We all need a Papaw (but you can’t have mine!)

Do you let the words of certain people in your community affect you?

I mean REALLY affect you?

Can their words shape the way you live?

Mold you into a better person?

Point you in the right direction?

Have lasting impact on your life?

If not, why?

There should be people in your community who can literally change your life with their words.

Not every word, not every person. Some words, some people.

The most powerful words we hear are the ones we speak to ourselves, but a close 2nd are the words of the people we love, admire, and trust.

There are only a handful of people in my community who can completely build me up (or totally wreck me) with one sentence. These people have earned the right to be heard in my life. These people love me and I can trust the words of truth they speak into my life.

One man that I respect more than most men in this world is my grandfather, Vern Ballard (You can call him Papaw). I respect Papaw for so many reasons and hope to become half the man he is one day.

A few years ago I was having lunch with him at Corner Cafe and we were discussing the direction I was headed in school. I was explaining my recent decision to study Special Education and different factors that lead to the decision. When I had finished verbally processing and stumbling through my thoughts he hit me with a simple, yet complex, response: “Jordan, you have always had a heart for the underdog.”

  • “What?”
  • “Have I ?”
  • “Do I still?”
  • “How did he know?”

These words REALLY affected me.

His words shaped the way I live.

His words molded me into the person I am today.

His words pointed me in the right direction.

His words have had a lasting impact on my life.

In that one conversation with my grandpa solidified my calling to love the least of these and pursue a career in Special Education.

  • Who in your community has earned the right to speak truth into you life?
  • How have they earned this right?

Day 6 of 31: I love my community because they speak lasting truth into my life.


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