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Celebrating God-Directed Accomplishments

     Significant occasions and accomplishments in our lives are cause to celebrate. At those memorable milestones, we stop what we are doing, pause and reflect on the significance of where we have come, and expend time, resources and energy into celebrating with great rejoicing!

     The most recent celebration in our family was the high school graduation of our son, Joseph Gavin Harper.

Significant Moments

     Gavin has served as the president of his Student Leadership Council this year at YMV, Young Musicians of Virginia. It is a very active organization for homeschoolers that has classes every Tuesday and Friday and events all throughout the year that the SLC coordinates.

     Gavin was among 27 graduating seniors and gave the opening speech at the commencement exercises. He did such an outstanding job. He was calm and collected and delivered it beautifully.

     One of the highlights for him during graduation was when his name was called and he realized he had been selected by the staff of teachers and administrators to receive this year’s top outstanding leadership award and scholarship for college. He was overcome with joy, as we all were.

     He has also enjoyed being a part of the more than 50-member choir at YMV and a special ensemble called Soli Deo and was selected by his peers to receive Best Male Vocal award as well, a recognition he cherished.

     In addition, he received the honor of not only being selected through a series of auditions to participate in the District Choir but got top tenor chair and was advanced into the All-State Choir as the top tenor for the entire region (including all public and private schools), winning medals for both.  This is a significant honor for his musical interests in the future, as he plans on majoring in music in college.

     Gavin’s extracurricular activities also gave him awards outside his school accomplishments. He participated in the National Fine Arts Competition for our fellowship of churches, the Assemblies of God, and received many awards and opportunities to perform. During his senior year, he entered the district competition and advanced to nationals in seven of the eight categories he entered. He received top scores for categories that included, String Solo, where he played the Semi-Grand Symphony Harp, Male Vocal Solo, Short Sermon, Vocal Ensemble, Human Video Solo, and Human Video Group. It was an exciting time for him and we certainly made it a priority to celebrate!

     Gavin also held a job during his senior year, about 20 hours a week, and put in hundreds of volunteer hours. He led worship for church services, performed harp for special galas and receptions, and taught harp students as well.

God and Parents are Well-Pleased

     Just like God spoke from heaven when John the Baptist baptized Jesus, “This is my son, in whom I am well-pleased,” we also bless Gavin by saying to him, “You are our son, and we are well-pleased.”

     As parents, we were able to speak a blessing over him and make reference to significant times in his life as we presented his diploma. We were also afforded the opportunity to encourage him and charge him in his continued journey in life for Christ.

     We reminded him also to seek to please God and not man, to seek first the kingdom of God and it’s righteousness with the promise that all these things will be added unto him. We encouraged him that life may not always be easy, but just like his name is Joseph, Joseph in the Bible faced difficult circumstances, but that “God was with him and delivered him out of all his troubles, and gave him wisdom and favor.”

     We recognized that like Jesus, Gavin has grown in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man. We were pleased to witness the rewards for his dedication and were honored to celebrate and rejoice with him. It was a neat thing to see.  

God’s Hand from the Beginning

     Gavin has been what I refer to as a “minister of music” since age four when he began singing to us in the hospital during a very troubling time in our lives. Our 17-month old son, Grant, experienced a severe head trauma that induced multiple seizures, the day after our daughter, Gillian’s, birth. And as if that was not enough, my mom had an anxiety attack because she was with Grant when he was injured and taken away in an ambulance, and we were admitted to  three different hospitals.

     At Chesapeake General, I couldn’t go anywhere having just given birth and cradling a newborn and the anxiety and uncertainty was high. At CHKD, the Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters in Norfolk, the doctors had said Grant may have brain damage and seizures the rest of his life, and that he may or may not recognize us or remember his language and everything he had learned up to that age. We weren’t sure what was going to happen.

     Just at that critical time, God put it in Gavin’s little heart to bring calm with the Lord’s presence to the unrest and worry right in the hospital room by softly beginning to sing, which lead to the quieting of all the voices of everyone in the room, “Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true, with thanksgiving, I’ll be a living sanctuary for you!”  The room hushed, tears stopped, and God ministered His peace and assurance to us through the tiniest of his servants, little Gavin!  

     Gavin is now a full-size man, operating full speed ahead in His God-given gifts for the Lord’s glory! It’s amazing to see God’s hand upon him.

     I give praise to the Lord for His marvelous works. They are certainly not ours, but in spite of us!

     God’s handiwork in His children is certainly cause to celebrate!

Copyright © 2008-2015 Debbie Reynolds Harper

Reader Comments...
2011-06-03 14:06:30
"Hi Debbie, So proud of your son, Gavin. All those hours that you put into his life have brought forth a wonderful harvest. I hear the Lord saying, Well done my good and faithful servant." Love, Janice"
        - Janice

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