By Abigail Long
I’ve been asked to write about the children’s lesson this week on Jesus the good shepherd. The analogy is that Jesus is the shepherd and we, as his disciples are the sheep. Jesus makes sure to take care of and lead his sheep always. One of the questions asked was “Who are the leaders in your life and how do they lead you?” Thinking about the answer to this question made me think about all the different people in my life who have had different impacts on me. All my life I’ve been raised by my beautiful mother, Shelley Henderson-Long, to be a strong independent woman. Six years ago, when we moved here, I gained another” mom”. The two women who have been some of the biggest impacts and leaders in my life are Shelley Henderson-Long, and Kristen Breakell. I always like to say I’ve been raised by two moms, which in a way, is true. Kristen and my mom are two of the strongest women I know. I watch them every day as they lead not only their own lives but everyone around them. They’ve taught me how to be resilient, courageous, independent, how to love everyone around me even if they’re hard to love, and of course they’ve taught me how to be a leader. Being a teenager, I’ve encountered all the annoying teenage problems. Breakups, losing friends, failing tests in school, and everything in between. No matter what kind of trouble I get myself into, Kristen and my mom are always there to give me a hug but help me remember I must keep going and this isn’t the end. Something they always say is to stay true to myself and never let anyone change who I am. They tell me I have a purpose in this world and I’m here for a reason. They always remind me of who I am. But they are the reasons I am who I am. They’ve helped me grow into the young woman I am today. Kristen and my mom have two of the kindest hearts I know. They’re kind to everyone around them, even if everyone isn’t kind back. They’re souls are beautiful and consistently shine light outwards. They’re two of the craziest southern women I know (another trait I am more than happy to have inherited), and together, it’s even more dangerous. But I am in complete awe of them every day. The way they carry themselves and our big Breakell-Long family, even if they’re struggling themselves. They’ve even brought in more women, Elizabeth Scaggs and Rebecca Scales, in my life who shine just as brightly as them. My mom’s infectious laugh, Kristen’s strong-will, Elizabeth’s kind touch, Rebecca’s outgoing manner. I am continuously absorbed in light and love. They have taught me how to be and live and shine and lead. These women are the best role models, and I am thankful everyday they’re here to be my leaders and shape me into one. I only hope, one day, I am as much of a leader as they are.
Happy Mother’s Day, I love you all.