Our lives are a series of milestones which shape who we are. Things happen which change our lives and often alter the course of our journey. My life is not one many would consider full of great achievements. I would not disagree. There are however three times in my life which changed my heart. I do not expect these instances to mean anything to you. Maybe they will cause you to look back on your life and remember your milestones.

The first big event for me occurred on Friday, July 19, 1974. It would happen at one of the most precious places in my memory; Chalcedonia Baptist Church. Though I have shared this many times, we can never over share the story of how we gave our life to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In the years since that night, I have failed God more times than I can count.

Thankfully, when He saves us, we are saved for eternity. This does not mean He is happy when we fail. But He forgives us every time. If God can save a sinner like me, and He did, He can and will save anyone who ask. My actions do not always show it, but my heart was changed that night.

On Monday, September 19, 1988, God sent us a beautiful baby girl, Lindsey. She was perfect and healthy in my eyes. When I first held her, I made the statement that I did not want another child because I was afraid, I could not love another one as much as I did her. This is not rational thinking. It was my thinking. Rev. Larry and Patsy Waddell were some of the first visitors we had at the hospital. We could see Lindsey through a window. They did not have her covered up completely which bothered me. In one of his sermons shortly after her birth, Rev. Waddell talked about his visit to the hospital and me wanting them to cover her up. His message spoke of the importance of modesty. That man can find a sermon in anything.

Thursday, September 30, 2021, God gave my baby a baby of her own. Beau Montgomery Shrout was born weighing 10 pounds and four ounces while being 22 inches long. My only prayer during her pregnancy was she and Beau be healthy. God answered my prayer. They had to stay in the hospital a few days for standard reasons. This week, I got to hold Beau in my arms for the first time. I hope there are many more. Though big for a baby, he was so tiny I was afraid I would hurt him. I instantly fell in love with that boy. It was a heart changing love. I can not put it into words. But he is perfect in my eyes.

I was blessed to know both sets of my grandparents and two sets of my great-grandparents. When I say I knew them, I knew them well. They were probably about my age when I was a kid. But I always thought of them as old. I have tried to remember back to a time when I did not think they were old. My memory will not allow it. With the interactions I had with each of them, there are multiple stories I could tell. I hope Beau will have memories of me when I am gone. If nothing else, maybe he will read my collection of columns and get an idea of who I was.

Proverbs 17:6 reads, “Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.” After reading this, I gave it a lot of thought. There is a great blessing in grandchildren. If it is God’s will, Beau has his whole life ahead of him of which I will only be a part. It is doubtful he goes around telling everyone about his granddaddy. But you can bet, I will be telling everyone about him. He is the crown in this story according to the Word of God. I will wear it humbly.

I have been blessed to achieve a few things personally and professionally. None of those things made this column. In the end, those things will not matter. We often get caught up in climbing the ladder of success. The only things which matter are the things which touch our heart.

Welcome to the world, Beau. You have already taught me about the love of a granddaddy for a grandchild. You could not have a better mama and daddy. Through all your ups and downs in life, always know you are loved.

Chris Collett is a longtime resident of Cherokee County.

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