Child of Light

Child of Light

People said to us many times, “God must have a special plan in place for him.” I remember thinking, God has a special plan for each of us doesn’t He? And what if he would have died, does that mean God’s plan was any less special for him? Jeremiah 29:11 reads, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

The “him” I’m referring to here is our son, Jack. He is a senior in high school and graduates in a couple of weeks. When he was 5 years old, he almost died at our community pool. It’s a long story, but the short of it is he had been under for several minutes when two teenagers, our angels as I called them later, saw him and knew he wasn’t just playing around but that something was seriously wrong. The sister dove down and pulled his almost lifeless body from the pool floor. We were lucky, he still had a pulse and a trauma nurse who happened to be there got him breathing. When the reality of the situation hit us after all checked out ok at the ER, that’s when I lost it. It was difficult dealing with a life and death situation with our child and knowing how close we came. The fact that he is now graduating high school is not lost on me.

In the weeks that followed, several people had said about God’s special plan for him. Again, I didn’t disagree I just didn’t accept the premise that only because he was saved did God have a special plan for him. Regardless, now we find ourselves almost 14 years later and he is graduating and his plans for his future…going to Bible College to become a youth pastor! Maybe those people were right after all…or were they?

Jack has always been a very athletic child, playing soccer, baseball, basketball, golf and volleyball through his school years. He was naturally gifted and most of us thought he would surely play college athletics, in fact that’s all he really talked about doing for the last several years. But while on a missions trip after his sophomore year, he felt he received the call into ministry. Time went on and he decided he really wanted to become an athletic trainer. Fast forward another year, and while on a missions trip to El Salvador, he again said he received the call into ministry and it was very clear. He gave it a few weeks but in early fall felt that call to be a youth pastor was confirmed. I remember when he told me about his decision to go into the ministry. He said, “Mom, it’s the one thing that I feel the most joy about doing; it’s the one thing that really makes me happy.” That’s music to a parent’s ears to have their child know what brings them joy!

“You alone have changed it all, You are all I’m living for,
there is nothing else I need, my life is Yours.”
chorus, Life Church Worship “Child of Light”

IMG_3354 Jack at Castillo del Rey (King’s Castle) San Salvador, El Salvador

God spoke to Jack’s heart and Jack is being obedient to that call. He’s also choosing to bypass the opportunity to play college athletics to attend Life Leadership College, a small, local extension campus of Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Texas. He could have chosen to attend a ministry school somewhere where he could have continued playing sports, but as he said, “Life Leadership College is the perfect place for me. I love the people, the hands-on opportunities to learn and serve, and they’re like their own family and I like that.” And he’s absolutely right on all accounts and it will be a great fit for him.

So were those people right? I think God has a special plan for Jack and for each of us. We might not all be called into vocational ministry, but I do believe He calls each of us to serve wherever He puts us. We all are God’s children and He has filled us with His light for us to shine to others.

Our church worship team wrote a song called “Child of Light” and I believe the chorus shared above speaks to the approach Jack has taken and I am so proud of his maturity and obedience to let go of what his plans were for his life and instead follow where God is leading.

We are all God’s children and we are all called to shine for Him and Him alone. My son has taught me that amazing lesson, and I see God’s light shining through him already. I know he’s going to do amazing things for Christ and will continue shining that light on others. I love you Jack.

Tina Dorward About Tina Dorward

Tina Dorward is a fully-devoted follower of Christ who loves spending time with her husband and two sons and volunteering at her local church. In her free time she reads, writes, paints and cooks.


  1. Awesome Tina! Your words so capture the essence of this milestone you and the family are moving through! So moving!

  2. Very inspiring. Thanks for sharing this, Tina!

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