During the summer of 2010, Drake and I found ourselves as finalists to be contestants on the primetime gameshow Minute to Win It. We had randomly been invited to an audition and became enthusiastic about the possibilities as we progressed through their full contestant vetting process over the following weeks. And ultimately, we were invited to MTWI Boot Camp.
What many viewers may not realize when watching the show is that every contestant goes through an extensive, four-day, intense “boot camp” to learn all the possible games they might face as contestants on the show. We spent 10-12 hour days learning over 86 potential MTWI games; we were trained on each game, given the opportunity to practice, and then tested on our ability to complete the challenge. Furthermore, we met with story producers who were developing the background story for each contestant—which for Drake and me meant they were planning to share Judson’s story with the world.
To say we were invested at this stage would probably be an understatement. I was not only grateful for the potential to provide for our family, but I was thrilled that God might be using a gameshow as a platform to raise awareness of Krabbe disease and share the life of our boy. Though there was risk involved in dealing with the fickle entertainment industry (which I cryptically blogged about at the time), my heart was in it!
So after committing the time and energy to boot camp, we were asked to practice at home until we received a call in the following 2 weeks to appear on the show.
Our call never came.
I admit to being incredibly disappointed (Drake weathers these things much better than me). Not simply because we weren’t given the opportunity after investing so much, but because I actually thought God was at work in the whole situation. I thought he was leading us into this opportunity and I could not understand why it never materialized into anything. I was confused, hurt, and even a bit disillusioned.
But one unexpected thing that happened through boot camp was that we got to know many of the other contestants, seeing as we spent four long days with them. There was one brother/sister team, Aaron and Andi, with whom we especially connected. Andi, in particular, took great interest in our story. As a provider of electronic communication devices for patients affected by disability, she clearly had a heart for those who suffer and wanted to know more about Judson.
Aaron and Andi received the final call to be contestants on Minute to Win It and won $50,000! Their episode just aired this summer.
After boot camp I had become friends with Andi on Facebook and we’ve touched base a little here and there since. But yesterday, I received a beautiful card in the mail from Andi…along with a check. It was a check for Judson’s Legacy. When I opened the folded check to read the amount, my jaw literally dropped to the floor and a loud gasp escaped my lips.
I began to cry. In fact, I wept as I tried to take it all in.
Not only had Andi just sent us an incredibly sizable donation that will serve as the seed money we have so desperately needed to fully launch Judson’s Legacy, but she also served as conduit of God’s love and a reminder of his faithfulness.
I had struggled so much after the Minute to Win It experience, trying to understand what God was doing, but Andi’s card suddenly made it all crystal clear. It provided a HUGE peek into how God’s ways can be SO different than our ways, but he is ALWAYS at work, even if we don’t see the fruit of what he is doing for quite some time.
In fact, in many ways, this is the ultimate truth of our entire experience with Juddy along with our efforts with Judson’s Legacy. God’s ways have been completely different than anything we would have ever chosen for our son, but we continue to trust that he is at work even if we often can’t see what he is doing.