Yesterday was Andrew Martin’s birthday. He is my brother-in-law, my friend, and my brother in Christ. Probably his greatest title is father. He and my sister have a precious little girl named Bella.
My sister, Melissa, and I have a special relationship. Since I could talk, I have called her “Missy” instead of Melissa – she never seemed to mind. Once I got old enough to understand that boys would want to date her, I started pretending to be real tough and critical of guys so that they would understand that I wanted them to treat Missy right. It got to the place where I think Missy would tell potential dates that I wasn’t going to like them from the start. She was probably right.
So, it was in the mid-90’s when Missy told me that she had met a guy in Nashville, TN (where I was also living and going to college). She met him at a place called Laser Quest where us Meade kids had spent way too much money that particular summer. Finally, after telling me she had met a guy, my brother Gary, his girlfriend Lisa (now his wife), myself, Missy, and Andy were going to play a board game (I think it was Outburst or Scattergories, I can’t remember). I do remember Andy doing a pretty mean impression of a gnome playing a violin – although I don’t remember the context of why he would do such a thing.
Well, it wasn’t long till I began to learn of some similar interests between me and Andy. Star Wars fan. Movie quote lover. Musician. Theme Park aficionado. It was at my cousin’s graduation in Whitesburg, KY that I came to appreciate Andy just a bit more. We were setting up about 5,000 tables and chairs for an outdoor reception when my brother, Gary, and I delivered a line from a somewhat obscure movie, “Real Genius.” Andy not only had seen the movie, but responded with a Jerry Hathoway quote of his own. Nice.
Missy and Andy eventually got married in Kingsport, TN at Temple Baptist Church. Since that day, the work God has done in Andy’s life has been nothing less than amazing. Sometimes we pastors try to prove the existence of God by a variety of means. The best way is still to simply look at what God does in people’s lives. Andy has always been a great, loving guy who was crazy about my sister. But when he decided to take his faith to another level, God honored that in a big way. I had the great privilege of baptizing Andy at Fosterville Baptist Church in Fosterville, TN. He has allowed God to transform him into a more Godly husband and a simply incredible father. Andy is a committed servant to his church and to his Lord, recently working on a committee to rewrite the church bylaws, something that no one in their right mind would try to take on – yet Andy had a great attitude about it from the beginning. I also am so thankful for his love for my mom; Andy has gone above and beyond what most husbands would be willing to do for their mother-in-law.
So, I am essentially saying that I am thankful to God for giving my sister a man who will step up, take care of things, and keep his eye on the ball. When God created Andy Martin, He did so knowing all the plans and purposes He had in store for his creation. Part of that was to be the provider and lifelong companion for my sister. It is no small thing. And he is excelling at that calling on his life.
My brother Andy, you are loved. When it perhaps seems that persistence and doing the right thing goes unnoticed, I promise you it doesn’t. Happy Birthday my friend. And may the force be with you.