Aug 19

News + An Interview With Dylan

Happy Weekend Y’all! I’ve been praying for ALL of you who commented over the past few days! What an honor it’s been for me to do that!

We have a winner of A Confident Heart!  Angela, who posted August 17th at 7:59 am, you are our winner!  You have until next Wednesday, August 24th to claim your copy of A Confident Heart by Renee Swope!

If you didn’t win today, keep coming back. In the next few weeks, I have MAJOR COOL announcements to make about:

*A “Girl’s Getaway Cruise” I’d like to invite you to join me on in January, 2012. (P31 team memebers Lysa TerKeurst, Karen Ehman, and Glynnis Whitwer will also be there).

*More Dream Center stories plus giving away a copy of Matthew Barnett’s best selling book, The Cause Within You.  Pastor Matthew is the founder of The Dream Center.

*An invitation to join me this fall for another Women’s Wellness Weekend in the NC mountains.

*And more Confident Heart give aways..books and conference calls!!!

So, please keep coming back or better yet, sign up in the right sidebar to receive my blog posts straight to your email. Then you don’t have to remember to come to me, I’ll come to you! :)

 

The following is an interview I conducted with my son, Dylan over a year ago. So many of you fell in love with Dylan after reading my last blog post, so I thought I’d share a little more wisdom from this sweet and honest child of mine.  His story is featured in our next online study book, A Confident Heart.

Special Guest: Interview with 13 yr Old, Dylan Taylor

In case this is your first time joining me on my blog, let me get you caught up.  July 2, 2010, the devotion, Is God Enough? , was featured as the Proverbs 31 Daily Devotion.  The devotion spurred me to write 13 Years Ago Today on my blog.  Both received so much feedback (and are even being featured in an upcoming release by a well known author/speaker) that I felt like I needed to do more.  One more step was required to complete this series on “Is God Enough?”  It was an interview with my 13 year old son, Dylan.
If you read the blog post mentioned above, you know that Dylan was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder at a very early age.  What I didn’t tell you was that he was also diagnosed with a coordination disorder and had severe speech issues. On top of all this, he was born with Aplaisia Cutis .  Although this was no risk to his health, it was very visible on his scalp. Plastic surgery helped this not to be as noticeable, but it did leave a scar.  Occasionally people have asked Dylan about it.  It was enough to cause major insecurity and believe me, my husband and I had concerns.  Dylan has handled it wonderfully, but it was one more obstacle he had to deal with.
When I interviewed Dylan, I asked him to be honest and pretend I wasn’t his mom. I am printing exactly what he said, not adding or taking anything from it. As promised, here is the interview:
1.  When you are explaining your disorders to your friends, how do you explain it or do you even share with your friends?
I don’t think I’ve ever shared it with my friends.  Didn’t need to.

2.  What would be the best advice you would give to other kids suffering from anxiety?
There’s really nothing to be afraid of or embarrassed about.  If you are like me and carry other people’s burdens , it hurts yourself more than them and doesn’t help them at all.  I learned that.  I realized there was nothing to fear.

3.  You have a scar on your head. Does that bother you?
I didn’t even know what it looked like until a kid made fun of it in school.  Then I was self-conscious about it. I knew I had a scar because my mom would put sun screen on it, but it wasn’t a big deal until then. It was bad and I was a bit embarrassed.
4.  Does it still bother you?
Now I don’t really care as much what people think.  I don’t care about their opinion.  As I began to overcome my anxiety I stopped listening to other people.  I started listening to people who said good things like good friends, God, Mom, Dad, and Pastor Steven (pastor of Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC).

5.  How does having a Mom and Dad that are devoted to the Lord and to each other help you in your struggle, if at all?

No one else understood, but they could help me with my problems to overcome them and work on it.  I trusted my parents.

6.  Do you feel like you can talk to your parents about anything?
Hmm.  Not really anything, but most things.  Some stuff is just personal and I tell people my own age, like my friends.  Not Mom and Dad.

7.  How do you feel about your family?  Have they helped?
Yes.  I guess Mom would always comfort me and introduce me to things with a Christian perspective. Blake (older brother) was a great role model.  Hayden (older brother) showed me how people basically are.  Hayley Grace (younger sister) has been a friend.  Dad has been a friend, father, watched over me, and helped me.

