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The Back of the Tapestry

Cheryl  Skid 300The Back of the Tapestry

Telling of our successes may leave others feeling wilted, especially if they are not doing well.
They look at that word picture of the success and think, "Nice." But inside thinking, "I can't achieve that or see that happen in my life." But turn over the canvas and it is another story. There are the lines going every which way, the knots, the mess. That is the story that touches hearts. That is the story that gives hope. To show the front without the back is to leave people feeling flattened. To show the back without the front leaves people confused. But together they tell the story of God's purposes.

Here is the front of a recent tapestry. "Our son graduated from a fabulous school, got a terrific job, an adoring wife and is quickly moving up."

What does that do for you? There was one year that I wanted to put my name on ANYBODY'S Christmas letter but mine. That's how bad life was. But I didn't see the back of their tapestries, only the front.

So let me show you the back of that tapestry that looked so breezy. Our son Nathan was born when we were at the lowest scale on the poverty level found in the USA charts. I chose not to work and Neil was having a hard time keeping employment. We had two daughters. The younger was just getting ready to enter kindergarten, so I was ready to go back to work and get some steady finances into the household. But Amy, the older one, started praying DAILY, and continued for a year, for a bald baby brother with blue eyes. God honored her prayer. I was so ashamed to be pregnant and so poor. Some ladies wanted to give me a shower and asked what I needed. How could I say 'everything?' We had given away all baby things and all I had was one t-shirt.

We couldn't afford health insurance, so for the five years prior to Nathan's birth I hadn't had a check up at all. Fortunately, before I got pregnant, Neil got a job and so we did have it for Nathan’s doctor visits and birth. Nathan was an absolute joy! I stayed home five more years because I didn't want day care for him, but then I went back to work and graduate school simultaneously being out of the house too much.I heard Pastor Rose Lamb of Church Alive in Florissant, Missouri talk about 'train up a child in the way he should go' in a way I hadn't heard. She said, "Look for talents in your children and develop them." She was great with that and went every extra mile with her three children. So, I started watching Nathan. When he was in high school I saw something. He loved his history class which not only showcased the past, but how history relates to present global situations. I said to Nathan--(declaration #1): "You are going to be an international journalist." Nathan didn't like to write and didn't have a camera.

To my knowledge he had never taken a photo.

When he was a sophomore in high school I took him with a team I had formed to travel to Sweden, Cyprus, and Israel. A woman in our group, Judy Wilcox, gave Nate her camera to use, and as she looked at the digital photos she said, 'Nate, you have a real eye.' (declaration#2).

Nathan went to the community college. Because of his interest in the studies he became a favorite of the professors. After the two years were over he had chosen a career goal: to be a journalist. And a plan: to attend University of Missouri in Columbia. Problem. His less than stellar high school grades did not give him much of a chance. Mizzou (as it's called in Missouri) is the #2, if not #1 journalism school in the world. To say that it is competitive is an understatement. Nate's confidence was rock bottom, but since he had encouragement and fabulous recommendations from the community college, he applied.

"Mom! There are hundreds of kids in those classes. I'm going to be lost if I get in!"

"Nathan! Shine! You go into those classes and just SHINE! Let the professors see your enthusiasm. Nathan!
You are a shining star!" (declaration #3)

He was strongly advised to go into Convergent Journalism rather than general journalism, because that was journalism of the future-every form of communication there is converging into one piece. The problem was that there were only twelve places and his scores were not sterling. However, within a year of being at Mizzou he was such a shining star that he was put into the class as the student number 13.

Then, a job. Who in the world gets a job as a journalist? But his recommendations were so SHINING that he was offered a position at a prestigious journalism firm before he even graduated.




Mothers, take a look at your children, not with the critical eye as in, 'You are going to make me look like a lousy parent with that green hair and piercings all over your body!' but with the eye of, 'Lord, let me see this child's talents that You have put there, so I can help develop them for Your glory. Start declaring, never mind the messes and setbacks, because one day you will FLIP over that over side of the tapestry.

That's my story. Want to share yours?

Cheryl Skid founded the non-for-profit organization, Women With A Vision, which gives strength and hope to women around the world. They also support orphanages in Kenya and India.

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