Thomas was wearing the “coat of disappointment” as he came home from Q School. He was quiet and meek…sad over his play and not making it to the next stage of Q school–one way to get your “Tour card”. It would have put him one step closer to his dream of playing on the PGA tour. Thomas has dreamed, since around the age of 10, of playing on the PGA tour.
If you are not a golfer…let me summarize the importance of Q School for you. It starts every fall and ends in December and is composed of four tournaments. You have to make the cut in all tournaments or stages in order to make it to the final stage in December. Then you have to make the top 25 to be qualified to play in “Tour” (professional events). Q school isn’t the only way to “skin the cat,” but it is one way. Now that door was closed for T until next September.
We have all learned to pray and remain silent after major disappointments in our house. Silent until the one who is “down” is ready to talk and process it with someone else. So, when Thomas came home, I knew I had to wait. It wasn’t until a week later that Thomas appeared in my study one morning to start to talk through his hurts and his future.
I had been praying months in advance over Thomas’ future–for direction, vision, provision and God’s confirmation. I also prayed for my words and advice to him as he works to “pursue his dream!” I can honestly say…through prayer and prayer alone…do I feel God has confirmed that Thomas’ dream is from God.
As Thomas has grown up, he has never wavered in his work ethic, no matter the outcomes. He graduated college in four years and finished strong. He made the dean’s list his last semester when most kids check out, including his mother when she was in college. He, on many occasions, has shared his thoughts. I have prayed specifically asking God to direct his steps, to direct our advice to him, and asked for God’s provision.
Being 52 and still pursuing dreams and goals that God has continually placed in my heart all my life…..I am more than well aware that following and seeking God in all things is the only ROUTE to take…to follow God and His direction step by step, even if it doesn’t make sense to yourself or the outside world. Praying …..Psalm 25:4, “Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths.”
I have come to understand God takes different paths. Paths that are not the norm…simply so we can SEE HIM more CLEARLY. These paths confirm to us that there is NO DOUBT…it is of God and not of ourselves. Sometimes we need to mature and be prepared to handle the road of our dreams…because Big Dreams…fulfilled can come with BIG RESPONSIBILITY…the kind we can’t imagine or sometimes prepare for since we have never walked that path. There are many reasons, and they vary, as to why God does what He does. I will be the first to say sometimes in this life it just may not be made clear to us.
But for this post…I have to share…how God gave Thomas and our family a “burning bush,” a confirmation over the direction of his life.
A week after Thomas came home from not making the cut to go to the next stage of Q School, Mike, our daughter’s boyfriend, did make it. He asked Thomas to travel with him to Florida and be his caddy. Thomas did not hesitate. I was happy as a mother about that. At 52, and in my spiritual walk with Christ, I have learned that serving others is a great thing, especially if you have really nothing to gain. Thomas had nothing to gain except time spent with Mike. They are great friends outside of Mike’s and Collins’ relationship.
Two days after Thomas and Mike got to Florida, I sent Thomas a simple text asking how things were going. His text back to me, “It is going good…but this is a very humbling thing much harder for me than I thought it would be. I so wish I could be where Mike is but that is just not God’s plan.” I encouraged him by saying, “Embrace the humble place. Scripture teaches that is when God can do His best work in our lives.” I also told him that when you do things for others out of the goodness of your heart, God brings blessings. I also reminded him that we do things just because and not to look for the blessings, but usually God’s economy works like this…He blesses a servant’s heart.
Thomas texted, “Ok. Thanks Mom!” That was it.
Four hours later I received a text from Thomas, “Mom…guess what?”
Let me just stop here and say when Thomas texts or says to me…”Guess what?”…he is about to share a God moment.
He then told me, “I just got a text from Jordan Byrd letting me know a Clemson donor and alumni had offered me a spot in the Egolf Tour Championship in Hilton Head on December 3-6.” …….A REAL UNEXPECTED BLESSING!
Let me just enlighten you…most guys in that Championship had to earn their way there from their play throughout this year. A few others who get in are offered “sponsor’s exemptions”. Thomas had seen that tournament online but didn’t even try to get in…because he hadn’t played that tour all year. The invitation was an “out of the blue….GIFT!” Thomas currently didn’t have any status that warranted him getting in. Are you understanding or seeing the God moment? Thomas texted me and asked if he should take it. I said, “Absolutely. This is from God!”
Fast forward….God provided a place to stay in Hilton Head in the home of dear friends, Dana and Gerrick Taylor and their two precious children, who prayed with our boys, fed them, and went way out of their way for them. God worked in the hearts of my family to allow Brewer to miss a week of work at the family company to caddy for Thomas. God blessed Thomas with great play and success–finishing 13 out of a field of 175 players. He earned money as well.
You see, I have been praying for God to encourage Thomas in a direction so that there would be no doubt as to the road he should be on, especially since Q School did not go well for T. God has been so gracious to “light the path” with the “gift of the invitation” to the championship. Funny, a side benefit and message from God to Thomas I feel…is this, “I have you, Thomas. Follow Me. It all doesn’t have to be in your strength. Work hard but trust Me. Rest in Me and allow Me to take you down MY Path. It may not look like the path of others but live in…humility, have trust, and maintaining a servant’s heart. All of which are key. That is a man God can use!” How many of us could use that message?! I need to be reminded daily!
Psalm 18:36 reminds us that He does provide the path. “You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way.”
WE certainly don’t know what tomorrow holds, but we know the One who does. His ways are not our ways. Our job is to be faithful and seek God with all our heart and in all our ways ….knowing we will fall short at times. That is where God’s grace covers and we just repent…and keep moving down the path that God promises to light as we walk behind Him, not in front!
Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”