A REAL LIFE STORY OF GOD WORKING THROUGH A MAN WITH DREAMS But He [Jesus] said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. -2 Cor. 12:9
As long as I can remember, Nathan, my 19 year old son, (now 23!) has been acting. He would listen to me read stories of heroes and adventure, and then he would don the bright blue cape I had made him from a yard of material. He would become that hero. Superman was the most prominent of stories that he heard somewhere along the way. "Mom," he would say, "Superman is like Jesus. He came from a far off place to redeem the world and get rid of all of its bad people and rescue those who needed help. I want to be a superman someday."
Nathan would garnish his sword and wield it high, and act out and dramatically host radio dramas, and dream of his valiant stories of heroism. As the years progressed, he and I would still cuddle close and become captivated in tales of great people and those who shaped history. Stories of those who fought off the darkness and brought light, were his favorite. Nate started foraying out into the world of teenagers. There were some bumpy roads along the idealistic pathways through teenage-hood, but as he grew, he continued to stretch in his desire to reach those who needed light and the goodness of God. My pied-piper, charming son developed many friends.
Hungry for direction, affirmation and in need of light, redemption and restoration, many flocked to our home because of him. "Mom," he would say, "I want to be a light and I am praying for God to open doors in music or acting or performance of some kind." He pursued shining that light in the darkness of many lost friends. Nate practiced making wise decisions and grew from inevitable mistakes. Mounting up experience in faithfulness and faith, even amidst the difficult pressures he was facing, stretched and shaped his soul to become more like Jesus. Dreaming of a time when God would open doors, he worked as a pizza delivery guy, very shortly as a Starbucks barrista and saving money at a landscaping job every day. So for two years, he has prayed and waited and worked. Often, I wondered how realistic it was, and supposed perhaps his dreams would fade away. Late night discussions were filled with hopes and dreams and the sharing of hearts.
And so we prayed with him, that God would open doors. Nate stayed unflinchingly strong. "God will open his doors in His time, Mom." I kept praying for God's will in the life of this idealistic young man, but couldn't imagine just how it would happen. We live in Colorado, not exactly the mecca of the music industry or the movie and television capitol of the world.It seemed I knew hundreds of youth who had such dreams, and yet he was my son, so I prayed because he wanted us to and because he prayed.
When I prayed, I was confronted with fears--- the terrible secularism and garbage of the media. It wasn't the place Clay and I had dreamed of sending our children. But we kept praying and Nate kept praying and telling us that He knew God would open a door.
So, in April, in the midst of too many activities and responsibilities. two different friends called me and told me about a national Christian group who was auditioning local talent. I didn't follow up because it was just a commercial on a Christian radio station and I thought it was probably just a way for an agency to make money on all the "want-to-be's" who were hopefuls for the acting and music industry. But, both of my friends who had been praying with me for Nathan, called three times, unbeknownst to each other! Finally, one morning, my friend called and said, "Sally, it's on the radio in 5 minutes. You need to listen to the interview and decide for yourself--after all, Nathan has been praying for 2 years for God to open the doors.
So, I went to my car to listen, since I couldn't get my indoor radio to work! After listening to the interview with the leaders of the organization, I decided that it couldn't hurt to audition. So, off we went where Nate had to prepare a monologue and have an interview. After the audition, we were invited to a national conference in Orlando where 890 talented people from 4--65 would be showcased before agents, casting directors, music companies and other industry leaders. No smoking, drinking or immodest clothing allowed at the conference. Clay and I made a step of faith to support Nathan in this endeavor because of his faithfulness to us and to the Lord.
After 12 weeks of input and training, we flew to Orlando. Morning, noon and night, people competed-while all the parents supported and prayed and hoped for a good outcome for their children. Nathan was particularly excited about the Monologue competition and the singer-songwriter competition, though he participated in 9 all together. (he had never had more than 3 months of piano so I knew he was depending on his own faith in his internal confidence in the song he would sing and play on piano!)
By God's grace Nate made the showcase talent show where just 40 were presented--dancers, models, singers and actors. This meant that about 90 leaders in the industry got to see these contestants one extra time. I was on pins and needles as Nate got up to perform his song in front of 1800 people . He sang from the bottom of his heart with poise and confidence I can say only came from his trust in the Lord's strength.
Lots more to tell, but the bottom line is: he received a scholarship to the school in New York he was hoping to attend; he was approached by 5 other large industry agencies who want to give their execs a chance to hear his music and two agencies who want to represent him for possible jobs in acting, modeling and performing that will come up in New York. And, a godly young man, who is very well known in his field and established in the industry, approached Nathan to be a part of a discipleship group he was starting in the fall for young men to have a witness together in the industry in New York. Now, we are home and trying to figure out how to move Nate there by September and Joel to Nashville and Clay and I both writing a book and speaking in Canada and feed everyone and attend Joy's performance from a drama camp and take care of the medical issues and and and you know the story! But I am so grateful that there are open doors after waiting and believing with our sweet third child.
So, I learned that it is not just my prayers the Lord hears, but always the fervent prayers and hopes of my sweet children. Nate acted as though he was not surprised at all. "Mom, there needs to be light in the industry. I have been praying every day for God to open doors. And He did! I am so grateful for the amazing things God did. But I was always leaning on him and trusting in His power!"
So, now, one more faith step as we send him off to New York in September. Please pray for Nate if he comes to mind. I know the Lord will be with him in his Babylon as He was with Daniel. I hope and pray my sweet son will make Daniel choices.
I wrote this story several years ago. As many of you know, since then, Nathan wrote a book about his time in New York City where God met him, amidst all the glitz and glitter. Wisdom Chasers, where God whispered in his ear to follow hard after him through all the pathways He would lead Nathan, is filled with personal stories of his journey of faith as a young man.
The years have matured him, taught him to become a warrior in a place of much spiritual and moral battle, and the discipline in endurance in pursuing the dreams God put on his heart. As a mom, I would seek God and pray so very often for him. I had a choice to make--to believe in his dreams and to support this impossible pursuit or to tell him to live a more practical life.
But our home has been founded on the idea that God uses normal people who are filled with His Spirit, to bring his kingdom messages and light into all realms of the world. And so, I have become an advocate for Nathan--both before the throne of heaven and in daily life through phone calls, emails, visits and words of life. I believe that as Nathan walks with God and follows hard after Him, that God will use this talented young man in ways beyond my imagination. I am so very proud of Nathan staying strong, working hard and pursuing His God on a journey of faith.
In the past years, He became one of the head marketers for Dolphin Tale. God also opened doors for him to be in a variety of television shows, commercials, and movies and as an extra and with small parts. Cultivating faithfulness took him in so many directions, including becoming an blogger, writing music, cultivating friends and Bible study through his church and he continues to see God open doors.
Will you be so kind and generous as to pray blessing and open doors and God's favor on my wonderful Nathan, as he continues to seek open doors where he might develop a testimony of God's story in and through his life to those who are hungry and longing for a light in the darkness. I thank you with all of my heart because he is in a very challenging place, but his faith and hope send him daily to trust God and to continue to wait on His timing and blessing as he develops messages and works on books, music, messages and dreams.
So many of you have written of how his book encouraged you and your husbands and teens! Thanks for your kind letters. You may buy it here and know that you are helping support the dreams and work of this wonderful man, my sweet superman, dreaming son, Nathan! Thanks for praying for him!
Now, I will spend just a few more minutes tonight talking to God about Nathan, as he is freshly on my heart and since I cannot hug him, I will do the next best thing.........