2012 may very well be the most important year of Paige McPherson’s life. The twenty one year old is on her way to London to compete in her first Olympics in Taekwondo. Her next destination to California will trump any medal ceremony. Paige, fondly nicknamed McFierce, will meet her biological family for the first time.
The McPhersons of Sturgis, South Dakota adopted Paige when she was four days old. She was fourth in the pecking order of five adopted siblings. Each child was from a different nationality so the McPhersons were fondly referred to as the ‘Rainbow Family.’ Paige is African American/Filipino and older brother Evan is Korean. He was very involved in Taekwando and little Paige was excelling in ballet classes, but she wanted to be like her big brother and take Taekwando so her parents enrolled her in classes as well.
McFierce’s secret weapon seems to be in her foot work. Ballet lessons have proven a valuable precursor to becoming a champion in Taekwando. However, Paige’s athletic ability also stems from her biological DNA. She began aggressively searching for her family when she turned eighteen (with her adoptive parents’ help). Through Facebook she began the process of learning about her birth parents and her siblings. She’s discovered so many similarities in their personalities and especially in sports successes.
Paige talks humbly about God allowing her to be adopted by the McPhersons. In her own words, “Yes, I too had those thoughts in my head about what life would be like with my biological family, but I know that God’s plan is perfect, and that being adopted was a blessing from the Lord.”
What a different spin Paige could have put on her life. She didn’t preoccupy her mind with doom over not knowing her birth family, she trusted God to know what was best for her. I can’t speak for Paige but my observation is God has given her more than she could’ve ever hoped or imagined.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Follow Paige on Twitter: @mcfierce2012 and learn more about why she inspires us: http://www.nbcolympics.com/news-blogs/taekwondo/ten-questions-with-paige-mcpherson.html
Encouragement: From Paige’s interview with ‘The Real Winning Edge’
“My advice to young people and old is that you need to trust in the Lord. With God, and only with God, can you do the impossible. With Him there is no longer that great burden of being alone in carrying the pressures of the world. Without the confidence of the Lord, you will never be satisfied with your defeat or victory, because there is no purpose or meaning behind them that is long lasting. However, if you trust in the Lord, whether you are defeated or victorious, you know that it was from the Lord’s hand and so your purpose in life has been fulfilled and will be for eternity.”
Know I’m Praying for You, Sherry
I’m sure you’ve experienced the ‘I forgive you but I can’t forget’ scenario, especially if you’re living in a difficult family situation. We’ve been taught to forgive like Jesus forgave and to forget like Jesus forgets. The act of hurt or betrayal remains etched in our memory bank like a bad dream stuck on replay.
Isaiah 43:18-19 says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See I’m doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”
This verse seems non-applicable if you’re living in a divorced home or you’re living with someone who has betrayed you. The situation itself is a constant reminder. How does God really expect us to forget? We’re human, after all, and the enemy enjoys reminding us of the past. You must have God’s power to move forward so your past (or the situation you’re living) doesn’t determine your future.
I once heard a pastor say, “We move forward to the future through eyes of the past.” This has really stuck with me. We learn from our past and we are better prepared for our future because of what we’ve experienced. God says in Isaiah ‘I’m doing a new thing.’ You’re not prisoner to what has happened to you or to what you’ve done because our wonderful Lord has moved on and is opening doors you could never imagine. You will never see the ‘new thing’ if you don’t lift your eyes from the doldrums.
Peter denied Jesus three times but God forgave him and started doing a new thing almost immediately. God used Peter’s life to change so many lives. I can’t speak for Peter but I feel pretty confident he never forgot denying Christ, but he didn’t let his shame determine his future.
Jesus will do no less for you.
Everybody has a story and your story won’t always be good things. Your character is developed best by your reaction to difficult situations. Thank goodness God’s infinite power will help you do the right thing. Forgive and get ready, because God is doing a new thing! Don’t miss it.
Know I’m Praying for You,
Britt Nicole is my favorite music artist because of the honesty in her songs. In, “Don’t Worry Now,” she sings frankly about the pain she experienced because of her parents’ divorce. In one of her most recent songs, “All This Time,” Britt praises God for being with her all through all the hardest parts of her life, beginning with when she turned to Him after her parents’ divorce. God is her most constant friend because of their shared experiences.
If your parents are divorced, I’m sure you’ve been through some rough things. Besides the actual divorce, there are countless issues that come up after the divorce that you have had to work through. Thankfully, we are not alone in these experiences. God, our dearest friend and closest advisor, is constantly with us. Each new issue is a chance to grow closer to our Father. He has promised that he will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) and we can rest in His companionship. If you haven’t yet, take a few minutes to listen to Britt’s new song. I’m hope you’ll like it as much as I do!
When Jesus uttered these words from the cross He didn’t say “I am Finished.” He said “It is Finished.” His work here on earth was done. This chapter of His life was closed but something even better was about to take place. Think about your own life. Do you need to say, “It is finished” to something or someone? Maybe you need to close the door on an attitude you have about a person or situation or maybe you need to reconcile a sour relationship.
Let today, Good Friday, be the day you bury something harboring you from God’s best. Easter represents new beginnings but first you must be finished with the old and prepare yourself to move toward the new.
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:30
Today is a day to reflect on the crucifixion and all of its meaning. I challenge you to speak to your pain and anger and give it all to Jesus. It is finished but you’re not finished… just the opposite…you’re just beginning.
Know I’m Praying for You,
What did Jesus see as He hung almost lifeless from the bloody cross? We know He was coherent because He spoke to John and asked him to take care of His mother. Did He notice the other disciples were MIA? Did He see Mary Magdalene screaming and weeping at his feet? She stood with Mary, mother of Jesus, and John among the sea of haters who quickly turned on Him.
I believe Jesus did see Mary Magdalene because He made His first appearance to her after the resurrection. The disciples were gathered in the upper room speculating their future when He appeared to Mary. Jesus saw her faithfulness during the hostile circumstances of the trial and crucifixion. On the third day she asked the guards for permission to anoint His body with oils and Jesus appeared to her and asked her to tell the disciples of His resurrection.
What a powerful message for us. Jesus will give us opportunities we can’t even fathom if we’re faithful to Him. Mary had no agenda or plan for her own success other than serving her Master and neither should we, but we should always be ready to step up when Jesus prompts us to do something for Him.
Let the cross be a reminder that no matter how bad things look to you, Jesus always has the best view. He sees your pain. He sees your frustration. He also sees your faithfulness and the future he has mapped out just for you.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
John Waller’s song, I Will Serve You While I’m Waiting, gives me so much strength. Download it and let this be your prayer to our wonderful Heavenly Father who loved us enough to die for us.
Know I’m Praying for You,