It’s crazy to me how God uses our environment to shape the people we become.
Birmingham has been my home ever since I was born at Brookwood Hospital in 1999. For most of my early childhood, my family lived in Helena near those huge, blue water tank things off I-65. The only memory I really have during that time of life was that Santa himself would ride down my street on a fire truck, which was the coolest thing ever. When I was about four or five years old, my family relocated to Meadowbrook on the opposite side of town to be closer to my dad’s job and our school (Oak Mountain Classical, at the time). At Christmas I was pretty bummed to learn that Santa was too busy in Helena to come to Meadowbrook as well. However, it was in Meadowbrook that I met one of my best friends, Weston Padgett. Because we lived in the same neighborhood, we became very close and would anxiously sit in the gym at school each day hoping to hear 19 and 33 called at the same time, which meant that we were hanging out after school. Years later, God brought the Blythe family to Birmingham as well. Brayden Blythe and I became close friends partly because we were in church together and also because he lived very close to my house. We could easily hang out and spent countless hours venturing through our neighborhood. Honestly, I could tell many other stories of guys who have influenced me, such as Pierce Moffett, Mason Greer, Wiley Boone, Parker Mixon, and the list could go on. It just amazes me how God has used Birmingham to shape me and to influence my family. However, the story is beginning to shift towards a new location as my dad has taken a job in Atlanta, Georgia. Next summer my family will move and start a new chapter to our story in a new city. Looking back, I see all that God has done here in Birmingham during the first years of my life. It makes me all the more excited to see what will unfold in Atlanta as he continues to make me the man he wants me to be.