class at their home and she would feed us a home-cooked supper. She supported me and encouraged me and pushed me to do my best in everything. She prayed that God would take the training we were receiving and put us in a place of service for Him. She was an amazing example of a pastor’s wife, mother, teacher, and whatever other hat she needed to wear.
As if all this wasn’t enough, they opened their home to us college students. Every Sunday night after church, we would go to their house to eat and goof off. We played with their kids, watched movies, and just blew off steam. Sometimes we would all get so homesick, and when we couldn’t get away to go home, they provided us with the next best thing. They gave us love and invested in our lives. We never once wondered if they cared for us. Their words and actions were irrefutable.

I graduated and we left there six years ago, and now when my hubs and I go down for meeting there at the church, we have a “standing reservation” at their home. We still love playing with their kids and spending hours sitting around the table and talking. We can talk about silly things and laugh or we can talk about spiritual things and cry happy tears, thanking God for His goodness.

Pastor Alan and Mrs. Jamie Gaddy have played a very important role in my life, and they will never know how much they mean to me. God has used and is still using them to not only make a difference in my life, but in the lives of so many others as well.

“…some have compassion, making a difference;” ~Jude v.22

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