Handling losses to become winners

By Becky Spell Vann - Contributing columnist

Have you ever shared honestly from a hurting heart and been misunderstood by your fellow man? God sees every painful heartbeat when the valley of loss hits hard – every which way one turns! He hears words of distress when delivered distastefully, and can bring good from bad losses and reactions rendered. Yet, we must make choices to make things right in our hearts with Him, ourselves, and whomever we have ought (hard feelings, anger, malice) against. When oughts are shared with loving words of forgiveness, sweet restoration can flow like a river that carries the bad stuff downstream to disappear.

Cam Newton and Katy Borum come to mind as I write this story in the wee hours of the night in a motel room in Kentucky. My sister and I are in route to Champaign, Ill. to visit her children, Andy and Katy, who attend the University of Illinois. Andy is finishing up his doctorate degree in aerospace engineering. Katy is a sophomore, majoring in advertising. Katy’s story of being restored will be coming soon.

She has faced losing battles due to being born with multiple skeletal abnormalities. Dealing with 28 major surgeries in her 21 years of life pounded her to a pit of depression where she wondered if life was worth living. In her darkest hour, God showed up with miracles that changed her life and restored her faith. Katy is a member of The University of Illinois Handicapped Basketball Team. Katy is playing in a basketball tournament this weekend. Her mother, brother, aunt, and a whole host of friends she has made in this faraway place will be in the stands cheering for victory, whether the team loses or wins! We are in awe of how God brings good from the bad, wins from the losses, happiness from the hurt, faith from the doubt, and joy in her mornings from the tears in her nights, that Katy has experienced all her life. She has walked with much difficulty and determination to find the road to peace and promise.

Watching her roll around the ARK, (U of I Athletic Coliseum) as a team player in collegiate basketball, will be a miracle before our eyes. Wow! My cheers will be heard from here to heaven while watching my niece enjoying life while handling handicaps. The enemy planned for losses to steal her joy, love for Jesus, even her life. God’s plans prevailed when Katy made choices to live and not to die, to engage and not to sit on the sidelines in pity, to win, even when loses pound and tough times come unexpectedly that turn over our apple carts and cause havoc. Hats off to Katy! Your winning attitude is pleasing in your attitude and actions. I can’t wait to share your story.

Hats off to Cam, too! I write in first person for I feel close to Cam even though I do not know him personally. I have enjoyed watching him play and have prayed for him throughout the Panthers amazing season of victories.

The whole world was watching when you tasted the agony of defeat, Cam! If you had not been so confident, maybe the masses would be more forgiving. Yet, did that really matter? Many people cheer us on in victory and leave us high and dry in defeat. You gave us thrills and chills as you led a winning team to the big game. We wore Carolina pride with a winning spirit, too. Watching you ‘dab’, flash that sensational smile, run the football to places where few quarterbacks dare trod, do dances of victory, keep pounding in precarious predicaments, score in ways that left people scratching their heads in awe, and hand off treasured footballs to children eagerly waiting in the stands, gave moments of celebration and joy that seeded a winning spirit that was growing like Kudzu that covers up everything in its path.

Did you (all Panther fans) count our eggs before they hatched? Did we take for granted being in the winner’s circle with a haughtiness not pleasing to our Father? Was losing really a win in disguise? Can we all learn a lesson from our Carolina Panther’s loss? Sure, if we put it all into perspective and press forward with positive attitudes.

Cam, you’ve been scrutinized with praise and put downs for dabbing and doing things some say was for self- glory. Why did the favored team lose? Many speculate with remarks and recollections that could keep you tasting the bitterness of defeat for a lifetime. I cannot understand your personal pain and agony of defeat, but many people, including me, also felt the disappointment and shock of losing when winning seemed imminent. Losses make us mad but Jesus helps us handle them and turns our mad to glad!

When times like this come, we must choose to rise up and be restored by the One who brings victory in all things when we put our hope and trust in Him. Take time to reflect and learn from this defeat, Cam, as should all your fans and foes. Keep God first and everything else will fall into place, even when people taunt and try to figure out why things happened as they did.

We make mistakes. We don’t always win. We will go through tough times. Yet, victory comes when we get up and go again, dabbing in humility and doing our best while honoring God.

Handling losses can make us winners when we keep our eyes on Jesus and our hearts in tune to His plans. Commune with Christ to call the plays; let Him lead the way…step by step, season by season… to victory and happiness forever and ever.

Please pray for Katy and for Cam as they keep pounding and proving that good things can come from the bad stuff that happens in life. When wins and losses are handled in words and actions the way Jesus would do, others will see Him shining in Cam, Katy, me, and you!

Becky Spell Vann is a long-time columnist for the Sampson Independent’s Faith & Family section and owner of the outreach ministry Tim’s Gift.

By Becky Spell Vann

Contributing columnist


Becky Spell Vann is a long-time columnist for the Sampson Independent’s Faith & Family section and owner of the outreach ministry Tim’s Gift.

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