If you haven’t yet watched this two-minute clip of Kevin Durant’s acceptance speech after being named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player, you need to.
“You had my brother when you were 18 years old,” Durant says. “Three years later, I came out. The odds were stacked against us – a single parent with two boys. We weren’t supposed to be here, but you made us believe.”
I’ve watched this clip a dozen times and I still can’t get through it without tears streaming down my face. And I’m trying to figure out why.
Part of the reason is because I’m a mom. I want to see my children have more opportunities than I did. I want to launch them into the world and watch them fly. It’s like I’m crying with Kevin’s mother and celebrating with her all at the same time.
And part of the reason is that when I hear this story, I can’t help but think of all the stories I’ve heard form single moms involved in ProGrace programs over the years. I think of the fear they had to overcome to have their children, fighting the belief that only a life of suffering lie ahead. I think of all the people who told them not to have their children because the odds were stacked against them. And I think of how proud I am today of the way they have refused to believe the stereotypes our culture has tried to pin on them, instead encouraging one another to go back to school, set healthy boundaries, lean into God and believe in a hope-filled future for both themselves and their children.
But Kevin’s story is resonating with me at deeper level, too. His story mirrors the gospel of grace and the journey I’ve been on with God.
I’ve been through many seasons where I believed the odds were stacked against me. Every so often, when I let my mind wander with God, I see a snapshot of my own life – a season of financial lack, emotional turmoil, marriage struggle, doubt—and then just as clear, I see a flash forward to where I am now. I know that there’s only one reason my life looks so different today: because God has stepped in and done what he does so beautifully by giving me grace.
When Kevin Durant talks about his mom believing in him, I think of how God has done the same for me. He believed in me, even during times when I felt washed up and worn out. He has always encouraged me to get back in the game, telling me I was good at things when I didn’t believe it.
And because of that, I will never be the same.
Christ made the ultimate sacrifice for me. He gave his life so that I could have life, and have it abundantly. All of us have places where, with the natural eye, it looks like the odds are stacked against us. But grace isn’t something we only look back on; it’s the fuel for our vision of the future.
“We weren’t supposed to be here,” Kevin said to his mom, “but you made us believe. You’re the real MVP.”
If we look at our circumstances, we can be tempted to shrink back from what God is calling us to do. But if we realize the true depth Jesus’s sacrifice and God’s grace,we can dare to dream that God will do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us (Eph. 3:20).
By Angie Weszely (@AngieWeszely)