It's Not Growing Up Anymore-Chris Dennis

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
This question has plagued me since I was little. Nervous as I was, some random, wacky job always seemed to come out of my mouth. Still, as a sophomore, I can't even help but freeze up when someone asks me this face-to-face. It's not that I don't know what I want to do, it's that I don't want to say it. I don't want to be responsible if I fail, when it really gets to the bottom of everything. I think I gave up the idea of succeeding in something, or anything, that I would do a while ago. I always felt my ambitions were to big. I've been proved wrong though, countless times...
When I was in 5th grade, I believe, I wanted to run an orphanage. My mother had asked me, and that's what came out of my mouth. A fifth grader, wanting to keep track of other kids. I couldn't even remember to brush my own teeth without being told. Two days later, mom heard on the radio that there was a need for orphanages, they needed more people willing to run them. Say what? My random blurted-out answer fulfilled a need. Now, I don't want to do this anymore, but at the time, I was all for it.
There was a guy from my church. His name (I'm having the hardest time putting was and not is) was Chris Dennis. I didn't really know him that well. I could probably could on my toes and fingers how many words I spoke to him. The most distinct memory I have with him is when he came and talked to our youth group. I don't even remember what he talked about. I was to busy judging him. Chris had ALS. When I met him he could barely talk. He was in a wheelchair and couldn't do to much by himself. As a 6th grader, that didn't really matter to me. I've learned differently now. But what mattered is that he came to tell people not to give up, not to let something knock them down without getting back up. The day he was diagnosed (at least this is the story I heard) he went back to track practice, like nothing had happened. He stood strong in his faith. His story amazes me every time I hear it. All stories seem to come to an end though. He had passed away while sleeping one night...To this day I haven't found why God took him, of all people. At the time, I didn't care about his story when he came and spoke to us. But the moment that impacted me most was when I heard about his funeral.

This is a picture from his funeral. There were too many pallbearers so there were 6 who carried him and the others had their hands on the shoulder of the person carrying Chris. It was in that moment, my character broke. I pleaded out for change. I needed to change. I wanted to impact people like Chris did. Such an impact that has lasted this long to the point where he's been in heaven for years and I am still searching for what he did that others admired him for so much. Now, when people as me this:
"What do you want to do when you grow up?"
Well, you know what-it's not growing up anymore to me. I find it's in the moment where I freeze up and can't search fast enough for an answer is the moment when God finds me and uses that moment for His glory and plan to shine through. I don't feel silly anymore when asked this question because now, my answer is...
I want to make an impact and change peoples lives forever.
I can't imagine leaving this world without being a Chris Dennis, or countless other people I admire for their boldness and strength.
That's who I want to be.
That's who I will be.
~Believer in PRTC


  1. Wow! That's definitely an impacting story! Thanks for sharing.


  2. I really like this Ali! Don't ever worry about being too ambitious. As long as you are first loving God and seeking Him, amazing things will happen. It's so awesome to see the passion you have to impact others! And I am confident you have already had quite an impact on many people :)

  3. You are amazing and making an impact! Your infectious personality and fabulous spirit make an impact to those around you! :-)

  4. Ali, my girl, how have you grown up to have this hunger and thirst for serving God and others??? I am literally in awe from your words!!!! The moment you told me that you wanted to run an orphanage I could immediately see that you had the heart and ability to do just that. Honest! Seriously! You get the self-doubt because you are human and because you are my daughter. But the important thing to remember Ali, is that it isn't you at all that makes the impact. It's what Jesus is allowed to do through you! God knows us perfectly. He created us. He knows every crack, flaw, blemish or even our brokenness. We as human beings don't want to accept imperfections. In fact, sometimes we ridicule people for having them when God already knows and has a plan for how to use those imperfections to bring Him honor and glory. Of course, I think that you are perfect and precious, and I love you dearly! It is my deepest and sincere prayer Ali, that happiness, material possessions, or fame never exceeds your desire to let God use your life in order that others may see the Light of the World!

    Love you forever,

  5. ...great words-wise beyond your years!