Yesterday, we celebrated my 8th grader’s last junior high band concert. Let me just say how emotional I was. All the tears people. ALL the tears.
I’m usually not REAL emotional at his band concerts. I mean, I’ve had my moments yes.
Like that one time he came home and told me he made Honor Band President. I screamed so loud, I’m pretty sure the neighbors five blocks down heard me. Then I hugged him. Then I cried. And I hugged him tighter. But you see. This isn’t some over-emotional-parenting-cry. No. I wish I could walk you through Zach’s struggles when he was younger. That would take more than a blog post. It would take a LOT of coffee and a LOT of chocolate cake with a side of chocolate.
So, I will spare you. But I will say he has overcome some GINORMOUS obstacles in his short 13 years of life. So, seeing him up on that stage speaking in front of a packed auditorium, then playing a beautiful solo on his saxophone during one of their songs? I felt a little fluttery. Then my daughter leaned into me and asked, “Is that Zach?” Well, that just put my Momma heart just way over the top.
Because it was Zach… covered in God’s strength and victory designed specifically for him.
I’ve always prayed for my children. Last year, however, I started praying fiercely… like their lives depended on it.
There weren’t any specific health conditions or events that changed my prayer life for my children, but I started to notice defeat in my, then, 7th grader’s eyes.
- He worked hard in school.
- He was faithful.
- He followed the rules.
- He treated his father and I with respect.
- He did his chores.
- He was developing true friendships at church.
- He got great grades.
Overall? He was doing fantastic. Yet, there was defeat in his eyes and defeat in his heart.
I hated that.
He needed a win.
I knew I couldn’t change that, but God could. So, I prayed for strength and victory in whatever form God willed for it in Zach’s life. Last year a mom came up to me at Zach’s soccer game and our conversation went like this:
Her: Is that your son?
Me: Yeah, that’s Zach.
Her: He ran track didn’t he?
Me: Yes! He did. Long distance.
Her: My son did too. He’s a sprinter.
Me: That’s awesome! Which one is he?
Her: *Points to her son*
Me: Oh! We watched him and cheered for him. Yeah, he’s a very talented runner.
Her: He is, but I told him the other day, “Son? You watch that kid (Zach). He never wins his race on the track, but he never quits. He finishes every time. He prays with his mom before going to the starting line. He hugs her. He never quits. He’s always encouraging others to do their best. You watch him. Because that’s what winning looks like.”
And I cried.
I’m positive I must have scared that poor mom. She didn’t see it coming. All those tears.
I cried sitting on the sidelines of that soccer field.
Because it was Zach. Covered in God’s strength and victory designed specifically for him.
As his mom, I’m so overwhelmed by the blessings that reigned down on him this year.
- He ran for Honor Band President. And won.
- He ran for National Junior Honor Society Vice President. And won.
- He tried out for All-City Band. And won.
- He applied for his school’s Robotics team. And won.
- He competed in his school’s History Fair. And won.
But it was in all of those defeats that I saw him truly win.
- When he tried out for All-Region band. And lost.
- When he tried out for praise band at church. And lost.
- When he competed at Regional History Fair. And lost.
Because those times, show just how powerful the Holy Spirit dwells in him. He was devastated when he didn’t make All-Region band, but he didn’t let that take away his joy for playing the saxophone. He was upset when he didn’t make the praise band at church, but he prayed God would place him where He needs him most. He was disappointed that he didn’t make it to State History Fair……….. oh wait. He actually wasn’t all that upset because he knew that kind of stress was too much for his schedule.
All the times he “lost” has given him the courage to see the lost around him. His eyes have been opened for those who are sad, or hungry, or hurting.
All of his defeats, led him to the corner of a freeway, praying with a homeless man, sharing the love of Christ, and physically feeding him not only food for a day, but the bread of life.
THAT’S strength and victory in Christ my friends!