How does your love for your spouse translate into your love of their passion? What is their passion? These questions resonate with me. I immediately felt compelled to share my interpretation of these questions. Why did a gal like me, who seldom writes, feel the urge to use this platform to share my thoughts? Because God has shown me the greater meaning of “passion” through my beloved.
Brett and I were introduced during the fall of 2011 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama by mutual friends. Brett, from Birmingham, Alabama, spent his Saturday’s raised on the plains of Auburn, Alabama cheering on the tigers. Native to Tallahassee, Florida, I came from a line of Florida State Seminoles and learned from an early age that “Gators” would not be in my vocabulary. Fall of 2009, I set my sights on Alabama and quickly learned football Saturday’s were a way of life. Rivalry took on a whole new meaning. Brett and I saw past the rivalry and instead found a home in each other. We became one as husband and wife January 31st (yes, we are newlyweds!) and are starting to settle into our new reality (or should I say, house divided?).
From the moment I met Brett, there were obvious “passions” that translated as hobbies and dinner conversations. The most notable being Auburn, college sports and golf. I call these “surface level passions”. Although our “surface level passions” completely contrasted, there was an underlying passion that drew me near. Through his words and actions, it quickly became clear what fueled his drive and energy. The core purpose of his passion is servant hood and engaging with others to find what fanned their inner flame. Although uncertain of his direction post graduation, Brett knew he was called to incorporate his passion into his career.
Summer 2013, Brett took a leap of faith moving to Columbia, Missouri, a city of no familiarity. He accepted a position with the University of Missouri Athletics to fund raise in the development office. Brett married his love of college athletics and passion to serve others. Through his position, he had the opportunity to engage and connect donors to their passion by supporting student athlete scholarships. This opportunity away challenged Brett both professionally and personally. Through his personal development and success to overcome adversity, I in turn learned what it meant to refuel your passion to become most effective and saw this as his greatest accomplishment. Through steadfast prayer and faith, Brett was presented with the opportunity to advance his career and come home to work as an athletics development officer at UAB. Overtime, Brett missed the ability and freedom of being a fan rather than an employee on college game days. Although fortunate for the opportunity to have turned both passions into a career, Brett felt led to separate the two and accepted a position in a different industry.
The past two years have been full of growth, change and learning how to “refuel” our drive and energy into our passions. Zig Zigler once said, “passion will die without constant inspiration.” I consider myself most blessed to have a counterpart who drives and inspires our marriage by his passion to serve and invest in what makes me/us most successful. Our happiness is not driven by tangible or material objects, but instead by encouraging each other to try a little harder, dig a little deeper, and find that inner fire that fans the flame. Passion takes self encouragement, faith, understanding and time. This is our love language.
So, what fuels your drive and energy? Whether its football, art or serving, I encourage you to find that spiritual gift and use it to fuel your passion.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one other.” Hebrews 10:24-25
Tell us a little bit about you and your spouse/loved one? Blake and I both grew up in the Auburn/Opelika area from birth to high school. However, we did not meet until our freshman year at Auburn University where mutual friends from Birmingham introduced us. It was not until that summer where we began spending time together by (just wait for it)…frog gigging. I promise we are not rednecks! We dated the rest of our time at Auburn and got engaged the spring of our senior year, and to no one’s surprise camouflage was involved.
What is their passion? It is evident to anyone that meets Blake that hunting is his passion. Not just like a southern boy who says he likes to hunt and occasionally goes on hunting trips. He loves hunting so much I will annoyingly ask him what he is thinking during a quiet moment and he answers, “Hunting (insert animal according to what season it is).” No lies! It has honestly turned in to a game for me. The day he proposed I thought I was going on a duck hunting trip on his land we often went to that had an amazing view of the city. He proposed, we had a wonderful moment, each of our best friends came, and Blake just so happened to propose in time for him and his best friend to actually go duck hunting. Not surprised one bit. I knew what I was getting into when I said yes.
How does your love for your spouse translate into your love of their passion? It would be pretty safe to say that I would have never stepped foot on a boat in which the main purpose for me being there was to shine lights on the shore to spot frogs or climb up a tree when it is ten degrees outside to maybe see a deer if I had not met and fell in love with Blake Sayers. Besides the obvious, my love language is definitely quality time, and being married to a hunter there are lots of times when bedtime is at 7 p.m. and the alarm goes off at 3 a.m. It is so easy for me to get angry or put my foot down on pending hunting trips because it cuts into our time, but the Lord definitely has to calm my heart and my selfish desires to allow that time for him to do his passion. It is not something I can do on my own. Since we have been married, Blake has been absolutely wonderful about the whole quality time thing…have to give him credit!
What has been the moment where you were proudest of your spouse’s accomplishment? I do not think there is a specific accomplishment where Blake has had his “biggest kill.” I am definitely excited for him, but my favorite thing about his passion for hunting is the connections he has been able to make with people. He has been given countless opportunities to go on trips with groups of guys who do not know the Lord. Through their common passions, Blake is able to share and show the Gospel to them. To me, that makes the crazy hours and trips worth it. I love to hear about all of Blake’s stories as he comes back from trips where he had wonderful conversations with his buddies that do not have anything to do with hunting. Making disciples while hunting sounds like a wonderful passion to me!