A few weeks ago, my daughter, Ana, was chosen by her gymnastics coach to receive a special recognition during the 15th anniversary celebration of the gym where she trains.
|Ana (center) receiving her gymnastics award|
As I wrote that sentence it seemed like such a normal sentence. Surely a sentence that mother upon mother has written on Facebook, in a text to her own mother or friends, letting them know of her child’s accomplishment. However, those simple words, in so many other cases, as is true with Ana’s situation, hide so much more depth, miracle, struggle and success than they reveal at first.
Ana is thirteen years old. Ana became my daughter thirteen years ago. I coddled Ana at my breast for the first time within hours of her having been born. Ana is adopted.
I met Ana’s mother as the Lord was still in the process of “knitting her together in her mother’s womb”, several months before her birth; and I loved her from before the first ultrasound. I was present to hear her first cry fueled by oxygen and snuggled her into the crook of my arm as we took her home less than 24 hours after her appearance here on earth. She and I even shared the miracle of breastfeeding, as I was still breastfeeding my biological daughter, Ruth, so Ana just joined in the fun for the next two years!
Now, thirteen years later, I attended her gymnastics recognition ceremony along with “all the other moms”, knowing that this was not just another award. This was a victory.
|Joseline, Ruth and I celebrating with Ana|
Ana’s story could have been so different had Jesus not intervened. However, isn’t that true about each of our stories?
But Jesus DID intervene….through you, through me, through Fishers of Men and through Refuge Ranch. By the time Ana was two, I knew we would be sitting at many gymnastics training sessions. That evening, she vaulted out of the bathtub, literally. With her two tiny little brown hands placed firmly on the white plastic bathtub edge, she launched her two short legs over the edge of the tub, at the same time, onto the bath towel, to get dried off. Gymnastics, here we come!
Although Ana does an excellent job at tumbling, vaulting, stretching, jumping and swinging, her greatest accomplishment is her attitude. Over two years into training, she has yet to compete, because competitions are on Sunday: a non-negotiable in our family. This month there is a competition on a Saturday….the same day my eldest daughter gets married! So, Ana’s patience continues to be purified by the fire of trial. Yet, having never competed, she received a recognition for her good attitude, faithfulness and the verbal praise of having the best core strength of anyone at the gym! We all know what is at her very core….Jesus Christ and His redemptive power!
There are more Ana’s out there, and we are committed to being Jesus’ agents as He seeks to intervene in their lives. So, with every rebar, nail and wheelbarrow of cement poured into the new house, we come closer and closer to providing a better place for many more to bound, flip and run into the hope and love that Jesus has prepared for them.
It might have been one gymnastics certificate, but it represents a life transformed!