It is time, one week after the scariest experience of my life as a parent…and it didn't take long to know that writing through yet another challenge reminds me of just how much God surrounds us when we are hurting. We are settling in to a temporary reality that is littered with disappointment and gratitude and setbacks and hope. And let's not forget pain…at every level. It is hard to watch but being mindful of being able to view from a front row with a future in tact means more than the circumstances ever could. I am beginning to see that theme of juxtaposition in the life we live.
Each child takes a journey and as much as we lead it, we really have very little control over it. I believe the greatest value we offer as parents is pointing our children to The One who created their lives for a purpose beyond their understanding but not beyond their desires.
Izik is a child much like my husband with a compassionate heart that is filled with determination but also with a huge emphasis on enjoyment that fills his inner self and which drives him toward his goals which have to be focused upon his loves and the investment he makes into those things that drive him.
Knowing that this child is incapable of anything but those innate understandings (especially as I have watched closely my husband's journey), reminds me that all the pieces are being assembled for his own story. A story…a test…a testimony. We all have to consider those stories. It creates our character and more often remakes it. We learn that whatever we hoped for or expected is ok to be delayed or possibly even destroyed at times so that it can be rebuilt and reconstructed into a greater story. With the right attitude and fortitude, we can find our greatest victories and successes come out of the adversities of our lives.
When Izik hit the tree at 40 mph on his skis, he knew that Jesus was who he needed to cry out to as he was spitting up blood and unable to breathe, thinking he may die. And that is exactly what he did…he asked God to be with him…he used it as an opportunity to seal the deal with Jesus. How comforting to know that my God is his God and one of my greatest burdens for him lifted…at least the one that matters more than any other…his soul's eternal destination.
Walking out the path that is laid, whether due to our own choices or the choices others make for us, is not usually one we care to take a second time nor would we ever choose it, but our future becomes directly patterned as a result.
Watching a child suffer is beyond my desire, but watching a child grow in his own perfect path to bring about God's purpose and his own peace within it is unmatchable to any other experience I can have as a parent. There is no hope without suffering and there is no victory without defeat. I always say I am raising leaders…now I believe I will say I am raising champions. According to Mike Thompson, CEO of SVI (an organizational development company) 10 differences are suggested between the two. After realizing those differences, I realize how much more appropriate my parenting goals are with the term champion:
1. Champions are personally grounded through values; Leaders can be situational.
2. Champions influence through love; Leaders can influence through power.
3. Champions pursue mutual value; Leaders can be self-serving.
4. Champions drive transformation; Leaders drive transaction.
5. Champions embrace the mission; Leaders embrace the role.
6. Champions are operational and visionary; Leaders are one or the other.
7. Champions aren't defined by circumstance: Leaders are limited by circumstance.
8. Champions are emotional; Leaders are guarded.
9. Champions are curious system thinkers; Leaders can be linear thinkers.
10.Champions are fully present in every moment; Leaders can be consummate multi-taskers.
When God says:
I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest, ~Isaiah 62:6
While his fragile body endured the impact and pain of the injury, it is now enduring the pain of restoration. Each day has brought about a reminder of just how much God really did protect him. While his injuries are not visible they are real just the same. As I was shown the trees…only 2 side by side…in a barren space, I think of God in the expanse of our lives…and realize once again it is just us and Him, and while we have others who we walk with, we really only have Him who we can trust to protect us and lead us and redeem us. It always happens for a purpose...His purpose. I have never taken that trust lightly and will never dismiss its significance. He saved my son in more ways than one…and He has purpose within it that we will both learn even as he heals. Embracing the difficulties allows room for the victories with the proper attitude to receive them.
I love seeing winners…but the winners that matter the most are the ones who win in life and become victorious as they overcome their obstacles, oftentimes those obstacles are between their ears as they flush out the defeat and make room for the champion that lives inside each of us. With God on our side, we win every time.
I could speak this over and over in my life and I know if those of us who trust Him, truly trust Him…we could believe there is so much behind the scenes we do not know or understand, but it brings about a most beautifully written story of hope and redemption….
~Psalm 124: “If the Lord had not been on our side—let Israel say—if the Lord had not been on our side when men attacked us, when their anger flared against us, they would have swallowed us alive; the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us, the raging waters would have swept us away. Praise be to the Lord, who has not let us be torn by their teeth. We have escaped like a bird out of the fowler’s snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.