I have had a hard time sleeping the last couple of days. Sleeping has never been a problem for me except when something really good has happened or something really bad has happened. Recently, praise God, it has been the “good”. No, that is not the word…it has been the “GREAT” that has had me lying awake at night.
On the Back 9, one of my favorite things is to enjoy, relish, and sometimes participate in, seeing young people climb and achieve lifelong pursuits and dreams. Just a few days ago, I sat at home with Thomas watching an adopted daughter/friend realize a goal she has been working to realize for years. We have watched her grow up and witnessed up-close the failures and successes, the hours…thousands of hours of time put in, the sacrifices…and living and sweating and working in the hope of a dream that was distant. It finally all come together in a moment…that moment that all of a “sudden” is reality…causing me to scream loudly and wildly.
Yes, I was screaming while watching the final few holes of the recent LPGA Championship held in Portland last Sunday evening. It went into a play-off for the win. I watched this young woman whom I have known since she was a child, Austin Ernst, confidently and gracefully close the deal. I watched her then be overcome with emotion all the while hugging her brother, Drew, who was on her bag. It kept me up all night! I felt as if it were my own flesh and blood….I had texted Austin that morning, which is not usual for me to do. It was also not usual for her to respond right back…I knew somehow that Sunday was going to be a great day for her….!
I know Austin day in and day out does things which I think creates a champion–discipline, focus, hard work, sacrifice, and tunnel vision. All coupled with a love for Christ and deferring her will to His! I know this not from what I hear her say, but what I have observed her do for years! We texted about having the kind of “Peace” that only Christ can give….and from that peace comes a Godly confidence…watching it lived out through her life…has made me scream, laugh, cry and “dance a jig”! as she won the play-off, executing some very good shots under pressure. I am so proud of who she is as a person and not just for what she has achieved!
As if that wasn’t enough…. the very next day I got to jump out of bed and throw on shorts and race to the airport…to send off another young woman…whom I consider to be an adopted daughter/friend……to chase her lifelong goal/dream as she heads to the Miss America Pageant. I guess you could call me “Old Mother Hubbard,” but I prefer the name that many have given me which is “Mama B!” I am also grateful that my own God-given children embrace the idea of me mentoring/adopting other kids…..LOL! They may secretly be saying….”Good… that means she is not “hovering over me so much!”
Lanie stayed in our home for many days after she won the crown of Miss South Carolina in June. She needed to be in Columbia….to prepare for the MIss America Pageant…we all loved it….as I got this very up-close and personal time with Lanie….I saw that she mirrors all the things I have watched Austin Ernst do with golf.
Both of these young women…..have their act together way beyond what many their age do….a maturity…a work ethic…a focus….a kindness….a teachable spirit….and a humility…all that I see coming as a direct result of their personal relationship with Christ. I have to mention that both of these young women have been blessed with loving families who have impacted and supported their vision, goals and dreams…..but I have seen…and talked with them directly and individually about their faith….and that excites me and keeps me “wide awake” at night.
Seriously…it is like drinking 10 Sparks. I lie awake in bed at night and pray and envision everyone having what they have…..of course, I would love to see everyone achieve their dreams…but more important than realizing their dreams, and I believe they would individually say this….it is about their walk with Christ. They are depending on Him to be their “ALL IN ALL!”
I continue to pray for God to elevate these two young women on a BIG STAGE, even though they are not perfect. They themselves would be the first to say they are not perfect….but I know they are “perfectly seeking!” They are living the scripture found in Jeremiah 29:13, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
They also would tell you that “Whatever God’s will is for their life is what they want”. They continue to perfect and use their God-given S-H-A-P-E (S-piritual gifts, H-eart, A-bilities, P-ersonality, and E-xperiences) to become all that He created them to be. They are not the exceptions…that is what God has for us all whether we are on a Big Stage or not……HE has a plan for our lives….It is a perfect plan…HE only asks that we Perfectly Seek HIM….which means to seek Him with all our heart, soul and mind.
I encourage you today….to understand…you have a S-H-A-P-E… bestowed on you by God…who seeks to mold me/you/us to do good works that He planned in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Don’t wait…..open your heart to your God-given shape…become “Putty” in the hands of a Great God!