I decided to share a little glimpse into the personal life of the Alli part of Adam + Alli. If you have ever spoken with me for over 5 mins you most likely learned that I have two best friends, Nicci Kendrick and Ryan Rayborn. They are usually my favorite part of most any conversation. This post today is about the male half of those two. Ryan is a Captain in the Air Force and he volunteered for deployment. His deployment started THIS MORNING when he boarded the plane in Shreveport, La to make his way to Afghanistan. So what better day to tell you why I call him “my real life Captain America” than today? Ill start by saying that he is not going to be happy if he reads this, but that’s only because that is the type of guy he is… the type that doesn’t want credit for his good deeds. He practices Matthew 6:1-4 well in that he does not do good works in order to be recognized by men.
We have been friends for 15 years and in that time I have only seen him grow into an even more amazing human being. Even though I am a year older than he is, I have always looked up to him. What he lacked in the year of age was surpassed by his incredible God given wisdom. He has always been my rock. No matter what I am going through I know that he is just a phone call away and will be whatever I need him to be at the time… just an ear to listen to me, just a shoulder to cry…on sometimes sob on, or just an honest voice of reason. He has no trouble “keeping it real” in our friendship which means that he is the person that will say “Yes, Allison you do look bad in that outfit!” or the not so subtle, “what were you thinking?” He is also not afraid to call me out on life’s bigger issues. There have been many times where he kindly, yet sternly made me yield to the fact that I was running from God and needed to reevaluate my course.
I have seen him feed the hungry, clothe the homeless, spend time with the elderly, and even more importantly minister to the souls of so so many lost people. Ryan really does met people where they are the way that Jesus asked us to. I watched him take time out of vacation in Argentina to talk to the locals about Jesus’ love. How many of us would take time out of vacation in such an amazing place to witness to locals? That was one of the hundreds of times that his actions made me examine my own life and want to be a better person. Again, he did all of those things when he thought no one was watching. He didn’t do it for worldly fame. He did it because he follows his heart which is full of God’s love.
Ive shared a lot of the amazing qualities of Ryan, but I cant accurately paint a picture of who my real life Captain America is without telling you at least a couple of the not so Saint-like things about him as well. (sorry Ryan) He has an OVERLY adventurous spirit which I usually love, but on many occasions it has been that same spirit that has gotten me into A LOT of trouble. We blame him for Adam and I almost drowning and almost being ate by sharks in the Bahamas. It was his idea to kayak to an island way out in the ocean where there were NO other people except for the one man that had to save us and his wife. To get to the point, we listened to Ryan’s idea and started to kayak to the island but about half way out our kayak sank and we were stranded in the ocean! One other comical recollection of the Ryan mishaps…in high school Ryan parked behind my dad’s truck in the drive way. Let me clarify, my dad’s truck was parked in the driveway and Ryan drove up behind it with the intent of parking. Somehow he jumped out of his truck WITHOUT putting it in park, so his truck kept going and hit my dad’s parked truck. Ryan has sooo many other great qualities so I hope they focus on one of those and DO NOT let him drive while he is in Afghanistan.
So I call him my real life Captain America because of his massively compassionate heart for people, his ability to sense people in need and help them, his natural ability to lead, and just because he is a real Captain in the military. He is MY HERO whether he likes it or not!
People are more likely to be vested in and take time to pray for someone that is dear to their hearts, so I shared this in hopes that you would come to love the Ryan that I already love. I ask that you please pray for his safety and protection. Pray that God will shield his heart from the terrible parts of war and that his spirit will not be bound or broken.
No matter what your thoughts are on the war itself, remember that the people fighting it are just that… people. They are not trained robots, but actual people with thoughts, emotions, feelings. They are away from home and all that they know to be comforting. Pray for their peace of mind in doing their jobs. Pray for their families and friends that didn’t volunteer or sign up for this life. Pray that God will give the families and friends the words to say to support and comfort their soldiers. Remember every soldier is someone’s son or daughter, someone’s brother or sister, someone’s best friend so take a moment and pray for them the way you would want them to pray for your loved one.
THANK YOU to all the incredibly brave and selfless men and woman that are serving our country! You ARE appreciated! Special thank you to my best friend and hero Ryan! I love you!