Football

The evening marked an end of an era. My youngest son was celebrating his final football season and we were there listening to the coaches praise the team and the individual players. Jaden was recognized for his tenacity, can-do attitude and overcoming spirit. The evening ended with a seventeen minute video montage of the season. The pictures of dirt, sweat, and grit set to the backdrop of sentimental music set many moms eyes watering.

I wondered, as I watched the video, how many hours my sons had dedicated to this sport. And I wondered how many hours I’d sat on the bleachers to cheer them on as I watched a sport I still don’t understand. Then it really hit me. This is truly the last time I would ever watch any of my sons play the game of football. And, oh, how they all loved the game…

I’ve been listening and watching as Jaden processes the end of him ever playing this game again. He talks about what he could have done better, the moments that frustrated him, and the highlight moments that made him proud. Mostly, I watch as he grieves the end of something precious to him. As a mom, I pray and hope that Jaden finds something else in the future he’s just as passionate about that he can enjoy for much longer than he enjoyed football.

The end of this year feels like an end of an era for me. Not only are we ending a year, we’re also ending a decade. There’s a bittersweetness to an end that causes most of us to look backwards with mingled emotions. I focus on what I’ve seen the Lord do with me, through me and for me. If I could create a video montage of what my journey with the Lord has looked like, it would include some of the following memories.

This past decade, I pursued the presence of God wherever I heard He was moving. I went to many Holy Spirit and Prophetic conferences. I attended Healing Schools, led international mission trips focused on training, healing, and equipping. I saw blind eyes open, deaf ears hear, and a stroke victim walk out of her wheelchair just because I prayed in the name of Jesus with a mustard seed of faith. I’ve watched families heal, people come alive to the voice of the Living God, fall in love with Jesus as a Being and not a religion, and over fifty people receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit when I laid hands on them. I’ve encountered Jesus in dreams and visions and prophetic words that shook me to the core of how accurately and clearly He revealed His will for those I prayed for.

I’ve marveled as the Lord picked this broken vessel out of a pit of despair and placed me on a college campus as a professor with zero experience in professional teaching. I’ve been blown away with the open doors to media God placed before me without me ever having knocked or asked. Somehow, God gave me ministries to steward and a band of sisters came around to rally to the call together.

I was awestruck when a well known prophet called me out by name, address, education, and calling and gave me an encouraging word to keep going. And I was brought to grateful tears when the prophet declared that my husband would receive a much needed healing and came home to find that, indeed, my husband was healed. I received an undeserved award for excellence from CWIMA that was a complete surprise for me. I knew that it was only the favor of God that would have brought me such recognition for such little work. I went to Israel and walked the land that Jesus walked and knew I was forever changed.

I saw the Lord move through my family and heal broken places of trust and heal the way we did life together. And in moments I struggled with difficult and toxic relationships, I’ve watched as the Lord delivered and rescued me from them all. When I was falsely accused, persecuted or ostracized, I stood in awe as He vindicated me and protected me. With tremendous gratitude, I’ve seen how the Lord hand picked precious friends who have become my sisters. Through hurts, betrayals, and painful fall outs from those who were precious to me, I’ve received His constant reassurance and companionship that comforted my devastated heart.

When our family was in desperate financial crisis, I saw the delivering hand of my Father as He transitioned us in and out of different homes through crazy miracles. We’ve buckled to our knees with thankfulness as God provided for us with breakthrough answers that boggled our minds. And I saw the miracle of life again as my precious grand daughter was born and marked a whole new era of life for me as a grandma.

There are too many memories to recount. The highlight reel is much too long and the list of regrets graciously forgiven and forgotten. Bobby Conner told me once that I was very special to Jesus and He would become my very best friend. As I look over the past decade, I can testify that Jesus has truly become my best friend. His faithfulness, His mercy and grace, His constant joy in me and His never ending ways of shocking me with His goodness has cemented my heart to His. There’s no other love but Jesus for me. There’s no other high but the Holy Spirit high. And there’s no other God than the Father who ultimately designed me and called me into existence.

Jaden will find another passion that will be greater than football. But his grief for what has ended is genuine and even needed. I realize that as I face the end of this decade, I’m filled with nostalgia for all the first times I’ve had with the Lord that will never happen again. Yet I look forward to a new season that will be even more glorious than this sweet season that is ending.The strange tension of grief and hope is in every ending because every ending is also an invitation to a new beginning.

I invite you to go through your memories of this past decade and chronicle all that God has done for you. Remember all He’s done and testify to His goodness. And let the Lord invite you into the greater and the more. Believe the prophets and know that this coming decade will be full of revival, harvest, and promises fulfilled.

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