Back in January, my wife and I decided to dub 2014, “The Year of Blessed Victory”. We had plans of successfully conquering everyday struggles and were hopeful that God would bestow a miraculous financial blessing upon our family. In retrospect, I can see God laughing at our infantile declaration.
“I never agreed to any of that,” I can hear Him saying.
Among our frequent prayer requests, we always ask God to bless our five children by completely capturing their young hearts. The world is such a powerful distraction for the young and old alike. We just want our kids to develop a relationship with Jesus. That sometimes seems humanly impossible, when the Lord has to compete with iPods, iPhones, Playstation, Instagram and everything else the culture has our youth-of-today wrapped up into. It is amazing parents of the new millennium can get their kids to come to church.
Every family has a black sheep. Dominique Anastasia Smith, my 16 year-old daughter, happens to be ours. She has consistently rebelled against God for five years. I think, somewhere in the back of her mind, she’s been waiting on our family lifestyle to return to her perception of “normal”; before Christ. In every area of her young life, Dominique has displayed selfish tendencies, loathing, laziness, bitter resentment for her siblings, and attitude. At some point, I had to simply give up trying to fix my daughter on my own. Turning her over to the Lord proved to be one of the toughest decisions I had to make, because I felt in my heart that I was supposed to be a part of the process of helping her become a better person, by my standards. The first night I prayed for God to change my daughter’s heart, I heard the Lord promise she was in good Hands.
And so I waited. I waited. I waited some more. All the while, her attitude grew worse. Her school work suffered. At the lowest point of our relationship, I destroyed her iPod, using my 10-Lb hammer. All the while, Satan was at work stealing my family’s peace of mind. I decided to step up my prayer life by going into a 21-day Daniel Fast.
The fast did many wonderful things for me spiritually, emotionally and physically. On September 21, I thanked God for walking with me. Three days later, something awesome happened. As I sat in my bedroom reading the word, my daughter came to me. She needed to talk. Dominique fell into my arms sobbing and exclaiming how her life was in total shambles. She didn’t know why she was so unhappy all the time. That very night, I led my daughter in a prayer for salvation. Dominique asked Jesus to come into her heart. The Lord saved my little girl.
“The Year of Blessed Victory” came true. We don’t have money, but God kept His promise and welcomed our daughter into His kingdom. That’s enough of a victory for me.