GOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLL!

The night before last I had a dream.

I was playing soccer with Bri and the kids. This wasn’t some backyard soccer game; it was a real game on real turf against real pros. We were all in professional uniforms, and we knew what we were doing. However, we couldn’t keep up with the other team. After all, Bella against David Beckham? Unless she can distract him with her cuteness, she’s getting nowhere.

Anyway, we played and we tried and we fell and we were bloodied and bruised. All of us.

We struggled to defend our goal. They still hadn’t scored on us even though they obviously had the upper hand. But then Beckham cut around Bella and then me and kicked a long shot. I turned to watch the ball hit the edge of the goal and go in diagonally.

Our goalie dove, touched the ball, but didn’t have enough of a hand on the ball to block the goal. They scored.

Our goalie?

It was my mom.

(For those of you who know my mom, you know she’s not an athlete, but she was always out there playing with us as kids and now she does the same with her grandkids. She just enjoys the game and the time together, the playing.)

Anyway, she got up, dusted off her uniform, smacked her hands together, looked at the opposing team, smiled sweetly and genuinely and said, “Bring it.”

And I stood in the middle of the soccer field and cried.

Then it turned into some weird thing about mom and me trying to build a fire in the woodstove and the wood was too wet… so on and so forth.

I woke from that dream and cried some more.

Because that’s how it’s been for my mom through all these past four and a half years. She has been there, our goalie, and she always leaves saying, “If you need me, you call. I’ll be here.”

She’s in that middle place. That place where her parents are declining and her daughter is fighting cancer, and she serves constantly. I often wonder when it is her turn to get a break.

And it’s not just me she serves. She serves her friends, always ready to offer a ride to the doctor or make a meal or sit by someone’s side to just keep them company.

That’s who she is.

People tell me all the time how spoiled I am (I sometimes say it, too), because my mom is here and so amazingly helpful. The truth is I am blessed, but not spoiled (unless you consider cancer four times being spoiled). She is doing what she is called to do, and God has chosen my path, that my mother and father would live close and be able to care for us the way they do.

A few months ago Mom and I were talking. I don’t really even remember what we were talking about, I just remember the phone call the next day when she told me how I had hurt her with my words. Because, y’all, I sat with my mom and said something about her not having suffered. I was meaning physical suffering when I said it… but y’all, what the heck was I thinking?!

My mom not suffer?

Sometimes I think she is suffering more than any of us.

(And can I just say how thankful I am that my mom can call me and confront me and be real with me? And she forgives me so easily.)

On Monday we watched Father of the Bride together, and we both bawled through the whole thing, because you know that part where the daughter is talking about getting married and all the father sees is a 7 year old in pigtails?

Y’all, that’s what my parents see every time I look at them and say, “It’s cancer” or “They think they see something and there need to be more tests.” They see a little seven year old Angie with brown pigtails and a sprinkling of freckles on her nose. And they would do anything, and I mean ANYthing to care for us and help us.

Mom has suffered so much, but she has been an amazing example of strength and dignity in suffering. She pushes through and does what needs to be done, because, well, it needs to be done. She knows somebody needs to defend the goal for us. And if you ask me, she’s scored more goals with her strength and faith and trust than the opposing team has ever scored against us.

So the next time you see my mom, I dare you, say “GOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLL” to her.

I can just picture her response.

She’ll laugh. She’ll toss her head back and laugh fully, kinda like me. And she’ll shake her head a little embarrassed at the attention, kinda like me. Then she’ll put her hand on your arm and she’ll lean forward and say something funny, kinda like me. Then she’ll point to Jesus and say how much He has done for us, how He’s the one Who’s gotten her through, how He deserves the glory. I know this because she’s the one who taught me how to do the same.

And if you don’t want to say, “GOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLL” to her, would you give her a hug?

Trust me, she needs one.

9 responses to “GOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLL!”

  1. Oh Angie…. the way your described your mom is how I will always remember her. She was always very caring toward me and my family when I was a child. I remember her spaghetti and her homemade rolls. I remember her tender hugs and love; I remember your dad’s fervent prayers over me as a child as he prayed for my soul and prayed for my surgeries. Your parents will always have a special place in my heart. I’m overjoyed God has brought your parents to Covenant Pres and enjoy seeing them there! PRAISE GOD!

    I continue to bring you up to the Throne of Grace. I can only imagine to a very small extent how you feel at each doctor’s appointment. I know the uncertainty of each visit and the fears it brings (though mine appointments bring less fears than your appointments!) I love you and your family so dearly. You are my inspiration.

    Hugs and Love,
    Becky

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  2. I love your momma!!!! 🙂

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  3. Ange – as I sit here with tears streaming down my face – I cry too because that is my mom. Sometimes God has to place these angels on earth so that we can glimpse the glory to come. I cherish my angel – and I too have treated her in ways she does not deserve – and then she gently shows me what I have done as she just as willingly forgives and wraps her arms around me. They are beautiful. And their crowns will be GLORIOUS!!!!!!!!!!

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  4. Such a beautiful testamony to your mom Angie. You are blessed to have each other. As always, your way with words touches my heart in places I didn’t know existed.

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  5. I vote for your mom…the best goalie you could have!
    I delight in knowing her, and in learning more & more about her, through you!
    Love to Jeannine!

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  6. Oh, and lots of hugs to her too…while taking some for yourself, Angie!

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  7. What an amazing testimony and tribute to your mom! Reading this was a blessing to me! Giving thanks to God that you have each other!

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  8. Confrontation is always hard. It’s always a risk, but I am so thankful to God for both of you, that even in the risk, there is safety. You are both confident of the love of the other. Huge blessing. Huge.

    (You don’t know how much I’ll be tempted to take the microphone when I’m on worship team next, look straight at your mom and yell “GOOOOAAAALLLL!”) 🙂

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  9. Angie, I just read this for the first time. All of a sudden memories of your mom came rushing back. We met in our early twenties(!!!)Walks around Gypsy Hill Park, dinners together as families (with her famous chocolate pie), our children playing, shared worship, confessions of weakness and fears as young mothers, shared joys and sorrows, years geographically apart, meeting again from time to time and picking up instantly the threads of each other’s lives, meeting at the throne of grace for you. Thank you for these words of honor for her. She’s one of my heroes, and I love her.

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