I watched in awe as my favorite professional football team of 40 years, the New Orleans Saints, defied the wise analysts and negative naysayers of our time, by not only getting into the Superbowl but actually WINNING the Superbowl! I yelled, I screamed “who dat”, I jumped up and down on my couch (much to my teen aged sons’ chagrin), I sang “when the Saints go marching in”, I danced and I cried as I watched a group of individuals, most who were rejected by other teams, do something no one believed they could but exactly what they said they would.
I followed their journey from the beginning. Early in the season, they boldly stated their goal – to go to the Superbowl – a feat no other New Orleans Saints team had ever accomplished. To many people, this group of individuals were not talented enough to achieve it, thought brazen to even think it and completely crazy for having the audacity to say it out loud. Undeterred by the majority, they remained and played confident throughout the season. Each week no matter the score, “winning the Superbowl” was reiterated as their common goal and ultimate destiny. Because of that unity, they did it! They won the Superbowl!
As if scripted, each player interviewed post game attributed their victory to the same powerful force. “We weren’t playing for ourselves; we were playing for something much bigger”. Individually they prepared while collectively they played for New Orleans, a city ravaged and abused by the power of a hurricane named Katrina. The people who call New Orleans their home needed hope in a tangible way. They needed to believe in and be a part of something bigger than themselves … don’t we all?
I have personally and most recently experienced that power of believing in and being a part of something bigger than myself. While transforming and life changing it is extremely difficult to articulate the process. It begins with ordinary days. You don’t realize as you are participating in the mundane duties, responsibilities and routines society and your family expect you to, your heart is being prepared to carry a dream of great magnitude. As you participate in the required details of your life, the dream is simultaneously birthed in your spirit and an veiled to your soul. When your conscience mind tries to unpack and understand the details, you immediately become overwhelmed at the magnitude of it all. No one needs to tell YOU that it is far beyond your natural ability to accomplish – alone. Yet it becomes a part of you. You spend hours planning, preparing and praying. Restless, you try to behave as if you aren’t forever changed. You feel half crazy believing in something you dare not share with another human being! You believe alone. Most days you feel alone; pregnant with the impossible yet bursting with this secret knowledge. You wonder if you will ever have the courage to speak it out loud. Compelled beyond reason, the unspoken finally becomes spoken as you share your dream with one who holds your heart and your secrets sacred. Then the divine occurs. A heavenly chain reaction, a cosmic big bang, a domino effect occurs. It defies explanation and can only be experienced. If is as if all the power of heaven moves behind your dream to announce it’s birth.
You have now transitioned from dreaming to doing! Others, as ordinary as yourself but supernaturally prepared, cross your path claiming to have heard the same whispers of a destiny you thought was yours to carry alone. In masses they come to stand shoulder to shoulder beside you fight for the realization of this dream. That coming together, united with others in a common purpose while being of “one heart and one mind” causes a shift in an unseen world. More than you dared asked or imagined becomes reality. You watch, and more incredible than watching, you participate in making the impossible – possible; the natural – supernatural; the mundane; miraculous!
One week before the Superbowl I was told the 50 acre piece of property our organization, C2BU believed in and raised money for will become ours on March 5th! Because a group of people dared to believe and work toward the impossible children rescued from sex trafficking will now call Courage House their home. It will be the first home of its kind in Northern California; the first Christian home for this vulnerable, invisible population in the entire United States. We did it! God did it – in and through us! We promised Him all the credit and we gave it to Him.
A group of us gathered last Monday night to celebrate the victory. Individually and collectively, we believed we were a part of something bigger than ourselves and now we had tangible evidence! We danced, we sang, we laughed, we hugged, high-fived and ran around the room! I was singing “when the saints go marching in; oh how I want to be in that number … ” not as a football anthem but as a hymn of praise, thankful that God allowed me to participate in his plans!
When God’s people come together as one, speaking the same language, united in purpose then the impossible becomes possible! Lives change, captives are set free and us mere mortals are changed forever. I feel like I won the Superbowl! We did it!