8.  What kinds of things help you to relax, and what do your parents do for you which help you de-stress the most?

Take a breather (a time out for just me).  My parents comforted me and told me they weren’t disappointed in me and love me the same.  I learned to ask for prayer.
9.  How did it feel when you were little and afraid of things?
I was sorry for people and afraid something would happen to them. I worried about other people a lot.

10.  How does it feel now?
It’s not a big deal for me now.  I’m used to things now and I’ve grown out of it I guess.  I learned there wasn’t anything to be afraid of.  I still feel sorry for people though.  I care a lot but I don’t worry as much.

11.  Was there a time when it all “clicked” and you made a decision to change your thinking or reaction to life? You are a hero in overcoming trials and I want to learn from you and pass it on!
I guess around summer after 4th grade.  I was embarrassed at school about crying over stuff and I realized I didn’t need to cry over the stuff.  I learned to deal with my problems other ways.  Instead of crying, I would talk to someone or focus on something better going on in my life.

12.  How did medication help you?
It made me feel used to being relaxed and I accepted that feeling and then I was able to do it on my own.  I’m not on any medication now.
13.  In your opinion, what can a Sunday School teacher/leader do to keep her students motivated in their walk with God?
Encourage them to get involved serving and let them know how the Bible can help in your life.  Take the verses beyond the next level, like Pastor Steven does and explain them and how they apply to modern life and how they can use them. It gives you hope.
14.  Do you ever feel like God is going to use you in a really big way?  I’m thinking about Moses, who was way too scared to lead, but once he trusted God, he became one of the most powerful leaders in history. Do you ever think that could be you?
I never really thought about myself as a leader until this year.  I started to lead my life myself.  I got involved in serving at Elevation myself and I brought my friends to come volunteer some too.  I do feel like God is going to use me in a really big way.

15.  What are the most effective ways you’ve found to manage anxiety?
I guess having supporting friends in addition to family to help cheer me on.  Family has always helped me, but my friends made me feel like I could get over it at my age.
16.  What Scriptures (if any) did you cling to?
My life verse (Proverbs 3:5-6) that my mom prayed for me and gave me when I was a baby helped me.  But my brother’s life verse (Joshua 1:9) helped me too.  It said to be strong and courageous.  I knew I had to be brave about this stuff.  And the Lord was watching over me so nothing could go wrong.

17.  What do you do for fun?
Play drums.  Have friends over.  Swim.  Serve at Elevation.

18.  What advice would you give to someone who does not want to go to church any more?
Give church another chance because God gives you another chance.  Don’t give up on God because God never gave up on you.
19.  What did your parents do to help you overcome all of your stuff?
Took me to the doctor.  Prayed for me.  Got their friends to pray for me.  Loved me always.
20.  How did a doctor help you?
He had me talk about it and helped me understand it and what to expect. He also helped me learn about what to say to others about it.

21.  Why did you ask your mom’s friends for prayer when you were scared?
That’s all I knew to do.  There was nothing I could do to make it settle, so I left it to Mom, her friends, and God.

22.  Did that help?
Yes.
23.  Who do you talk to when you are down or troubled?
My close friends.  I pray about it. Depends on the problem.  I’d go to my parents for big stuff.
24.  How is your relationship with God now?
Pretty good.  I don’t have much to ask of Him other than to keep my life how it is.  I trust Him. I believe in Him.
25.  How do you feel about you?
Pretty good.  Around 5th grade I started making friends and that helped my self esteem.  Playing drums gave me a hobby and that helped.

In closing: Today I still fear when there is something to fear, but I don’t fear harmless things.  It didn’t happen quickly, but because of the people in my life, I’ve learned to trust.  God is enough.

Dylan, thank you so much for taking the time to share straight from your heart with my blog readers, Facebook and Twitter friends, and anyone else who may stumble across this interview.  Your strength, determination, and faith are amazing to me.  I love you and I’m so proud of the man you are becoming.  xoxoxoxo  (hope that doesn’t embarrass you too much!) _________________________________________________________________________

 

If you have hung in there this long, I think you deserve a prize!  So, leave me a comment with a prayer for Dylan. I’ll show him the way you prayed for him AND you will be entered to win the Conference Call Series Package that compliments our study! Double blessing!

Have a great weekend y’all!!!

