Crockett and I have been together for four years now. We met when we were very young, both still in high school, and we have grown together and in God so much since then. Today I wanted to share a few of the most important life lessons he’s shown me (even though he probably doesn’t realize it).
- What faith means
Crockett and I didn’t become Christians until several months into our relationship when an onslaught of challenges made it a necessity—we had nowhere else to turn, not even to each other, and so we found God in the process. I mostly turned to Christianity because I thought it would fix my problems (which it did not) and completely change my life (which it did, but not in a way I could have ever imagined).
I was shocked when my life became more difficult after accepting Jesus, as if believing in him would simply perfect my life. Every little challenge I faced made me want to give up my new faith. It wasn’t supposed to be that hard, right? But I witnessed Crockett face enormous difficulties and hardship over the years of our relationship, things I would never want to face—and he kept strong in his faith. In fact, it grew exponentially. No adversity or evil thing could steal his joy and trust in God, and I found myself admiring him. I wanted to be like that. His is a faith that was never shaken, that no circumstances could derail.
- How to relax
On a date with Crockett a few years ago, I had a huge bulging pimple that even makeup couldn’t cover up. As he was driving, I sat staring at this particular pimple in the visor mirror, wishing it away. I’d fold the mirror up, then pull it down a few seconds later to look at the pimple again. Then I’d fold it up, and pull it down, look again, fold it up, pull it down…I must have done this a dozen times. A very perplexed Crockett finally asked me what I was doing, and I practically yelled, “I NEED MY FACE TO BE PERFECT!” I can’t remember if I burst into tears, but knowing me, it’s pretty likely.
I was born wanting every aspect of my life to be totally under my own control, rather than just accepting it for what it is. This is our biggest difference: perfectionism is my own worst enemy, and Crockett accepts things as they come. I’ve asked him how he can be so relaxed when there are a million things to do and chaos is everywhere, and the reason is that he knows God is in control of our situations, so worrying and stressing doesn’t do any good. I try to keep that in mind every time I start to feel overwhelmed. Hopefully I’ve become a little more laid back than I used to be.
- How to be generous
I was raised to take care of myself before others. I’m not saying this is always wrong or blaming anyone in any way, because when you don’t have much you instinctively want to keep and save as much for yourself as possible. As a result, I’m just not a giver. A few dollars in the Salvation Army bucket isn’t uncommon for me, but I wouldn’t even tithe until recently because 10 percent was just too much.
Now Crockett hasn’t always been generous—he may not realize this, but he was far less willing to give when he had more than enough to live by. Then when his financial situation became a little less stable, I noticed him suddenly leaving really nice tips, donating instead of selling, volunteering in the community, paying for items to give away out of his own pocket…what a change God worked in his heart! He has become a cheerful giver in spite of what he has. Every time I see him commit another act of generosity, it makes me want to do the same.
- How to be less selfish
Besides showing me how to be generous with my money, Crockett has given me plenty of inspiration to put others’ needs before my own. Even if he’s busy, he’ll still make the time to talk to me when I’m having a bad day. He takes the time to hold my hand or at least be in the room when I have to get blood taken (shiver). Last week he even went to see Coal Miner’s Daughter at our local theater for an anniversary showing, even though he’s seen in 9,000 times and probably never wants to hear Sissy Spacek’s voice again. As stubborn as I am, I’ve seen through him that sometimes it can be more rewarding to sacrifice my own will and not get what I want.
- Why obeying God is essential
I’m a pretty great listener (I’d much rather listen than talk)…but being obedient to what I hear is a whole different ballgame. Like I said, I’m extremely stubborn, and I’d much rather do what I think is best rather than what I’m told. I couldn’t count the times that God has spoken to me and I’ve ignored him, doing what I want in my own way—not his. One of Crockett’s most admirable qualities is his unquestioning obedience to the Lord. If he gets a word or direction, he follows it to the letter and doesn’t even hesitate.
I’ve never understood how someone could have so much faith as to do exactly as they’re told, with no promise of the outcome. So I’ve usually just chosen not to obey, to do what I determine to be most reasonable. I don’t know why I keep doing this, though, because when I wander off on my own path, there are usually quite a few consequences and repercussions I have to face later on. But when Crockett immediately and perfectly obeys God, he ends up with great opportunities and unexpected blessings—things that I want, of course!
Thank you, Crockett. You’ve been such a heavy inspiration in my life, and following God with you is a fresh blessing every day.
* Editor’s note : To see the story behind the soaked graduation picture, you’ll have to read this post.
Emilee Hackney is a recent high school graduate living in the
mountains in Tazewell, VA. She is attending a local college
this fall where she hopes to discover God’s plan for her career. She
loves her grandma’s house, her boyfriend of three and a half years,
and anything with an unhealthy amount of sugar.