Christine Avell – Matthew 18:5
300 People who influence, inspire, challenge, encourage, & move me.
I decided to write about 300 people, other than Jesus, who impact my life.
– Chris Avell
Did you know my mom is not my birth mother? Neither did I until I was 22 years old… And boy was I shocked, really shocked, when I found out!
Was I shocked because my parents waited 22 years to tell me? A little bit. Was I shocked because everyone around me knew and yet kept it a secret? A little bit. Was I shocked because I thought I was Italian and Irish and found out I was neither of those but rather mainly Greek? A little bit.
So what was I so shocking if not those things?
Mark 12:31 (part)
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
What was shocking is simply that – based on the love of my parents – I had no idea that I was adopted. They loved me as their own child. I never would have guessed, based on their love for me, that I was not their natural born son. PRAISE GOD!
What a blessing it was to find out that my parents – who loved me so much – did not love me out of some “well, we conceived the kid” obligation, but out of their own heart to love as they’ve been loved by Christ.
1 John 4:19
We love because he first loved us.
Over the years my mother would teach me many lessons, many I would have to learn “the hard way; many I would have to “learn” more than once… But the main thing Mom taught me was grace and forgiveness. Not by preaching about it but by showing it time and time again in her relationship with me. I never had to earn my mother’s love and forgiveness, even as I wronged her *not seven times but seventy-seven (Matthew 18:21-22)*. Her grace with me was amazing and made even more amazing by the fact that I was not her blood-son. Her grace with me continues to this day.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Mom, thank you for being the mother I needed and still need. The mother God placed in my life – I see His Grace and His Mercy in your relationship with me. There is so many other things you could have done with your life, but I thank you…
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
You laid down your life for our family; thank you.
I give God thanks for you daily.
You’re one more amazing gift He has given me.