This month has been a WILD one! But I have not forgotten my earlier commitment to take some time to honor some important people in my life!
Today's honorees: Todd & Candy Sitcler.
I'll give you all a second to say what I know you're thinking when
you see this picture: "AWWWW!"
I met Todd and Candy in August of 2005 when I joined Master's Commission of Lafayette, Indiana. I'll never forget the first time I met Todd. His hair was somewhat "emo" then and he looked pretty young... I had NO CLUE he was the director! It wasn't until 5 minutes into our meeting and signing of paperwork that I realized he was the "Pastor Todd" I had talked to on the phone!
My first impression of Candy was, "Wow, she is beautiful!" (A little more of a "positive" impression than the one I had of Todd!) I can still remember Candy telling me at our meet-and-greet with the pastors that she was so glad I came to Masters, and that she knew I was a special young woman.
My first year in Master's Commission was a hard year for me. I learned the value of repentance and the role of confession in the healing process (see James 5). Todd and Candy walked with me every step of the way, loving me and encouraging me and believing in me! On one particular occasion I was experiencing great guilt and shame. Candy sat next to me on their couch, put her arms around me, and just cried with me. She prayed that I would understand how much value and worth I had in Christ.
My second year in Master's I grew even closer with the Sitcler family. They entrusted their kids into my care many times, which I considered to be a real privilege! They invited me into their lives, not to observe from a distance but to walk alongside them. They discipled me.
I learned a great deal about marriage and parenting from the Sitclers. I observed as they respectfully worked through conflict. I stood in awe many times as I watched Candy calmly handle Joshua and Devin in their times of disobedience. I saw and heard Candy honor her husband more times than I can number, and witnessed Todd doing the same for his wife. And that is truly just the beginning of what I learned from being in the company of such authentic people of God.
After my second year of Master's Todd became the church youth pastor and I worked as his administrative assistant. It was the easiest job I have ever held, not because the work itself was easy, but because I was working for one of my best friends! Though we've moved different places over the past few years, Todd and Candy remain some of my dearest friends and mentors.
Todd: Thank you for investing in my life! Thank you for letting me work for AND alongside you in youth ministry. Thanks for holding meetings. I love meetings, and the thanks goes to you! Thank you for teaching me that ministry to your family comes before ministry in the church. Thank you for trusting me with your kids! Thank you for teaching me to dream big, and for assuring me over and over, "you're better than you think." Thanks for keeping in touch and being a man of God who is worth trusting!
Candy: Thank you for being you. You are beautiful inside and out, through and through. You've taught me SO much about what it means to be a woman of God. Thank you for being a woman who honors and respects and submits to your husband. Thank you for showing me what that looks like! Thank you for letting me spend time with your family in your home. When I'm a wife and mom I want to be like you! Thank you for believing in me, for believing I was valuable when all I saw was brokenness. Thank you for every tear you cried with me and for me, for every prayer you prayed when my life was in ruins. Thank you for every LAUGH we've shared, every movie we've laughed and/or cried through, every Starbucks pumpkin spice latte, and for every time you took me with you to run errands. You have invested in my life in such practical ways! You've sown eternal seed into my life, and I'm forever grateful! Love you!
Well, now I'm all weepy. I pray that all of my readers have someone in their life who had loved them as well as these folks have loved me!