As I think about First Glance over the past 16 years, I am flooded with thoughts, emotions, stories, memories, adventures and lessons learned. It seems overwhelming to write what will feel like way too few words to encompass 16 years of the greatest adventure of my life.
Last year I wrote a blog post about my top 15 and they are all still true. If I were to add #16 to this list it would be about how First Glance really is a family. In fact it’s the opening line on our new website www.firstglance.org.
Chances are if you read this line on our website or hear us talk about it, you’re thinking how we become family to our students. And yes, that’s true. We do absolutely get to be family to our students.
- Some of our students call us mom and dad.
- Volunteers get to love, support and care for teenagers from the area.
- We eat meals at each program and always have everyone sit together, at the table, “as a family.”
- We show up to sporting events, graduations, court hearings and anything else we can to love and support our students.
- One time when someone asked several of our teen moms to talk about “home” many ended up talking about First Glance.
- We have walked along side many students who have experienced tragedy and loss.
The list could go on. We seriously do get to be our students family. I love that this is true.
At the same time, they also have become ours. This isn’t a one sided relationship. Over the years I’ve been grateful for students functioning as family to me. They have taken me out to lunch, given me hugs on my bad days, and in even more extreme situations lived with Tim and I, becoming a permanent part of our family.
The reality of them being family to me was never more evident than after tragedy hit my life. After Enoch passed away countless students reached out to love, care and support us.
- One young woman, Hope, insisted on doing something – anything to help. She ended up making sacrifices in her own life to provide food for the funeral.
- I got this message just yesterday, “This book just came in (1 Enoch) at work and I wanted you to know you are never far from my thoughts I love you!” This was such an encouragement! Kayla who I have had the privilege of loving and supporting over the years, has sent me a number of messages and texts to support and love me this past year.
- Danielle sent this to me a couple months ago after reading about Enoch in the bible and wrestling through what happened. God used that verse, to challenge Danielle and encourage Tim and I as she prayed for us.
These are just a few examples of how First Glance is family. And this family is not just one sided. We get to love the students who walk through the door, and when given the opportunity they support us too.
16 years later, I could have never dreamed of all that I would have seen or experienced. I am beyond grateful and humbled for the opportunity to be the Director of First Glance.