It was not until last night that I realized how much of a toll life has really taken on me. I knew I was super tired, and I knew I was overdue for some alone time that did not start at 9pm. Yet, I had no idea how much I really wanted to see success. I was in desperate need of the light at the end of the tunnel. I needed to see a win.
When I say win, I do not mean positive words with some sort of stipulation attached. For example, as much as I soak up and relish “you are such a great teacher, especially given the type of kid” that you have to deal with every day. Some days I just want to be a great teacher. Period.
I do not want to SEE the light at the end of the tunnel or BE the light at the end of the tunnel. I want to bask in the light at the end of the tunnel, to enjoy some much needed vitamin D.
Last night my husband’s team was down 0-10 when I dragged the troops in at 8PM about a minute and a half before half time. With their 19-18 comeback last week looming in the back of my mind after being down 0-18 late in the third quarter, the score did not affect me much. I thought to myself, “Maybe God was simply waiting for me to arrive so He could show up and show out.” As I sat down, the lady next to us confirmed my theory, “Maybe you are our good luck charm.” We laughed. I prayed for a miracle.
In this month of gratefulness, I have replayed yesterday over and over in my mind, and I hear God say, “Miracles, Brittany? Now that I can do.”
And He took my worst class and removed my two worst students just in time for the counselors to come in for their learning walk. All of a sudden my class was not “good for the type of students” but was good for a class in general. And He said, “Brittany, you have not asked yet, but later today, you will ask for a win so I’m answering your unprayed prayer in advance.”
And one of my two most challenging students was furious with me and walked out, and when I opened the door to check on her equally challenging classmate who was taking a test, there she was across the hall from him. She did not roam the halls. She did not have to be escorted back by the principal (which has happened to me with the “type of student” I teach). She was right there almost as though I intentionally placed her. And I asked her for a moment of her time, and she let go of her anger to oblige my soliloquy. And I gave her this amazing speech out of nowhere that brought tears to her eyes, and God said, “How’s that for a win you haven’t even asked me for yet?”
And then at the game, the first game I would attend with three children, I pondered for the 500th time if mom of three was for me as I watched my children run off the families in the immediate perimeter with their trains and mud-filled tennis shoes. And I pleaded with my youngest son to please stop putting his feet in the back of the lady one stand ahead of us. And she turned around and assured me she was fine and so was he.
I wish I had memorized her face. I wish I had asked her name, but I am convinced that she was my special angel last night. She played with my son and hugged him and laughed with him amidst my glaring judgement. I thought to myself, “How dare she undermine my attempts at teaching him how to interact when the general public is less than an arm’s length away?” Today, with a clear, rested mind, I think much differently. I wonder instead if maybe she knew I was the coach’s wife and thought she would lend a helping hand. Maybe she read my husband’s post about hugging the coach’s wife who makes it through the games on last nerves and unending faith. His article said to help with her children because all I want to do is make it to the end of the game, and that many times, is much easier said than done. Or maybe, just maybe, she has been there before, with uncontrollable toddlers, who just as you have settled one, you must address the others. Maybe she was showing that everything will be fine. Maybe she was signaling “me too.” Perhaps God whispered to her that I would pray for a win, and asked her if she would deliver.
The score was tied 10-10 with less than three minutes left in the game. My husband’s team drove the ball to their own 30-yard line (or maybe 35). They were 4th and a short 1, and my husband went for it. It was then that I told God, “I could really use a win.” They snapped the ball. The defense stopped them short, but then I heard two magical words from my more knowledgeable fans also engrossed in the game – “face mask.” And I cheered so loudly I drew wondering looks from the rest of the surrounding fans. I do not think I have ever been so ecstatic for the mistakes of other people than I was at that moment…
And just as I wrote it, God prompted me to re-read that last statement: I do not think I have ever been so ecstatic for the mistakes of other people…
“Your sister has made her mistakes, Brittany. And you are angry. You are so mad at her for those mistakes. But pause for a second as recognize that…
…her mistakes just may give you the win.”
And I thought back to a recent Facebook post: “Tonight I watched Pope John Paul Jaguars win…After a tough day, God smiled and said, ‘This one’s for you kid. Watch me work!’ I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to watch the Son shine.”
Sometimes inspirational and motivational posts are not enough. Sometimes self-talk just does not do the job. Sometimes you want what you want without all the extra. Sometimes you just want a win.
What are some wins you’ve experienced lately?
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