We are pleased to announce that we are now the parents of a college graduate. We are pleased to announce that this is a new breakthrough for our family.
Four years ago, we put our son on an airplane for Tulsa, Oklahoma. After going through the trauma of moving from St. Louis to Harrisburg to start a new life and ministry, then watching it all fall apart with the collapse of the ministry and the foreclosure of our home, David made a tearful good-bye to his family. He had no idea how he was going to pay for that first year of school. He could only go with the promise of God.
I embraced my son and whispered in his ear that now it was time for him to discover how God was going to come through for him.
This Sunday is Mother’s Day and Carol will express her thoughts on this family hallmark as she speaks from our 2012 theme of Knowing God: His Presence, Power and Purpose, but she will address it from her perspective as a mother and wife.
In this email, we want to share these thoughts. As we watched our son in the hooding ceremony, we couldn’t help but think of so many special moments in his journey. For a parent, it’s about much more than the four years that were spent obtaining the college degree. It’s about the entire life of this child that you remember from their birth up until this momentous occasion.
There were so many defining moments. I (Pastor Chris) recalled how I was about to park our van in the garage in our home in St. Louis. I had put the gear in reverse and was about to step on the accelerator to back into the garage when the Holy Spirit said, STOP. I slammed on the brakes and suddenly I saw my little boy, David, running from behind the van. He thought I was about to leave and he had run out to the garage to catch me because he wanted to go with me. If I had not stopped, we would not be sitting in this ceremony.
As we sat in the graduation ceremony, we looked around the huge arena known as Mabee Center and suddenly it dawned upon us that this was the very room where we first laid eyes on one another. We had no idea when we first saw each other while sitting in those seats in this facility, that 35 years later, we would have a son who would someday walk across its stage to receive his diploma.
We started our pursuit of higher education at Oral Roberts University, but neither of us was able to complete it. We’ve earned a few certificates from Continuing Education courses, along with good, solid training in local church leadership courses. Yet, we always desired college degrees. We failed, so we wanted something greater for our children.
After the devastating losses of our ministry and home in 2005 and 2007, we had a family meeting and told all three of our sons, that from that point on, we were going to focus our efforts to helping them attain the levels that we could not reach. Though the ministry is important, they were our priority. So we set out to build a solid foundation from which to launch our children into their purpose and life’s work.
So that’s what this breakthrough means for us. It is the first victory in a series of strongholds that are being pulled down so that our children and our children’s children will fulfill the purpose that God has for our family.
Once we understood and accepted our role, which was to lay the foundation, we have embraced it without holding on to the regrets from our past. We share this with you today so that you can receive this same healing, hope and faith for your life and your family.
If there are things you cannot do, or did not accomplish in your life, just pass the baton on to your children. Trust God that the dream he placed within you, will still be fulfilled.
As we said our goodbye to David and released him into his next phase of his life, we drove out of the campus parking lot and passed a building that Oral Roberts started building while we were attending the school. It was originally called the City of Faith and Oral Roberts’ dream had been that it would be a medical facility that incorporated prayer and medicine to bring healing to people.
Many people mocked and scoffed at him for that vision, especially after everything fell apart financially and his ministry eventually lost the building. However, today that facility is now one of the national cancer treatment centers. And guess what, they incorporate prayer and medicine to bring healing to people. It still became what God told Oral Roberts it would be.
The last thing we saw, as we drove away, was a tangible reminder that no matter what happens to us in this life, God will still do what He said He will do, even if it’s not through the people that we thought it would come through.
Please receive this testimony of triumph in our family as a word of encouragement for you and your family. God’s going to do just what He Promised He would do!