Thursday, September 20, 2012

She's just "Age" to me!

It all started one week in September 1998 on Martha's Vineyard. I attended my first overnight camp with three of my high school friends. I had no idea what to expect, but that week ended up being one of the most memorable of my life! I slept in The Barn, made new friends from all over the country, sang praise and worship songs, gallivanted all over the island, ate "Oh baby" bars, learned what it meant to have a relationship with Jesus and asked Him to come into my heart. As if all of that wasn't enough for five days, God brought a woman named Amy Julia Truesdell into my life. Ever since I understood what siblings were and that being an only child meant I wasn't ever going to have any, I began praying for siblings. I'm convinced that God answered that prayer when He forged my relationship with Amy Julia (AJ/Age).

When my friends and I returned home from camp on the Vineyard, we brought AJ home with us. She stayed for a year with Grace Barnes' family. Throughout that year, my friends and I "Experienced God" with AJ, she and I single-handedly kept Maggie Moos in business, and she sat beside me every day for a week while I was in the hospital getting some painful injections. At the end of the year, we sent her off to become Amy Julia Becker and pioneer the GRAFOCUS region.

Little did I know that just one year later, I would join Age and Peter down in Richmond, Va. It was such a blessing to have someone I was so close to in a place unfamiliar to me. As I embarked on my college journey, I wouldn't have wanted anyone else by my side. During my time as a Spider, I volunteered with GRAFOCUS and continued to strengthen my bond with Age and Peter. We were in the same city for 3 years and that was the last time we would live so close to each other. But, the distance hasn't broken our bond.

When asked who I would consider one of the most influential people in my life, the answer is easy. Amy Julia Becker, of course! She has taught me what it means to have a relationship with Christ and how to live that out in everyday life. She's taught me how to have faith, strength and grace in the face of adversity. I've increased my vocabulary thanks to Age, and have learned the "proper balance" between Diet Coke and water during the day! Just a few months ago, I spent the day with all of the Beckers and learned a little something about parenting that I can hopefully use in a few years. AJ has influenced my past, present and future.

For the last 15 years (and counting), Amy Julia has been such a blessing in my life. I watch and I learn.
Not the most flattering photo as I had just had surgery, but it's our most recent

Now, the rest of the world is in on my secret. Amy Julia Becker was just named "One of the 50 Women to Watch" by Christianity Today!! An accomplished author, blogger, and advocate for people with Downs Syndrome and other disabilities, she is sharing her faith and talent beyond FOCUS and her other spheres of influence. If you are interested in learning more about AJ or in reading her books, go here.
There she is in the top left corner!

I am SO proud of her! But, no matter how famous she becomes, she'll always be Age to me!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...