The power of one life.

Living this life of mine, I think about this often. Goodness knows, for anyone that’s heard me speak at events or give lectures, it’s also something that I talk a lot about. Certainly, it’s something that I feel incredibly passionate about.

Yet tonight, as I should be asleep already, knowing our toddler will be up at least a handful of times through the night (don’t worry–it’s okay that I have to get up throughout the night–I’m used to it, and don’t worry–she’s okay, she’s just a very light sleeper), I’m lying here thinking about the power of one life. One life in particular, my nephew, Mike.

Twenty-five years ago, he was born into our lives, but had settled into our hearts in the months long before that. I have loved that blond haired, blue eyed boy since the moment I laid eyes on him twenty-five years ago, and I am forever grateful tonight for him. Not only for who he is (which, he’s amazing), but for what he’s done.

He raises his young daughter as a single father, he serves in the military, he’s incredibly talented in his work and is one of the brightest and most committed workers I’ve ever known. The man works hard and loves harder. For being twenty-five, he is wise beyond his years.

And as if who he is and what he does now wasn’t enough, his very existence ushered forth the truth about my life nearly 26 years ago. Ugh…twenty six years….how is that even possible?!

If it wasn’t for my sister becoming pregnant with Mike, I don’t know that circumstances ever would have lended themselves to my parents telling me about the failed abortion that I survived. If I never would have found out the truth, I honestly can’t fathom what my life would like today. What I do know, though, is that my life would be less joyful and purposeful. Serving God through sharing my story with the world, advocating for life to be protected and respected and a culture created that supports women and children, knowing fully who I am and who God made me to be and what He has called me to do with my life, none of those things ever would have happened if it weren’t for my nephew. I don’t think it’s a stretch at all to say that Mike has helped to save and transform lives around the world, as his life so intrinsically impacted mine.

Yes, there are countless numbers of everyday heroes that make a difference in our lives that we often think about, myself included, (for instance, the doctors, nurses, and volunteers who cared for me, my parents who adopted me), but as I look upon the landscape of my life, there are only a handful whose place in my heart is so deep, a handful with whom I share a history so intertwined, that their mark is indelible.

Mike, not to be one of those gushy aunts, but…..I am. I am one of those gushy aunts. (I think after 25 years that you know that). So, here I am openly thanking God for you. I would not be who I am today without you coming into this world. I would not be doing what I do in this world if it weren’t for you and how your life impacted mine. You are an incredible man and father. I am so proud of you.

Never underestimate the power of one life. You never know the impact they might make not just on you, but on this world.

Who’s made an impact in your life? Have you thanked them for what they’ve done?