It seemed like such a good idea at the time! I could formally introduce each of my kids onto my blog...and at the same time, I could testify to what God has taught me through each one. Perfect!
The problem with this idea is that it's possible to spend an entire day looking at a blank screen, at a total loss as to how to even produce a survey of a summary of someone you have known for over 25 years!
I think I'm going to have to put some coffee on to help me focus!
But without further ado, I would like to introduce my first-born...my #1 daughter...Krystal!
Krystal at about three. Gosh...where has that time gone?!
Krystal is...well...me. Only a little bit younger and lots, lots smarter. She entered us into a mother-daughter look-alike contest last year, and the only reason we didn't win was that it was obviously rigged! But where we really shine in the parlor-tricks division is in sounding alike. My own mother--even my own husband!--has more than once had to wait for context clues to hint at which one of us was on the other end of the phone line. The younger kids obey her instantly when she issues them a command because they're never sure it wasn't me who said it. We have fun with this.
We are tight in a way that you can really only be tight with someone you grew up with...because we pretty much did grow up together.
Anyone who has had a first child knows what I'm talking about when I refer to Krystal as my guinea pig. She got the dumb mom...the freaked-out mom...the impatient mom. She got the really, really young mom.
You see, Krystal was born two days short of my seventeenth birthday. I was never married to her dad. And that is only one of the ways she should have been handicapped by being my first child.
I made a lot of mistakes when she was little. Who am I kidding? I made a lot of mistakes when she got bigger too! And then she had a seat on the 50-yard line as I finally started allowing God to make some really big changes in my life...in our lives. That had to be confusing!
Krystal has a lot of stories that start with the words, "When Mom and I were single..." She stood up with me when I got married. She was moved six hours away from everything she had ever known when we were called into full-time ministry. Krystal was the first student in our homeschool, when she was in 8th grade.
When we celebrated her homeschool graduation five years later, I said that the most important thing I had learned from Krystal was that it was really OK to learn things right along-side your kids...because we did a lot of that over the years.
But if I had that speech to give again, I would change my answer. From Krystal, I have learned the power--the miracle--of God's merciful redemption.
To simply write the words that Krystal was born two days short of my 17th birthday is to ridiculously understate the state of my sinful rebellion and utter stupidity at that time....and for an embarrassingly long stretch thereafter. Common decency (and the fact that my mother reads my blog) prevents me from burdening you with the gory details. But suffice it to say that if life were fair, I would have had a child just like me.
But in December of 2006, I got to attend the wedding of two people who had committed to maintaining their purity until they were married: Krystal and her now-husband Nick. (See? I told you she was much, much smarter than I was!) As the dust settled after the wedding, I remember having it gradually sink in that God had allowed me to live the words of Joel 2:25. Not only had He protected my daughter from making the same mistakes her mother had made, but he had allowed me to see it. He had done more than just repay me for the years the locusts had eaten; He had allowed me to redeem the years I had foolishly but willingly fed to the locusts!
Krystal and Nick with their son Asher.
(Aren't they cute?!)
Of course, Krystal's story doesn't stop there. She is still, in ever-increasing measure, allowing God to use her to minister to me, whether she wants to or not. You should check out her blog so she can teach you stuff too!
I have no greater joy
than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
3 John 1:4