Every time I turn around God shows Himself. I have a story I want to share with you. It is not my story but it is part of me because I live in this world and I have invited God to show me how to pray for things in this world. Her name is Shawna Yates and she is a Marine Mom. I asked her if I could share her story and she said yes.
Shawna’s son’s name is Ryan and he has accomplished more than a lot of us ever dreamed of at a very young age. Tyler and Ryan were in the same company at boot camp so I met her via our Marine Mom Facebook page. I was on that Marine Mom page when I came across this post from her.
“I am in desperate need of prayers. I received a call from my son’s 1st Sgt. He was picked up by Echo Company yesterday and has fallen into a funk and now wants to quit. This is not like my son. He is a very determined young man. He graduated high school a year early (he was 16), had enough college credit hours to be promoted to Private First Class after boot camp (at the age of 17) and has never given up anything he has set his mind to. He excelled in boot camp and loved it. When I talked to him on the phone this weekend he sounded great, however something in his voice sounded different when I talked to him Monday night. He is now refusing to train and is willing to accept whatever punishment the USMC has in store for him. His 1st Sgt. is telling me that the paperwork to have him detained is being prepared. He is just a boy!!! I feel so helpless!!”
I was immediately struck by her first statement…she was desperate. Her heart was breaking. I felt the pain she was feeling…it was tangible. I knew how I would feel if that was Tyler. Had something happened to Ryan? Had he been hazed? Hurt somehow? Assaulted? What would cause a boy who was to determined to just want to give up? I didn’t have any answers for her or myself. So I did the only thing I knew how to do….I prayed. I told my son John and he prayed. I told my friend Patrice and she prayed. I went back to that post several times and over the course of the day there were almost 80 posts of prayer and encouragement for her and Ryan. What struck me was that these posts weren’t all just “hey we are praying for you” posts….many were actual prayers. The Lord impressed upon hearts the need of this boy and this mom…most of who have never met either of them personally. He so pressed into my heart the desperation of where Ryan was at and the helplessness that his mom was feeling. That emotion thing that I talked about a few days ago was so relevant to this situation. God can use anything He gives you for HIS glory. I woke up several times in the night with Ryan on my heart and prayer on my lips. I just knew that if I/we did not stand in the gap for this young man, his life would be forever altered. Shawna was told that he would be given the opportunity to take his PFT (Physical Fitness Test) the following morning….one last opportunity to follow a direct order and get back on track. If he did not, the consequences would be great. Being detained can possibly mean arrest, the brig and even dishonorable discharge. That goes with you for the rest of your life. It’s like you have committed a felony or worse. Having that on a job application is not good. I just knew in my heart that this was not God’s plan for him but it depended on our willingness to rise up on his behalf. So we did….lots of us.
Prayer is powerful stuff. God is powerful stuff. Just a couple of days before her son hit his own personal brick wall, his mom posted a scripture. I saw it when she posted it but it came jumping off the page at me yesterday. It is Joshua 1:9.
“I will be strong and courageous. I will not be terrified, or discouraged; for the Lord my God is with me wherever I go.”
He was letting her know ahead of time that He was and would be with her…through EVERYTHING. He was giving her hope before she even knew she needed it.
And so yesterday morning Shawna wrote this…
“Thank you all so much!!!!! Your prayers worked! He found the strength and motivation to complete the Pft this morning. He is now in Echo Company full force. Ooo-rah!!!
“Well, ladies, I just received my call from 1st Sgt. Ryan found the strength to pick himself up and become more motivated. He took the PFT this morning and PASSED!!!!! He has found his way back to the USMC. 1st. Sgt said he will receive a written counseling and will be assigned a mentor for a few weeks (which I know he is desperate need of). He will not lose any of his money and will be able to call me on Saturday, so long as nothing else happens. I want to thank each one of you for all your prayers, support and encouragement. I laid in the dark all night and all morning going over each of your posts and I don’t think I could have done this without you all. I will never forget this. Thank you!!!! Also, I would like to voice my appreciation of 1st Sgt Daniel. He didn’t have to take the time that he did with my Marine or listen to this crying momma over and over, but he did.”
What more is there for me to say. This story, to me, is just yet another way of God showing me that my relationship with Him is important, not only for myself, but for others as well. If I was not drawing close to Him, I don’t know that I would have heard the need for such focused prayer for Ryan…I don’t know that I would have prayed like I did, even if I had heard it. This is yet another story that I will take forward in my pursuit of God. He is who He says He is and He moves at the sound of our voice…Every Time I Turn Around!!