10.28.2012

Letter to a football player...

If you follow college football, you probably know by now that the University of South Carolina suffered a terrible tragedy yesterday. If you were watching the game, you couldn't help but be heartbroken as we saw a talented, young football player, one of the best in the nation, Marcus Lattimore take a nasty hit to the knee. Now this injury would be tragic regardless, but the fact that Lattimore had fought his way back from a similar injury last year only to have another major setback. This wasn't just a set back. Everyone watching knew that this could very well be a career ending injury. We watched as the crowd grew unified in their cheers. Players from both teams flooded the field. All waiting for their hero to arise. And we watched, as Marcus was carted off the field. Across team lines, folks were flooding the internet with support, their hearts broken, for a young man who's hard work and talent seemed lost in an instant.

As you know, we're not strangers to having our dreams turned upside down in an instant. And so, today, Pierce and I set out to do our part in encouraging Marcus. It's funny, because it's probably the last thing I thought I'd ever do- spend time writing a fan letter to a well-known athlete. But I remembered the messages that flooded in when Pierce was so sick. I remembered how much they touched us. And the ones we received from strangers... they were oftentimes the ones that humbled us the most. 

So here it is, our letter to Marcus, from one hero to another. 



Dear Marcus,

You and I are very different and yet so much alike. I’m only 18 months old, but to so many, I’ve become their hero. And yesterday, you became a hero in so many hearts.

When I was born 4 months early, doctors didn’t predict I’d go far. In fact, they only gave me a 5% chance of survival. And then, when I suffered a devastating brain bleed, their predictions for me grew even dimmer. But during my 4.5 month stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, one thing became obvious: I am a fighter. And another thing is obvious: you are too.

You see you are a hero, whether you ever make another football play. I’ve found that what defines a hero lies not in his ability to do something. No, a hero is instead found when his character shines greater than his inability to do something. What makes us heroes is not our abilities. What makes us heroes is our strength to rise above the circumstances handed to us, our ability to say “Jesus is enough. He is Good and He will give me the strength I need to make it through this trial.” If we do this, we will demonstrate to the world the courage that it takes to face tragedy head on. We will show them that a true hero gives it his all, even if it means he only gains a small amount of progress. Even if it means his goal takes years to accomplish.

Every day I work hard to accomplish goals that come so easily to healthy children. I spend hours in therapy just so I can learn to reach my favorite toy. I have to struggle to get my left hand to work the way I want it. Sometimes I wonder why? Why did this happen to me and why can’t God just heal me and take away this struggle?

But I know that God is using my pain for good. And He will use yours for good as well.


He has given me a new path, one that's reached so many people that would not have been impacted had I been a healthy baby.

Please don’t let self pity rob you of an opportunity to demonstrate to the world your heroic capabilities. And don’t let it steal your joy. But when you do start to feel that dreaded pity (and it will come), remind yourself that God is Sovereign. That seemingly coincidental and accidental play, that was ordained by Him. Just like my seemingly accidental and premature birth was also ordained by Him. And as mad and frustrated as that makes you, know that there is purpose. There is purpose in your pain. There is purpose in my pain.

Maybe one of the purposes for my pain is to encourage you?

As you go forward, remember that people will be watching. They’ll be watching to see how you handle this. Does it end your career? More importantly, does it end your faith? Does it end your joy? Or does it do the opposite- increase your joy, increase your ability to show your strength and make you more than just a football star? What if this injury is the start of a bigger and better purpose for your life?

One last thing: give your mom a hug. My mom is my biggest fan and I know yours is too. And know that in many ways, the pain she feels is far greater than yours. All of her dreams and desires for you, they’ve been devastated and destroyed in the same instant you were injured. But she will be rooting for you. She’ll likely be the one standing beside you, telling you that you can do ANYTHING, go ANYWHERE from here. (We’re all praying that we will be able to see you make more football plays!)

And you can. You can because you and I must cling to the promise that “With God all things are possible” and trust that He is at work in the midst of our pain and suffering.

From one hero to another,


Pierce

27 comments:

  1. Wonderful, what a blessing Pierce is!!

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  2. Can't write too much...got to go wipe my tears. I can't wait to see all the things God has planned for all 3 of you...oops...4 including Marcus.

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  3. I feel so humble right now as tears are streaming down my face. You and your family will always be in my prayers and I know God does have a plan for you little guy. Guys like you and Marcus have made the Gamecock Nation Shine with God's Glory. Stay strong little man. I hope to hear more from you. And Mom what a special person you must be to have been given such a special little boy from God!

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  4. Toby Rochester ManleyOctober 29, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    What awesome words of encouragement! As tears run down my face, I want to thank you for posting such a positive post, while in your own storm of life. This post will not only inspire Marcus, his Mom, his family,and his team mates, it will inspire anyone who reads it! Thank God for people like you, who can find the positives in any given situation! I will be praying for Marcus, Pierce, and their families!

