Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Miracles Still Happen

(I know this is long; it is just something the Lord gave me,
I think to encourage me and give me hope.)

Last Sunday in our Sunday School class we had a special speaker, a young man who works with Young Life, reaching out to adolescents. He was talking about how we have pre-conceived ideas about certain people; there are people we meet that we feel would never accept the Lord. We need to change our mind set, and realize that many who were thought unreachable, have become dynamic in their testimony.

To illustrate the kind of mind set we need, he showed a brief clip from the movie, “Dreamer”. It is based on a true story and is about a horse trainer and his young daughter, Cale, who are determined to help an injured race horse, and it changes their lives forever. In the clip, Cale is trying to convince her family that the horse, Sonador,(Spanish for Dreamer), is able to race again, and wants to enter her in the “Breeder’s Cup” race. Her family is skeptical and her father says that only 14 horses are chosen to run that race. Cale’s response is “Why not Sonador, Why not her?” Our speaker’s comment was that when we think someone is unreachable, or a situation is impossible, we should think “Why not?” Why not him/her?

I couldn’t get that phrase out of my mind; “Why not her?” My husband and I watched the entire movie when we got home from church that evening. I kept thinking, there is an analogy here to the challenge I’m having with my 34 y/o son, Tim. I began jotting down similarities between the horse, Dreamer, and Tim’s life.

Dreamer was a thoroughbred filly who was an excellent race horse. She had won several races; then she ran in a race and fell near the finish line because of a broken leg. The owner wanted the horse put to sleep, but the trainer took her home and nursed her.
Tim was an excellent student in school and went on to get a college degree. He was intelligent, respectful and had accepted the Lord in Junior High. I believed he would be a winner in life. In his early 20’s he turned away from the Lord, developed some bad habits, and his lifestyle was less than desirable. He also was diagnosed with diabetes. Basically, at this point, Tim had a “broken leg”.

With daily care and training, and Cale’s strong love for the horse, Dreamer’s leg healed. They felt she could race again and decided to try her in a small race. This was also a “claiming” race, which I don’t totally understand, but someone can “claim” or buy your horse for an amount determined before the race. Because of Dreamer’s history of injury, they didn’t think she had any possibility of being claimed, but she was; so Cale and her dad lost their beloved horse. Cale was absolutely devastated.
In 2002 Tim came back to the Lord, and seemed to be back where he should be spiritually. I was so pleased, as I had been praying for this. But then, Tim began displaying very erratic behavior, thinking he was God’s prophet to save the world; praying in what he called”tongues” for hours; running off for hours and then calling me to come bring him home. I went through a very dark time with him, and I felt like Satan had decided to “claim” Tim and destroy his testimony. He was eventually diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia (bi-polar). I felt like I had lost the Tim I knew and loved.

Cale’s grandfather, a horseman himself, had been estranged from his son for some time. However, he and Cale had a great relationship. Cale’s grandfather had some funds saved, and he and Cale’s dad bought back the beloved horse, Dreamer. Cale was so excited! Her dad actually gave her 51% ownership, so the horse was officially hers. She wants to enter Dreamer in the big “Breeder’s Cup” race. This was the brief clip we saw in class, with Cale saying “Why not her?”
Assisted by a mental health group Tim became “stable” in his disease. He was able to function more normally, for which I was grateful. But Tim had not come back to the Lord; in fact, he felt like the Lord had rejected him and he was no longer able to be accepted by the Lord. As his mother, I was very concerned about him spiritually. I knew the Lord was still in control, and that he could change Tim’s life completely. It seemed impossible, but I believed that the Lord could still perform miracles; in a sense I was saying, “Lord, why not him?”

Cale went before the election board for the Breeder’s Cup, and Sonador (Dreamer) was chosen to run! She was elated! However, there were still obstacles, the biggest one was that there was a huge entrance fee. Also, they would have to work with Dreamer to make sure she was ready. The jockey, a friend and employee of the family, had once been severely injured in a race and had misgivings about racing again.
Tim is recently back to a good relationship with the Lord. He is studying the Bible, and actually believes that the Lord may want him to be a missionary. However, he still has major obstacles to face. He is still bi-polar and mentally and emotionally has daily challenges. He also has trouble regulating his diabetes; several times his sugar has either been very high or very low and he could have died. He has been in and out of jail 3 times because of theft. I don’t understand how his mind works or what has caused him to steal. He is currently in jail, but has maintained a positive attitude and says he still has hope for his future.

What a great ending to this story about Dreamer. They find someone to put up the financial backing for Dreamer. Dreamer, herself, has been trained and wants to run, according to Cale’s dad, who seems to understand how horses feel. The jockey, partly because of Cale’s faith in him, has trained and is excited about riding in this race. Cale has many times visualized her horse running the race and having flowers put on her horse in the winner’s circle. In spite of going against the odds (she had been injured and a filly had never won the Breeder’s Cup),and although there were some tense moments, Dreamer won the race!
Tim is not yet finished running his race. Many times I have visualized him winning, and having the son back that I once knew. I felt, and still believe that he has so much potential. He is intelligent, sensitive, respectful and now once again loves the Lord. But Tim is still in need of mental and emotional healing. As I sat in Sunday School class last Sunday morning, I thought about my son. We have an awesome God, who is still in the business of performing miracles. And so, in faith, and with hope still in my heart for healing for my son, I ask the question, “Lord, why not Tim?”


Brenda said...

Donna, you are an inspiration. Bless you. Keep praying.
Your Sis

Dee said...

You hang on to your hope with all your might. The prayers of a mom are powerful and do not go unheard.Your post is awesome. Dee

beckymc said...

Donna your post is inspirational to me. My brother, who has never accepted the Lord, is in total disarray right now. He reaches out to our family for help and we try to help him only to have him turn his back away from us again. I know the Lord is in control and will take care of him my only fear is that will mean taking his life. I continue to pray for him daily and also ask God why not Tom?
Thank you for your post Donna!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

What a beautiful portrait you've drawn between Dreamer and your son. I am so sorry for the road that you've walked with your son. Our mother's heart bleeds red and rich and strong for our children. Undoubtedly, yours has known its fair share of wounding.

I hear you, friend.

Thank you for sharing your story...for being vulnerable enough and trusting enough to put it into words. That couldn't have been easy.

May God tenderly walk you through these memories and in the days to come as you seek to love your son and minister to his heart.


PS: I grew up within miles of where Dreamer was filled. Beautiful country is it not?