Melissa

Comments

  1. Wow! What an awesome young man you have there Melissa! Dylan, I pray that God will continue to use you, and your healing, to help many others who suffer from anxiety! You are truly an awesome testimony for the Lord!

  2. Miranda White says:

    Dylan, I pray that God will also keep you motivated just as you want him to(Keep you the way you are with more confidence and less anxiety.) I thank god for your courage and your testimony . I have aniety disorder to. I pray that your testimony with continue to inspire peole like me . Thank you Lord for Dylan a brave young man whose testimony can help so many . Lord please to continue to heal Dylan and let him keep the confidence that he has recievied through prayer. Amen

  3. really enjoyed reading dlyans answers about his fear and anxiety.god, I pray you will continue helping dylan with his fear and anxiety…..

  4. Melissa – you have an incredible son!! He is wise w-a-y beyond his years!

    Dylan, I pray that you will continue to have the relationship with God that you have now… that you never hesitate to ask your Mom, Dad, or their friends, to pray for you if you feel like you needd it. I pray that you will always take any anxious feelings you might have to the foot of the cross because that is where you will find your answers. Listen to your parents, though, when they give you advice (your Mom is a very smart lady!) I pray God’s blessings on your life – today and always…

  5. Dylan, I pray that you will continue to find your worth in who God says you are; that you will continue to ask for prayer from your parents and friends; and that God will continue to use you as a leader in drawing others to Himself.

  6. Dyla, thank you for sharing. I pray that you always keep your eyes on the Lord and trust Him with all your cares.

    Can you do me a favor and give your Mom a big hug?

  7. Mary Clifford says:

    First, thank you Dylan for your honesty. It is heartening and encouraging. I am a mom of 2 teenage boys: one who has overcome Sensory Integration Disorder and still struggles with shyness. I know God will use all my son has been through for good and I am confident of this for you too!

    I am praying that you, Dylan, will be confident that all you have been given to overcome God will use for good. I pray that you will be confident that God made you to be who you are for a purpose in His plan and that you are so loved by Him. I pray thatbGod will bless you a hundredfold for the blessing you have been to me and so many others. I thank you Lord for Dylan.

  8. shawnia holler says:

    Dylan- you are truly an inspration. I believe God has big plans for you. I love that you are so possitive. One of my favorite scripture is Phil.4:13″ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Dear Lord I pray that you continue to guide,protect and bless Dylan in all that he does. Please help him to be strong and to continue to grow with You. Your word says we are healed by Your stripes so in faith and believing I ask that You please heal Dylan from the top of his head to the soles of his feet. Thank you for hearing our prayers in Jesus’ name amen.

  9. Michele Caséca says:

    Dear Dylan,

    I pray God can use your testimony to impact hundreds or even thousands around you! You are a remarkable and impressive young man!
    The world needs more teenagers like you!
    You blessed me today!

    Michele

  10. Dianne McKagan says:

    Wow! What a kid you have there, Melissa!!! What a blessing!

    Good Morning, God! You are so great, and what a wonderful work You did in Dylan! Thank you for sharing him with Melissa and her family, so that he could share his thoughts with all of us. Only You know, Lord, what fantastic plans You have for this young man… please continue to watch over Dylan and get him through the tough spots, so that he can grow into the man You would have him be. Thank you also for giving him a group of friends who understand him and accept him. Help all of us readers to become as wise and trusting in You as Dylan. Amen

  11. Wow Melissa, you have quite an amazing son! You can see his heart is strong in the Lord through his answers to the questions. I’ve struggled with Anxiety too, for a very long time now. But it’s getting better & doesn’t have the same hold on me that it once did. And that’s all thanks to God, professional counseling & the love & encouragement of good friends.

    My prayer for Dylan is that her always stay strong in the Lord. Always allowing God to take Dylan were He has in store for him to be. Whether it be for work, fun, family, etc, etc. I believe that God has great things in store for Dylan & I believe that Dylan will follow the Lords leadings all of his days.

    He sounds like an awesome young man Melissa! The fact that as a 13 yr. old he is out there unafraid to share his story about his battle with Anxiety is remarkable. What a courageous young man! To be willing to help others at that age is such a cool thing.

    I believe in you Dylan! Always stay strong in the Lord, he will guide you always!

