Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Got What I Prayed For

When I was pregnant with Joshua and had decided to keep him, I began praying about his character. I'd chosen the name Joshua David for a number of reasons. And you can check out the entry where I explained them.

I wanted Joshua to be different from me. I'm an introvert. I wanted him to be an extrovert. I'm not very bold in sharing what I believe about Jesus Christ. I wanted Joshua to be bold. I wanted him to be a leader, just like his namesake. I had in my mind what "an evangelist" looked like. So I prayed for these characteristics. I prayed that he'd be attractive in looks, because, let's face it attractive people are more likely to get a hearing. I prayed that he'd be charismatic in personality. You know what I'm talking about, the type of person that everyone is drawn to, even if they don't know why. I was very much into ice hockey then, so I prayed that he'd be a good ice hockey player and earn a scholarship to college. (I didn't say that all my prayers were altruistic.)

It's hard to say if these were prayers or just dreams, but I imagined him on the ice commanding his teammates about what positions they should be taking up to defend the goal. I imagined him almost like Billy Graham in stadiums around the world. And I do mean, around the world. I didn't imagine him staying the the U.S.

Let me tell you about the young man Joshua has grown into. He doesn't play ice hockey, but he does play soccer. And you'll see him out on the field directing all the other players where they should be. Last year he was the captain of the JV team. I imagine next year he'll be the captain of the varsity. He always rises to the level of leader. We've watched him for years go into a group of kids just thrown together for a task. He immediately starts introducing himself and introducing others. Then he starts directing them into tasks to get the project down. It's really quite amusing to watch.

You can see from his picture above, he is attractive. All his life people have commented on his looks. And he's charismatic. People are drawn to him. I can remember when he was a toddler and we'd be walking in public, strangers would just approach him. A number of people even used the word "charisma" when talking about him. I used to be shocked because only the Lord knew I prayed that word specifically. Just this week I was walking through the high school with him, a number of people called out his name. I know a lot of Joshua's friends, but I didn't know any of these people calling out to him.

When he was younger he was very bold in telling people about God. On a field trip to the Smithsonian when he was in kindergarten he and three boys were looking at the Hope Diamond. Out of nowhere Joshua says to them, "Do you know you are more precious to God than this diamond?" The boys all agreed and moved on to the next exhibit.

He's not so bold now, I think he's struggling with not looking too much different from his friends (who all claim to be atheist). But in his own way he's still bold about what he believes. All his friends know his stand on premarital sex, doing the right things and that he does believe in God.

Which leads me to the fact that Joshua is also very articulate. He can carry on a logical debate with his friends about the things he believes. He can also write well. All his teachers comment on how well he can communicate his thoughts, even if they don't agree with him on his stands (he tends to be very conservative to their liberal views). He's very respectful in voicing his views to his teachers and they appreciate him.

Although I didn't pray for these things specifically, he is also opposite of me in many other ways. He's a great athlete. I am not. He's a great student. I was okay. He doesn't really have to put any effort into sports or academics and comes out on top. I had to put a lot of effort into both. In sports is was a lost cause. In school I was a solid A/B student. Every year he gets some kind of huge recognition...student of the month, student highlighted in the yearbook, rookie of the year, MVP, student athlete and student for the entire middle school... I swear, if he wasn't the only 10 pound baby in the preemie ICU when he was born, he was switched at birth.

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