There once was a boy who loved the Lord and prayed to receive Him as his Lord and Savior. He had a sweet spirit and forgave others quickly. He made others laugh with his witty sense of humor.
There once was a boy who grew into a teenager, always looking for an adventure. He was dedicated to those he loved. He had a servant’s heart and he worked hard for everything he got. He loved the outdoors.
There once was a boy who wanted to help sick people get better so he went to school and got a job at a hospital. He was good at what he did and everyone respected the boy.
There once was a boy who grew in his love for the Lord. He mentored other boys younger than him and those boys grew in their love for the Lord as well. He memorized entire books of the Bible at a time and his family was proud of the man he was becoming.
There once was a boy who met a girl and fell in love. He pursued her and won her and on a night in September, on a farm, with a rainbow painted across the sky, he married her.
That first year was full of changes. The boy decided he wanted to follow in his daddy’s footsteps…in his uncles’ footsteps…in his granddaddys’ footsteps, so he joined the Air Force to fight for and defend the country he loves.
The girl was sad to be away from the boy for so long but she was proud of her husband and she supported him in her gentle and quiet way.
There once was a boy who became a father to his own little boy and all was right in the world.
There once was a boy who went to work one weekend and four days later an ambulance rushed him to the hospital. He was miserable with a headache and wasn’t acting like himself. It turns out that when he was on the base he received orders for several vaccines that made his brain sick. The doctors didn’t know how to keep the sickness from spreading so they put the boy who loved adventure into a helicopter and sent him to a hospital three hours away that was one of the best for sickness of the brain.
The boy was sick for a long time. Some of the time he slept and never woke up but the girl rarely left his side. She was torn between being with her husband and being with her son, who was three hours away, and she lived this way for 54 days.
When the boy finally woke up he couldn’t hear anything and he couldn’t do a lot of the things he used to be able to. The boy fought, he fought, and he fought. He was finally able to walk again, write his name again…he was able to do a lot of things again but he still couldn’t hear.
There once was a man who fought his way back to work. It wasn’t the same kind of work but he was a proud man and he wanted to provide for the woman and their son. But then the man got sick again. The doctors changed his treatment and he got better a lot faster the second time.
The man couldn’t walk the same after that and he still couldn’t hear. It was hard for the man to live in a world where he couldn’t hear so he had surgery. That surgery changed things for the man. He could communicate with the world now and he started to look happier.
The man got back in the wood working shop with his dad. He started talking about going back to school. He went on vacation with his wife and son. Life was different but it was his life and he was thankful to the Lord that he still had one to live.
There once was a man who came to terms with his illness, who looked forward to getting his wheelchair, and who decided to go back to school to finish up his Bachelor’s degree so he could go to Seminary. You see, the man knew the Lord would use his illness if he let Him…so he did.
Sometimes in government there is a lot of red tape to go through so finally after a long time the man was medically retired from the Air Force and began receiving all the benefits he needed to take care of his family. So the man and the woman got to buy a house with a great back yard for their son; a back yard with a creek that would be great for any little boy who likes adventure.
There once was a man who refused to let his new life in a wheel chair mean that he couldn’t do all of the things that he loved and he was invited to compete in the Air Force Wounded Warrior trial games. He trained hard and he did well. After medaling in several events, with the woman right by his side, he was told he won a spot on the Air Force team for the WarriorGames.
But that is not all…
There once was a man who was invited to go to London to meet a prince and finally fight for his country…in the Invictus Games. The man would be one of 300 competitors from 13 countries who would swim, cycle, run, throw, shoot, and most importantly heal.
There once was a man who knew this was his chance to bring the message of God’s loving kindness and faithfulness to the world stage. He was excited to train harder than ever before so he would be able to fight harder than ever before.
There once was a family who wanted desperately to support the boy who loved the Lord, made them laugh, made them proud, and taught them all how to fight. There once was a family who wanted to be in the stands to cheer the man on to share in the amazing, once in a lifetime chance that the man had been given. This would be a chance for the family to heal too.
There once was a community of Believers who had seen the man and the family through four and a half years of tragedy and loss. Who had given of their time and prayers and money to support them. Now the man’s oldest sister is asking that community to give again, but this time through a season of life, joy, and restoration.
There once was God…who promised to work everything…everything out for the good of His children. Even through all the tragedy of the last 4 ½ years He remained faithful…remains faithful.
There once was God, who made the boy a promise…and the boy believed Him.