My son wanted to play football so badly it was almost irritating. He pestered us for months about it. For a variety of reasons, he wasn't able to play for the past couple years, when he would have played flag, learned the ropes and determined if he really liked it or not. So this year, at 10, he’s playing tackle.
The first two weeks were brutal. He was afraid. Afraid of getting hit, afraid of hitting, afraid of getting hurt, you name it. There were tears, stomach aches, asthma attacks and more. Every night, he told me he did not want to play. It took every ounce of strength I had not to let him quit.
My husband talked to him about commitments, perseverance and dedication to his team. Steve firmly believes that you do not quit. This is a man who played an entire year of professional baseball with a torn ACL. The guy is tough, and doesn’t give up.
Sadly, I am not so tough. This episode forced me to take a look at a part of my past that I had long forgotten and buried. It was a wound I didn’t even realize I still had. You see, for a long time, I was a quitter and that defective part of my personality tried to resurface to protect my son.
But God. God brought those painful memories back to use them for good. He helped me use the memories to teach Trevor a life lesson that will make him a stronger person and a person who clings to his identity in Christ. When the football issue was at its peak, I had a long talk with Trevor. In that conversation, I painfully recounted examples of how I had quit when things got tough. Even more, we talked about how for a long time, I did not have Jesus to lean on, to help me when times got tough, to ask for strength. It was one of the most vulnerable conversations I’ve had with him. He could see my weakness and regret. But, he could also see how desperately I need Jesus to face the challenges of this life. We found a couple of power verses that I prayed over him that night.
I am realizing that there are some struggles and pain that I have locked away in the dark places of my heart. I need to let Jesus shine His light on them and wash over me so I can release the burden that I still carry from it. He’s forgiven me and wants to take it from me. I need to release it and let Him.