Serving those who are responding to God’s call to love.

Defiant hope.

It's funny how when we go to a conference and hear a good speaker, we LOVE to hear stories about how someone took a crazy risk and against all odds, overcame all the obstacles and doubts before him and proved success. We love these stories…they are the ones we cling to. Do you know why? Because they are full of hope. They are the ones we think about when we are facing challenges or are having a bad day. These stories usually include someone that refused to give up. These stories almost always include someone fighting for something that they would die for. That’s where the perseverance comes in.

It’s also funny how many times we don’t really want to be a part of the story, mainly because we don’t know that it’s THE story! If we knew how it would turn out, we might be more motivated to be part of it, especially if it turns out awesome! That’s why the characters of these stories are usually either the person it’s happening to, or someone very close to them.

Guess what? I’m in a story. My son is the main character. He is heading into an adventure that if we are honest, many may not believe he is ready for or deserves. Except for me. I do. I think his whole life he’s been ready. He was “born ready”. My son is special. Not the “special” that The Chalk Guy talks about, but special like he is extraordinary. He always has been. He is tenacious. He never gives up. He sets his eyes on something and he goes after it. He’s relentless. Good or bad, he is always in the action, always looking for the next thing…I risk in my writing, to either paint a picture someone that knows him disagrees with, or paint a picture he is offended by. But the bottom line is that this kid, one day, will be an unstoppable force to be used for kingdom work.

If you have been in his life lately, you know he is working as a supervisor at Billibong. He LOVES his job. He’s never loved a job this much. He’s there all the time, always smiling, always helping, always talking about God. One day a homeless man came in looking for a raincoat (he clearly wouldn’t be able to afford) and Charlie had his girlfriend bring in one of his nicest soccer raincoats and gave it to the man. When I met this man in the food court last week, he was still wearing the jacket (and this was back in early fall that Chars gave it to him.) According to Charlie’s boss, Charlie has been known to get into theological discussions at work. One day, he and one of the other supervisors were getting into a talk about prayer and a customer called out, “Amen!” when Charlie got done talking about how important prayer was. In the last month, Charlie has worked on getting two young men to the Passion conference with him this week, one of which was able to get off work AND we got a scholarship for. In my office a few weeks ago, I heard Charlie and a friend come in (kind of rowdy), they went to his room (that shares a wall with my office) and I heard John Piper’s sermon start playing on his big screen TV. After it ended, Frances Chan started up. Ironically, they were two sermons I had recently shared with my son.

Mom’s, keep trying. Keep making YOUR voice (the one that advocates for God), the LOUDEST voice in your child’s life. Keep sending sermons and podcasts, keep sharing awesome praise songs, keep sending anything that points to God and His goodness. Keep praying! For every moment they spend on social media, we need to send 10 more messages of love and pray that much more. Fight through the voice of culture. BE DEFIANTLY HOPEFUL for your children!

In the past week, I have been pushed to limits I almost thought I couldn’t handle. At first, I risked leading my son down a path he only dare hope for, only to have it almost become impossible. Then once the gate opened, I feared the opinions of others. After I worked through that, I began to fear the lack of financial support to reach his outreach phase. But all along, I at least knew to go sit with the One who could put me on solid ground and I did. Charlie did too. At one point, when he was facing the decision of one big financial supporter, he said to me, “mom, if it’s not time, I’m ok with it. God didn’t lead me here to abandon me.”

My husband reminded me that I am the one that knows this boy (man). I bore him, I raised him, I have been there through the battles, the tears, the accomplishments and celebrations. Me. I know him. After a week of us having different ideas about what is best for Charlie, he resolved that he would follow my lead because my heart is tuned into God and tuned into Charlie. What a gift that was from him. It freed me to act on behalf of my son. It made me feel confident in supporting his decision, knowing that it was the right thing and that God was leading him here.

What I’ve also learned this week is that everyone deserves to have at least one person that will advocate for them. A person that will believe in them even when everyone else has had enough. Mothers (and Fathers) do that. This mother does that. I’d do it for my son and chances are I’d do it for yours too. I have that defiant hope. I refuse to give up. I know God loves that way. He gives us second chances all the time. He gives us unlimited chances. Get up, keep trying. Keep working toward the goal…you’ll get there. Man, if all I would have gotten were a couple of chances, I’d be sunk. My teen years required countless second chances.

Today in church there was a baptism. It was a beautiful reminder of what we are called to do AND promise to do for the kids in our church community. We are asked what our beliefs are and then we are asked if we promise to point these children to The Lord, if we will make Him known to the them. I don't know how you feel about this, but I feel a heavy reverence about it. I don't like thinking that we gather and promise our friends that we will help one another raise our kids to know Christ, but really have no commitment beyond that day or worse, that we will be happy with just being sure the child attends church, but without the absolute goal of showing him/her how amazing our God is.

I know this blog has been pretty heavy. This week was pretty heavy and we leave at 4am to head into some more, "heavy". I know that I have jumped all around, but if you can follow me, I hope you can see this mother's heart. I hope that you will think for just a moment about the kids in your church community. Have you done all you can to bring them into the family of God? Have you had grace, tolerance, forgiveness for them? Have you pointed them toward the One thing that will give them hope? If yes, I am so, so proud of you and so thankful for your perseverance. If no, pray about why. What makes it hard for you to follow though on this? These are not easy questions to ask ourselves, but I can assure you that behind each child, is a mom and/or dad with hope, defiant hope. We owe it to ourselves and to God to make raising these kids to follow God closely and know Him inanimately. It will not be easy and at times, you might even start to feel crazy, but it will be the best investment you could ever make. Blessings this day, Lee

Charles Dean VanMeter

David Hawkins and Charlie on the day of Charlie's baptism

Charlie's baptism

 

1 Comment
  1. Thanks for reading!

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