Give Them Another Chance...We Don't Live in a Fairytale World!

 My blog last week ended quite nicely, didn’t it? For those of you who didn’t read it, it was about my son's struggling against OCD keeping him from playing basketball. The story ended with him overcoming his fears and loving participating with the rest of the team. Happily ever after, a sweet victory, a little package with a bow on top. Almost like a cute little Disney movie. Except real life is not like a Disney movie...


Open on week four of basketball season. My son runs out and participates with the rest of the team...for about 10 minutes. Then he is back on bleachers, crying and hiding under his hoodie. Sigh...

The rotary basketball program depends on volunteers. Last week, the lady who was working with my son was the mother of one of his friends. Someone he sees at least a few times a month and has known a few years. So he was comfortable with that. This week, however, it was mostly boys from the high school team who were helping out (which I think is awesome). The big boys were teaching them about defense, and as soon as one of them got in his face and yelled, "Ball ball ball!", my son was done. He told us he didn't like the coaches and he wasn't going to play again. We stayed until the session was over to give him a chance to change his mind, but he didn't. I'm not going to lie, it was tough to see him having such a hard time after last week had gone so well...but that is real life, isn't it?

`I don't have to think very hard to come up with examples in my own life of how I have struggled in an area, gotten victory, and then found myself struggling again. The Bible is full of those kind of stories, too. We humans excel at it. And it’s awesome when we miraculously overcome strongholds in our lives, but I really feel like those sudden wins are more of an exception than the norm. Most often, it’s a slow steady plod (with some possible backsliding here and there) that gets you to the finish line.

After he had a chance to think and cool off, I talked to him about the matter. It was a fantastic conversation. He told me what he was feeling. The passage that came to my mind was the first few verses of James chapter 1, so we talked about perseverance. 

I used the example of his daddy, who, even though he was sick and would rather be at home playing video games, had worked for several hours setting up sound at the church that evening. I asked him what would have happened if Daddy had given up when things weren’t going well. The point was driven home; he got it. I told him that he didn’t have to finish the season if he didn’t want to, but I thought it would be really cool if he did, because he would be doing something that was hard for him. 

“Ok, I’ll keep playing,” he said. “But I’m not going to play when I’m in high school!” We laughed about that, and then I gently reminded him that those big boys weren’t trying to be mean to him, they were just trying to teach him basketball the best way they knew how. He understood this. 

I don’t know what will really happen this Saturday, but I do still firmly believe that I have to give him every opportunity to grow and overcome his fears. I also believe with all my heart that I can’t expect him to do it perfectly. Grace has to be the main theme in this whole basketball thing.

Because we humans are messy, even in our growth and victories. We do not live in a perfect world, and there is no happily ever after on this planet. Our stories aren’t 90 minute hallmark movies that can be wrapped up nicely and leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. Instead they are complicated and full of plot twists and victories and failures and more plot twists. But the awesome thing is that God can use it all for His glory and our growth. He is just that amazing.

So I want to encourage you, mamas, as you navigate this chaotic thing called parenting, to not be discouraged when there are hiccups along the way. Your children are growing and maturing, it's going to be messy. Show them grace, and show yourself grace, too, when you don't quite hit the mark. You're growth does not have to be picture perfect either. 

Much love,



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