This is the final post in this series I call “This Is How God Works…” because of the miraculous ways He has worked in my precious daughter’s life. If you have missed the first two pieces, I urge you to go read those first! They are here and here.
The Holidays came and went, and all the while Cassidy dove right into swimming again and again, enduring relentless practices and taking herself out of the pool when it got to be too much. And as hard as it was for her to give in at times, I escorted her to the locker room and covered her with a towel and praise for her efforts every time. She managed to survive most practices, but there were a few that were too hard. On the way home from one practice, she threw up in the car. This has been a brutal and beautiful swimming season…
Do I still believe this is good for her?
Oh yes I do.
We have entered January and February with lots of meets to end the season.
After she accepted so selflessly the blessing of the third place winner in the last meet, we were bound for the next with nerves and excitement all the same. She had the haunting fear of stopping again, and she also wanted so badly to place…
I went into our thing:
“Cassidy, are you a SWIMMER?”
“Are YOU an ATHLETE?”
“Do ALL swimmers and ….”
“MOM! I GET IT!!”
The meet was PACKED and long and we left early in the morning to get there and quite frankly, we were all exhausted from the holiday cheer. Cass seemed a bit down and uneasy about the three events she was entered in by her coach. She was a bit ‘off’ from missing many practices from the holiday break because of family in town and activities the interfered with the schedule. I tried to encourage her as best I could, but her spirit seemed depleted and bleak. I worried. I always do.
The very FIRST race of the meet- Girls 9-10 50 Free. First event of the entire meet was HERS!! Talk about pressure! Oh, how I can’t even begin to express my heart and the wringing of my hands when she is up there at the start! I knew she was terrified… I prayed she would place. Oh, how I prayed.
She was off to a good start, and swam her little heart out! I stood there in astonishment as she kept her pace and managed to stay ahead of the other swimmers. I couldn’t believe my eyes…
She WON!!! FIRST PLACE!!!!!!! I think I lost my voice from screaming so loud. Let me repeat… not third place, not second place….
She ran over to find me while pushing through the crowd, holding her ribbon with this frenzied look of surprise. The long awaited reward in her hand. I approached her with squeals of praise. She stood there taking it all in, as her red chlorinated eyes bulged from the goggles, big and bright while she stood there shivering and soaking wet- her smile radiated a pride I have never seen before.
I immediately knew this was God’s work. How on earth would she come in first? By the Hand of God, that’s how. I thanked God for blessing her with not only third place, but FIRST place! This was big. “God big”.
Next event, Girls 9-10 50 Fly -her heat….off to a good start. I knew she was most nervous about this race. She isn’t a strong butterfly swimmer, and yet she pushed through the water with such tenacity I had never seen before. It was a close race and she was just an arm’s length ahead of another swimmer, battling it out for first place.
It was a tight finish as she tapped the swimmer out and came in FIRST!!!
Not third, not second… the highly elusive and coveted FIRST PLACE!!!
It was surreal. When she found me, she looked at me with such despair as she said the ribbon was given to the second place swimmer. After checking her times and getting confirmation from my sweet Mother-In-Law, I decided it was my job to fight for what was earned. Another first place ribbon. My girl was going to GET that ribbon!
Done. Ribbon secured in her wrinkled wet hand. And the surprising celebration continued!
Next event, Girls 9-10 50 Back -her heat…
She glided through that water like a pro- her flip turn nailed the placement. I cried. I could barely recognize this swimmer as my own. How did she become this athlete?
SHE CAME IN FIRST AGAIN!!!!!
I froze with tears, and stared at the miraculous moment before me…
This was so much more than swimming. . .
Triumph and testimony. Victory and sanctity. Honor and healing. Sacrifice and sufficiency. Glorifying and edifying. Proclamation and confirmation.
God came in…
And delivered His Response. I swear I heard Him whisper in the waves…
“My precious child, in honor of your heart and all you have sacrificed for Me… I give you more than you asked for in return.”
Oh, Much, much more.