As I have often given credit to the “coach” in my life that showed me a different way…Obviously the Lord had this planned through His providence. I was a teenager with a tendency to be the teacher PET. I guess it was a natural reaction as much of my life has been spent seeking approval of others, especially those that stand in authority. By now, I am around 15-16yrs of age and just in that great “babysitting” stage. My most favorite influence in my life, Coach Dave McConnell, asked if I would be willing to babysit his children.
Well, I did, I remember him coming to pick me up and drop me off. He went way above the call of duty. The many times that I “sat” for them, I began to realize that something was VERY different at their house…it was a home. There was peace, love, tranquility (ok as much as there could b with small toddlers, lol). I realized that his walk at school was also the same as his home. Although, I never heard the full gospel in word…I saw it in their lives. For many years he was a constant in my life. He loved me and respected me….didn’t attempt to take his authority for granted. He lived a life that was of a mentor….quite possibly he doesn’t remember, but he was the very man I went to the day my daddy died. I went to see him and talk to him. I did nothing but tell him what was to happen later in that day, but I said that to say, he must have had some form of “pull” in my life…it was HE that I came to share my burden with. Months later, in summerschool (i have already grad) I came to him with my confusion of my relations with another “staff” member from our school. He obviously had my trust, he gave me guidance.
I will never be able to repay for his discipleship in my life. He and his precious wife probably don’t even recall the memories from so long ago, but I can plainly see their wooden table in the living room, I recall making cookies with their oldest daughter and her hands getting caught in the mixer, I can see him driving that big’ol greyish car picking me up at the church. I can hear him making fun of me and friends in summerschool (10th grd), we wanted to sleep…he was so dern mean, he made us actually do our work….BUT, can I say, that summer to date, was the BEST memory I have in my life. I can see him over in the old math “pod” (building…WEIRD floridians & their verbage), STUDYHALL it was…I remember kicking him to the curb and going to “work” for another administrator. He was of course, just messing around, but those words never left my heart…he never kicked me to the curb, he was ALWAYS there for me. As I have share a portion of this information with him, he has so graciously given the Lord all credit, etc…a true man of God, he just wants his life to be edifying to others….BUT, don’t be shy Coach, I love you and wouldn’t have turned out the way I have today, if not for your Godly influence. He wasn’t the one to lead me to the Lord, but he was the one that showed me there was MORE to life than hurt and dishonesty. How does one repay such favor??? It can’t be done, but I am gonna take a leap here and say, there is a special jewel in your crown, probably a HUGE one, lol…labeled, Marriana Counts…….dude, you probably deserve an extra wing added onto your mansion for your influence in my life…….but, THANK YOU really doesn’t do justice, but that is all I have to offer…my respect and admiration…..my Coach, my Friend, my Angel……….