Friday, January 6, 2012

Perfection & Holy Intention

Speech Meet. These two simple words stir many emotions in me as a mom.

Every year the school my kids attend involve their students in a Speech Meet. Each child is given a poem, or portion of scripture to memorize. When the big day rolls around, the students take turns standing before a group of parents and judges presenting their speech with hopes of moving on to the actual Speech Meet, which consists of numerous kids from various schools.

Last year my son (who was a 4th grader) was given the cutest, funniest poem about a stomach ache. He practiced, rehearsed, and worked hard to prepare for the big day. When that day came, let me tell you, I WAS SO NERVOUS FOR HIM! I’m definitely more of an introvert, and my son tends to follow in my footsteps when it comes to speaking in large groups.

I took my seat and watched as student after student bravely stood before us. You can always tell which children are comfortable facing a crowd and which are not. Most did a wonderful job; so many proud parents that day. However, when it came to my son, things didn’t go so well. You see, when you have a last name like Wafer, you are placed in the back of the line. This doesn’t work out so well for the child who has a fear of public speaking because they get to sit there far too long, watching in horror as friends attempt what seems impossible. Your mind dwells on the fear of the unknown, and soon you become overwhelmed.

This is what happened to my son. Even as I type, my stomach is in knots and I feel sick. I wanted to take his place so desperately. But I couldn’t. When his turn came he was overtaken with fear to the point of sobbing tears. He was so upset that he was unable to go before the crowd and I was devastated. So devastated in fact, I could do nothing but remain in my chair praying for him. Thankfully another teacher (this year’s 5th grade teacher) gently talked with him, encouraged him, and prayed with him.

I’m not sure how things would have played out had it not been for her, but a couple speeches later, my brave son got in front of that crowd and conquered one of his greatest fears. He looked so handsome in his button up shirt and tie. He recited that poem perfectly, through sob after sob. Many would say it was a complete failure, but I saw absolute success. I saw a 9 year old boy so afraid of the unknown and terrified to the point of defeat set aside that fear long enough to do the impossible. And I was so proud of him!
Joseph and his 5th grade teacher (LOVE HER!)

So here we are again. Speech Meet is in two weeks and I am terrified! I don’t think I can endure that scene again. This mama’s heart can’t take it! However, I know God uses the most difficult moments in our lives to make us stronger in Him, and I want nothing less than God’s strength for my son. His speech will not be perfect, and he probably won’t move on to the Big Meet this year either. But through it all, God is and will continue teaching my son, growing my son, and shaping my son into the man He desires him to be. And He will continue allowing my heart to be torn in two, and then mended back together as I watch my children encounter hard times, as I watch my Lord, my children’s Lord, pick them back up time and time again.

God looks not for perfection, but holy intention and I pray my children are intentional about their God, leaning not on a perfection of themselves that cannot be found, but on the excellence which is found only in Christ.

Like my Facebook page for regular updates.
And if you are interested in participating in an online study through the book of Ephesians, let me know! We would love to have you!


  1. This message really takes me back years. It reminds me of a little girl that desperately wanted to go to birthday parties (once I had to take her on a bike), and attend sleep overs with her friends. She always made an attempt, but I always had to go pick her up. This poor child could not even endure outdoor school, although she tried, she was escorted home by the head of the camp. Numerous times I had to walk up to the stage during a program and pick my terrified crying child up and carry her off the stage. I can really identify with the pain a mother feels when their child is facing challenging situations that frighten them. I prayed for this child her whole life. She found Jesus years later and now when I pray about her, I pretty much am thanking our Father that he is in her heart and is under his wing. I know this child knows I am talking about her as she reads this, I pray for you to have strength while you watch your beautiful babies endure things that will challenge them.

    Love You

  2. Ok, now I'm sobbing. I'm also dreadfully sorry for putting you through so much agony. Yes, I recall very clearly that long bike ride to the birthday party I so desperately wanted to attend. I also recall being so full of fear I was incapable of enjoying that party, and every other party for that matter. Thanks for your faithful prayers, mom! Oh, and I really NEVER wanted to be reminded of the whole 'outdoor school experience.' So, thanks for that, and for sharing with ALL my readers :)

    Love you, mom!

  3. Would love to part of an Ephesians study! But I don't have facebook (do I need it?)


Will you leave some of yourself here? Converse with a community of readers and writers and lovers of Jesus.