“Pillow talk” is something I love to do with my kids! When they were young, it was telling them funny stories and tickling them. As they have grown older, it is more about listening to them while I scratch their backs. I am so very grateful for these times. I am convinced as I grow older that those times will be some of my fondest memories but also some of the most important conversations I will ever have with our kids.
I can remember just over three years ago talking with Collins about this young man that she had met. His name is Mike. He was such a good looking young man and he and Collins had a lot in common, including golf. They met at the Heritage Junior Golf tournament at Hilton Head. I remember their meeting well. We had been invited to dinner by some of Thomas’ golfing friends from NC and, as I found out later, not many of the guys knew Thomas had a sister that played golf. It was at that dinner that Collins met Mike. It was shortly after that dinner when Collins and Mike developed a friendship through texting. Over the next year it developed into more than just a friendship. It developed into a relationship.
I can remember the “pillow talk” Collins and I had over her dating or being in a relationship with someone that may not value nor see their relationship with God exactly as she did. We both agreed that she was strong enough in her faith with God that it would not hinder her relationship with Christ to develop a relationship with Mike. We talked about her values and morals and how that played into a relationship with the opposite sex. Collins and I have a relationship of very few secrets, one of trust that has been built mainly over time while enduring some pretty challenging times. So we talked often and prayed as this relationship grew. We both agreed it would be a great idea for her to journal prayers for Mike since he was taking such an important role in her life as a “boyfriend. She applied John 14:13-14″ And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name and I will do it.” After all, she was pretty firm that she would never be in a long, serious relationship with anyone who didn’t share a common “faith in and growing relationship with Christ.”
As their relationship has grown and, as fate would have it, they both ended up going to UGA to play golf. Mike is just a year ahead of Collins. I smile when other people think Collins picked UGA because of Mike. I am pretty sure he had a little to do with it. The people that think he influenced her decision really don’t know Collins and how strong she is in making her own decisions. She loves UGA the school and at the time based her decision on many things including her major, UGA being relatively close to home and to her brothers at Clemson,and also playing for then Head Coach, Kelly Hester who is an outspoken Christian.
While at UGA their relationship has definitely grown through the good times and bad. They have been able to attend Athens church together, growing under Andy Stanley’s great teaching, and make some really great mutual friends. All along the way Collins has kept a prayer journal for Mike. They have had many discussions about their faith, the differences in how they grew up and about their knowledge of Christ. Just short of a year ago, Collins had left for a golf tournament in Nashville. I was on my way to spend the night in Athens before leaving the next day for Nashville.
As I always do when I visit my kids in college, and since Collins was already gone, I called Mike to see if he could meet for dinner and invite his friends. He agreed to go but said his friends couldn’t come. They were all going to hear Louie Giglio at the Ampa Theater. We hung up and as I was driving, I decided to call Mike back. I asked him why he wasn’t going to hear Louie. He said, “Cause I am going to dinner with you!” Then I asked if he would mind going with a 50 year old woman to hear Louie. He laughed and said, “Of course not!” Little did I know then, it would be one of my all time most memorable moments as an adult.
That night as Louie spoke, his message was so simple. He showed videos of college professors at UGA who had a vibrant relationship with Christ. There were hundreds of college students there and this 50 year old woman. At the end of the night, Louie asked everyone to kneel in prayer. Then he said, “If any of you here are unsure if you have ever asked Jesus to be the Lord of your life and you are willing to do that, I want you to stand up.” With my head bowed, I felt people on both sides of me stand up. At the end of the prayer, I raised my head to see Mike standing. The tears were streaming down my face!! I got to watch an answer to our prayers happen right there before me, and Collins wasn’t even there.
I will never forget leaving the theater and going into the bright lights of the Waffle House. I turned to face Mike in the booth and we both had big smiles on our faces and I had a little smeared mascara. I can remember the phone vibrating and hearing Collins crying on the other end of the phone. Ephesians 3:20,”Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than al we ask or imagine according to his power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory…….” We all rejoiced together. Even though Collins has stepped away from the golf team at UGA, Mike has joined God’s team. Her time at UGA and her choices have all been worth it in God’s economy!
As Collins and I have had great “pillow talk” this summer over the events that have transpired while she has been at UGA, we are convinced God is in them all. We look forward to watching what HE has planned for her. We both agree, we don’t know what the future holds but we rest firmly in knowing who holds the future. Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”