I was driving down I-85 this morning listening to Nicole Nordeman's song "Brave" on my way to meet a good friend and mentor, Mark, so that we could visit Tony's EMBA class at Emory for lunch. Since the funeral, I really haven't been around anyone but close friends and family, so I was a bit anxious about my visit. Yet, I had an overwhelming peace that God would be with me as I listened to the words of this song, and I asked that God would make me brave today. Brave, yes, brave.
We arrived to meet the EMBA program director, Steve, and several of his colleagues. He presented me with the sweetest cards and contribution from Tony's classmates, and a very kind gesture from the University...wow, all I can say is wow. Thank you. I am so very grateful to be a part of this community that Tony poured his heart into for 3 months and look forward to continuing to track with his classmates as they labor and toil over what I pray becomes a major catalyst for the rest of their lives. Stay the course, my friends, stay the course.
We arrived at lunch and Steve pointed out the podium that they had set up in case I wanted to say a few words. "Say a few words" was not even on my radar this morning when I prayed to be brave. I tried to pass it off on Mark, but with no success, I figured that I had nothing to loose if I broke down - surely they would understand. I told Mark that I had absolutely no idea what I was going to say but walked to the podium anyway.
I wish I could tell you what came out of my mouth, but I don't even remember. I do recall looking out at these tired, weary faces - the faces of future CEO's, future world-changers, future dream chasers - with tears in their eyes. It was God reminding me that Tony, in his short time with them, had touched their lives. Tony's number one goal in acheiving his MBA was to build relationships. He had always felt called to minister to top executives, they were his mission field. His Emory classmates either are those top executives already or are on the track to becoming those executives one day. Goal and mission accomplished, my love.
WEMBA Class of 2011, I pray you continue to be brave. Watching Tony struggle and work his tail off for three months in this rigorous program, I know it takes a very brave soul to continue and finish strong. I'm cheering for you, and so is Tony. We greatly anticipate May 9, 2011, your launching point to go further and farther than you ever dreamed possible.
With a grateful heart for Emory and dearly loved,