Sunday evening, one day after the loss to LSU, the Georgia football program held it's annual gala to honor seniors and others who had gone above and beyond that season. Every year one senior is voted on by the rest of the senior class to give a speech at the gala and to my surprise, Charlie was chosen. He was notified only a few hours before the gala and usually, when words are involved he will come to me and say, "Squid, I'm not good with words...will you help me?" Well, that didn't happen this time and I'm so thankful it didn't.
I've attached the video here and I'd appreciate it if you gave it a listen before reading the rest of my words.
I'm so very proud of Charlie. This is not a typical role for Charlie but he looked as comfortable as ever up there. I would like to point out a few things from his speech that wowed me about my future husband.
He thanked those that go unnoticed all too often. If you're a parent or sibling of a teenage boy I think you'd understand the large undertaking of being a custodian, equipment manager, trainer and conditioning coach for a group of large men. Yeah...they need a large pat on the back.
He thanked the parents and like he mentioned they often go unappreciated. He said that he loved them...how often do we forget those three words about the ones we care about the most, but we will throw it around while drooling over a new product?
Then there was the part about me. To be honest, I was going to skip over this and encourage you to fast forward from the 2 minute to 3 minute mark, but that would be my pride getting in the way of what love is supposed to look like. Charlie honored me, loved me and affirmed me BOLDLY. Sure, it made me a tad uncomfortable being singled out and praised but it also brought me to tears. I get to marry a man who is not discouraged to talk about the woman he loves in front of a large group of men! Ladies, this shouldn't be a *BONUS*, no! Being loved, valued, affirmed and shown off by your man should be a standard. Guess what? It works both ways. I should also love, value, affirm and show off Charlie. He's my guy, my person, my go-to and I'm proud of that and want others to know what an incredible guy he is. Needless to say...build your person up, show them off and love them well!
Quick side note: The Tight End tradition of finding your woman, loving her well and placing a ring on her finger can't die, Fitz! In all seriousness, there have been some incredible men housed in the tight end room. I can't tell you all how much of an impact they've had on Charlie!
Moving on, swiftly!
He thanked the coaches. Gah lee do they put some time into their jobs! Sure, they're praised when the team plays how the fans want them too, but boy do they get some backlash when they don't.
Then he talked about the previous night, which was quite honestly the elephant in the room. The result of the SEC Championship was by no means the result they desired, but it was what it was and THAT IS OKAY! Here comes the part that made me melt and check my countdown app on my phone to see how many days were left until Charlie becomes my husband.
He spoke boldly about Jesus. He brought the word, y'all! He acted as a vessel for the Lord to be glorified. He offered the gospel. He did this in a room full of young men and their families that so many fans treat as a religion on Saturdays (and possibly every other day of the week). No man should carry that burden and because of the blood of Jesus, they don't have to. Friends, where is your identity? What burdens are you carrying that the Lord is begging you to place into His arms? Walk to the throne of grace because you can't do it alone. Surrender! Thank you, Charlie, for speaking boldly about your faith...it's one of the many reasons that I love you.
Lastly (almost), he thanked his boys, his teammates, the great group of men that he spent most of his time with. They grew up together...they became men together. Charlie choked up during this part because for those of you who don't know...being a collegiate football player is no joke. You're demanded to grow up fast and luckily they had each other.
Charlie didn't need a blog post to go with his speech, he said it best...that's for sure! I just thought it needed to be public and not to glorify him but to glorify the author of his words, the Lord.