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  5. This is by far the most touching story to come out following the tragedy of Saturday's game. As a Gamecock fan and recent USC alumni (May 2012) it is stories like this that remind me not only how big Gamecock nation is, but how big the world is and how we are all touched, maybe not geographically, but by the human and Divine spirit. Thank you for your inspiration, your passion and your sweet words. Best of luck to little Pierce!

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  6. I can barely write this for the tears. What a wonderful and amazing, touching letter. Thank you so much for sharing. I will be praying for you Pierce, thank you! And continue to pray for Marcus Lattimore.

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  7. Thank you for sharing this powerful message and for being a HERO, Pierce. You are an important teacher for us all!

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  8. That is one of the most encouraging pieces I have ever read.

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  9. That was awesome! What a hero YOU are Pierce...and your mama!

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  10. TODAY I READ YOUR LETTER TO MARCUS AND NOW I HAVE ANOTHER HERO AND HIS NAME IS PIERCE, MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU FOR YOU AND MARCUS ARE MY HERO'S.

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    1. (Donna) sorry for the miss spell

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  11. I just read your letter to Marcus to my husband. I am writing to you as we both wipe away tears. We are Gamecock fans and Marcus fans and have been for years. The outpouring of support for one of our own (and that is what Marcus is)is uplifting to us and I know that it will help Marcus. I have never met him and I doubt I ever will but his dedication, drive, and most importantly character have and always will be an inspiration to me. Thank you for thinking of him and thank you for sharing your story Pierce. You are one of my heroes also. As I continue to pray for Marus I will also pray for you Pierce and for your family as well. P.S. Love your #21 Gamecock shirt.

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  12. Seems like Pierce may have a hero of his own... his mom. It's always a beautiful thing when faith triumphs over our fears and the unknown. Blessings to your family. Pierce is a fine looking young man!

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  13. WOW! Got you in my prayers too, Pierce. Keep being an awesome little warrior!

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  14. An awesome little hero uplifting another
    How beautiful! Pierce u have won half the battle...you have the most awesome parents to love and support u.

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  15. It is hard to write this with tear filled eyes..this has humbled me so much as a mom and a carolina fan..may god be with pierce and his family as with marcus and his family..

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  16. Absolutely touching and heartfelt! I wish the best for your little boy,and hope that as time passes God will ease you and your beautiful boy's burden, although I know you both can handle whatever he holds for you. As a South Carolina alum, it is a pleasure to be a part of the Gamecock Nation with you and little Pierce!

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  17. All I can say is Amen and Amen.

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  18. I have to agree with others on here. I think Pierce is my hero as well.

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  19. Pierce & Marcus are so inspiring and I can't help but think that is in part due to the love and support they receive from their families. Your letter to Marcus is so touching and encouraging! I couldn't help but tear up as I read it. But they are tears of joy for having the privilege of reading your letter and understanding the depth of love a parent has for their child. As parents we all hurt when our children hurt and rejoice in their victories. If you retread your definition of a hero, I think you will see that in addition to Pierce & Marcus being heroes, you are a hero also! Pierce chose his mother well! :)

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  20. I must say this letter was one of the most moving I have ever read. Pierce you are truly a gift from God.
    I was told my son would not live past 5. He is a Diastrophic Dwarf. He is 2 ft 8 inches tall. He is much taller in my eyes. He has endured 20 plus operations. I was told he would never sit up, walk or even hear. He graduated from USC and is a USC Alumni.
    He admires Marcus so much. We did not have a dry eye in our tailgate party. God always has a purpose. In our darkest hour he is our salvation. Marcus is a kind and gentle giant among Gamecock fans as well as people all over the US.
    Thank you so much Pierce and his special mommy for the powerful testimony. You are truly special.
    God bless you Marcus. We are praying for you daily as we have for Pierce. Happy Birthday Marcus, Lewy's sister is so proud to share your birthday. Thank you for giving us such joy in watching you play football and choosing to be a USC Gamecock. You are the best the SEC has ever seen in spirit and ability. I pray for you Mom as I know how heavy her heart is at the moment.

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  21. His spirit shines thru just lie Marcus' but it takes Moms like you to help us all witness it- and grow from it- thank you!

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  22. Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.(KJV) There is nothing like the LOVE of GOD FLOWING from one person to other person. With love and prayers for you both
    JUST KEEP ON KEEPING ON!!!!!!!!!!!

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  23. Baby Pierce you have really touched many lives with this letter and God does indeed have a hero that He has used for the greater good and my prayers that God will continue to use you to touch many more lives because you have indeed touched mine

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  24. So beautiful! What a wonderful letter. Tears are steaming down my face.

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