Surrendering My Kids

Practices. Practices. Practices. Late night dinners, sitting on hard bleachers three games a week…and did I mention injuries? This is life during football season. After seven years, I appreciate what the game has taught my children in discipline, teamwork, and perseverance. I may not understand offensive and defensive strategies, but I gained a valuable perspective as the medics took my son off the field in an ambulance.

We lived in North Vancouver, Canada, for a year-and-a-half while my husband managed a project there. Mark was in India on business during this emotionally intense game. At one moment we were rejoicing when I called him in the middle of the night to announce Connor’s first touchdown. Twenty minutes later I called my husband urging him to pray for our son who lay flat on the field with a neck injury. Always calm in a crisis, Mark petitioned God and trusted Him from the other side of the world.

Connor winced as the medics examined him. Standing over my son, fear gripped me and I began to pray. I sensed God’s presence in the situation as the players on both teams took a bended knee on Connor’s behalf.

Was this a test? Would I trust God with my son? Would I use this crisis to tell people about Jesus? Would I be a godly example in the midst of chaos? Suddenly, a peace took over. I asked God to use me in a place where being a Christian is unpopular.

When the crowd of parents expressed concern, I boldly requested that they pray for my boy. I was not worried about their nationality or religious views. I wanted God to be glorified. When we ask people for prayer we turn people who may not normally pray to God. When God is petitioned, His power is released in the circumstance. People see answered prayer and seeds of God’s faithfulness are planted. We may never know the impact of our request, but our heavenly Father does. And what concerns Him most is an intimate relationship with His children.

In the ambulance I sat by Connor’s side as he lay on the gurney immobilized in a full body brace. I thought, what is the worse case scenario? I surmised that my son may not walk. Yes, that would be tragic, but not the end of the world. I had peace. I trusted His promise that no matter what happened God works all things for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, (Romans 8:28). The ride to the hospital gave me an opportunity to share with the medics how Jesus healed my son from leukemia a few years before.

At the hospital the doctors, nurses, football coach, and anyone else in earshot heard Connor’s story of God’s faithfulness. Gradually we all witnessed another healing. The doctor announced Connor’s quick recovery as a miracle, while the coach diagnosed the injury as a stinger. When I praised God and announced many people were praying they smiled and probably thought I was a little crazy, but that’s alright. I must only be concerned about pleasing God not men.

This season, I pray from the stands as we watch Connor pummel players as line-backer, full-backer, and strong safety on his freshman team. Friday nights we watch our daughter, the varsity cheer captain along with her team, balance a girl above their shoulders, throw her high in the air, and catch her inches above the ground. At the field on Saturdays, we watch our youngest son crush players as defensive tackle, while my husband helps coach his Pop Warner team.

A few weeks ago, I surrendered Connor once again with an injury to the lower back. The pulled muscle near his kidneys prompted the doctor to test his urine for blood.

No blood in the urine, but very high protein levels peaked the doctors curiosity to do further testing. Doctors have said before that the high levels of chemotherapy he endured at five-years-old puts him at risk for future complications.

Fortunately, after further tests, we believe the high protein to be the result of mega protein supplements intended to beef up Connor’s weight and muscles to combat players who seem almost twice his size. Although Connor lost two years of growth during his intense chemo treatment and bone marrow transplant we have witnessed God’s supernatural power through his small stature. He has a driving force of determination, motivation and strength in the game. Now, off all supplements, we just continue to nag Connor about eating healthy.

This October (2012), we celebrated 13 years that Connor is cancer free. I praise God for these additional years with my son as well as each of my children who are all gifts from God. I have learned to surrender them on and off the field. There’s a battle out there, at any moment something can happen to our precious loved ones.

My perspective on the game is to take comfort knowing Jesus healed two thousand years ago, has resurrection power, and heals today. Thankfully we are not in control, God is. And I have seen over and over His faithfulness in every circumstance. We should face our struggles with peace as we trust God, lean not on our own understanding of the situation, but claim His promises, and ask others to pray. This is when God is glorified and others find hope through our testimony of God’s faithfulness.

This scripture epitomizes how I want to live my life surrendering to God. “For I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death,” (Philippians 1:19-20).

I surrender all.

God’s Word To Live By:

Acts 20:24
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.

Philippians 1:19-20
For I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.

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