Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Tribe Life Tuesday: The Splendor of Legacy

A weekly post from my awesome friend Carrie ~ sharing her awesome life!

“If you’re living life based on only what you see, you’ll always be disappointed, discouraged and that life will be limited, but what if you began to live life by vision that sees no limits!” ~Gail McWilliams

Today is a special day! It’s a day when I get to share my beautiful friend Gail with you. Let me tell you about this woman: she is the essence of femininity, she is resilient, full of faith, and one of the wealthiest women I know! She is rich in grace and character. Fueled by passion and driven by purpose, you knew when Gail walked in the room!

Oh the confidence of Gail! She relied on the Lord and was confident in who He made her to be! Competition was far from her yet she was the best! I admire so greatly how her strength elegantly navigated her weakness.

Gail’s story is unique. You see at the age of 13 she was told she would only live to age 30 and that she would never have children. Boy did she defy that report! In her young adult life, Gail was forced to choose between her baby, who she was pregnant with at the time, or her eyesight. “The choice is made, I choose my baby”, said Gail. I was not there, but I can imagine her in the politest, kindest way snapping back with an immediate answer, because there was nothing to think about, she was choosing life. While sharing this story with me she said, “this verse sprung up inside of me, it was a verse I didn’t even know I really knew”. The verse said this:

“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!”

That’s Gail, the woman who trusted God FULLY.

Gail lost her eyesight, but not her vision. Her vision for herself, her family, and for others was vivid and stunning!

She and her husband have five children, comprising the incredible McWilliams Tribe! Some of them are already married, some have children, and the tribe continues to grow, grow, grow! I have had the privilege of building relationship with all of Gail’s children and they are all remarkable. Coming from a tribe of four myself, the challenges and joys of being in a large family aren’t unknown to me. But the way the McWilliams Tribe ebbs and flows with each other is beautiful, especially given all Gail faced to give birth to them. You see these five are the lives that Gail chose over her sight! These are the ones chosen over the strong recommendations of the medical experts all because legacy and life was greater than fear and self-preservation. Gail is a nurturer, a lover of many, and you are always welcome at her table!

I remember when my husband and I were new to Texas and still figuring out this whole adulting-thing while living away from my family and there was Gail. She was ready and willing to share the best advice! She was there offering her time, a listening ear, and her welcoming heart! I took her up on her offer many times, but there was one particular moment when I was smack in the middle of one of my hardest seasons on our infertility journey. I needed an “outside of the family” voice to speak life over me. I called Gail and just began to weep. She graciously said, “I understand, I’m sorry, and you can do this! Everything you need is in you.” She nurtured my heart back to health, her words were life and light in a dark moment. To say that I am grateful for Gail would be an understatement.

Gail recently went on to her ultimate living quarters, heaven, and it was in the time leading up to that, where I truly began to see her legacy! Her character is wildly evident in her children, their spouses, and her grandchildren.

Thank you to the McWilliams-Duckworth-Fowler Tribe for sharing your mother. 

Thank you Tony for your graciousness to us and for your mighty heart that leads the family so well!

Gail, you are beautiful!

See you next Tuesday!

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