A couple weeks ago the nation celebrated the life of Truett Cathy. On September 8, 2014, the man who created the chicken sandwich was wholly united with his God in heaven.

It was a Monday morning and my SLC partner and I were making pancakes for our hall when she told me that Truett Cathy passed away. The news didn’t come as a complete shock because I knew Truett had lived a full life and was late in years. I didn’t, however, realize the full impact that this would have on me.

All day long my Facebook was full of WinShape friends posting about the influence Truett had on their lives. As I went to class, all of my friends here at Liberty kept asking if I had heard the news, knowing that my mom works for Chick-fil-A corporate and that I’m involved with WinShape Camps and Impact 360. Instagram was filled with pictures of people eating Chick-fil-A chicken sandwiches and drinking milkshakes in honor of the late founder. Zaxby’s even tweeted their regards to the family.

And as I really let the news sink in, what I felt was gratitude.

Much of where I am today, and the incredible experiences I’ve been a part of, are a result of the effort of this one man. My faith is where it is today because of the opportunity I had to attend Impact 360 Fellows. Through this Christian gap-year program, I learned what it means to believe wholeheartedly that God is who He says He is, how to work through doubts and questions about my faith, and where I have discovered a living and thriving relationship with Jesus Christ.

To this day, one of the greatest experiences of my life has been being the senior camp worship speaker at WinShape Camps for Girls at Mt. Berry for the past two summers. This opportunity grew my passion for middle and high school girls and propelled me to pursue my dream of becoming a women’s and teen girl’s speaker. While at camp, I met some of my closest friends and watched campers step into a life of faith and bravery and out of darkness.

Both of these life-shaping events were a direct result of Truett Cathy’s faithfulness to the Lord and his passion to change the culture. Whether cooking chicken for the Ford employees working a late night shift or providing positive homes for children in foster care, Truett looked for ways to change lives and do all things with excellence.

Because of Truett Cathy…

I learned how to be a servant leader.

I saw what it looks like to serve the Lord in any setting.

I understood the importance of loving others well in every opportunity.

After a couple of weeks of reflecting on the life of Truett Cathy, all I can say is “thanks, Truett.” Thank you for what you contributed to my life, my family, my Impact 360 brothers and sisters and my favorite campers in the whole world.

It really is about so much more than just a chicken sandwich.