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My niece, Natalie, is gone. She has begun her next chapter at West Point Military Academy.

The day before she left I took her out for breakfast — just she and I. As I sat across from her I couldn’t help but marvel at the beautiful woman she has become. My joy bubbled over and my mind enjoyed all the “I remember when…” moments of her younger self.

God’s purpose for us never changes because His purpose for us all is to draw others unto Him-

Natalie is the first of our Village Children to graduate high school and we all have been allowed to have a hand to help move her gently out of the womb and into the world.

Village Graduation Dinner at The Four Seasons Hotel, Washington, DC:           Village Kids: Nathan Herbert, Natalie Herbert, Lela-LaVonne Grant, Linda Bellamy, Niara-Avani Grant, Jordan Bellamy, Noah Herbert…and baby Lourdes Grant (asleep off camera).

Natalie’s journey has not been ordinary at all. Sometimes it seemed as soon as we had something figured out –a plan of action–the plan unravelled and there we were left to figure something else out. Isn’t that life though? Ordinary, no. Amazing…yes!

But what I learned is that God’s purpose for us never changes because His purpose for us all is to draw others unto Him–through our love, our witness, our praise, and our faith.

she has accomplished (in my eyes) much more that getting accepted into prestigious institutions such as West Point Military Academy, the United States Naval Academy, and the University of Virginia (to name a few), she has allowed her life to be used by the Lord

I have witnessed Natalie do this–from close up and afar. During the weeks leading up to her drive north we celebrated Natalie and she celebrated her village. What I loved most was the witness of God’s faithfulness in her life. She spoke publicly and wrote precious private notes–about how God kept her and provided for her in and out of every light and dark season of her life.

Through her life and through her journey she has accomplished (in my eyes) much more that getting accepted into prestigious institutions such as West Point Military Academy, the United States Naval Academy, and the University of Virginia (to name a few),  she has allowed her life to be used by the Lord. In ways known and unknown to her, she has ministered to both the young and the old and has drawn many hearts closer to the one who created us all.

Congressional Reception, Washington, DC Cherie Bellamy, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Natalie Herbert, Lorenzo Bellamy and Dr. Pamela Herbert (Proud momma!)

And for that I am grateful and inspired!

Congrats Natalie Herbert!

Go Army! Beat Navy!

Be encouraged!

Chantel ~ The Muse

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