  12. Carol Bruntlett says:

    Dylan you are awesome to share That hit home with me I really enjoyed your insight on your anxiety and fears. I did not come this blog by mistake ,I am glad I came here today to read this .

    Lord we lift Dylan to You we ask that You keep him strong ,Lord keep Your hand upon him and watch over him. Lord help him to know You are His Refuge His Strength His ever Help in the time of need.

    Melissa you have an amazing son this story touched my life today because I struggle with anxiety and panic I can’t believe how God just puts things in your life to remind you who He is and this helped me today to remember my God is faithful.
    Thanks Carol

  13. WOW! What a story you have, Dylan! Maybe you should start your own blog to share with all the many youth that could benefit from what you have to share. That thought JUST came to me as I started to type my comment, so I figured I BETTER share it – lol

    Father, Where do I even start? Your grace, Your strength, Your power in Dylan’s life is so evident through him and the things that he says. What he has allowed You to help him overcome is simply amazing to us. I know that to You it was a simple thing, but that You gave him the courage to ASK You for help at such a young, tender age is such an example for us. So many times we try to ‘handle’ things on our own without asking for Your help and guidance. I praise You, Father, that Dylan knows to come to You in ALL things. I praise You, Father, for his loving parents that are willing to guide him toward You. Father, please continue to give Dylan the strength, courage and GODfidence that he needs each day. I would even be so bold as to ask You to give him wisdom, Father. Wisdom to know how to share his testimony in a way that brings glory and honor to Your name. Wisdom to know when he is being attacked by the enemy and how to respond in Your love and strength. Thank You for sharing him and his testimony with me to encourage me in my walk with You. Pour out Your blessings on Dylan and his entire family. And thank You, also, for Melissa being willing to lead women in Bible Study. I ask that You would also continue to give her strength, courage and wisdom each day as she needs it. In Your Most Precious and Holy Name, Amen.

  14. Melissa- I’m praying, but I don’t need a prize of any sort (and never do… give it to someone else if I respond on prize days ;)). I’m still plugged in with your blog even though I’m not in this next study.

    Dylan- Man, you just rock! Keep going strong and know that the Lord will never leave you or forsake the plans He has for your life! There is an amazing ride out there for ya, brother! Oh, and just because I dig the music thing… totally keep playing those drums!!!!!

    Lord, bless this family. Continue to provide a path of your love and truth to light each one of their lives, and blow us away with the things you will do… especially through Dylan. Encourage him, encourage them all, and bind them together as one tidal wave force for your kingdom. Thanks, God. In the AWESOME name and blood of Christ, AMEN!

  15. Melissa & Dylan, That was a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing. I am dealing with health issues with my 7 yr old daughter (8 at the end of the month). I struggle with her fear of tests she will be facing in September and have not been able to comfort her when the subject comes up. I have prayed with her and told her that God is with her and he will take care of her, but that has not seemed to comfort her. Your story is so encouraging to me and I am going to try to find Scriptures that will help her to not be afraid. I ask that you please pray for me and for Tessa, that she will overcome her fear and know there is nothing to be afraid of.
    Dear Lord, I thank your for Dylan and his story, I pray that you continue to be with him and help him through difficult times. Lord thank you for making him an example of trusting in you and for seeing him through his struggles. Thank you for giving him parents that believe and trust in you and that help him through his hard times. Bless him and his family always. In Jesus name, Amen.

  16. Jewell Philip says:

    Dylan,
    I commend you for letting God use you! It’s inspiring to know a person as young as yourself is able to use your voice and share your life experience. I have never had a “life verse” but, now am inspired to make it a priority to have one! Thank you for sharing your story. God Bless you and your family!
    JP

  17. Wow, Melissa, this just shows what the power of praying parents can do; how a home dedicated to God can impact our children. Dylan is a very bright, awesome, christian, grounded steeply in God’s word, His truths, and has the God-confidence, God-esteem that it takes and will take to continue moving forward through life, and he will be able to tackle anything that life throws his way. I love his answer to people who have turned their backs on God or church. Give God andn church a second chance as God has given us a second chance; God is so merciful and gives us chance after chance and never stops giving and forgiving.

    What a powerful testimony Dylan has now and will continue to develop with his Lord and Savior.

    Love and Blessings.

  18. He is so lucky to have parents who sought help and wernt ashamed… Didnt act as if his struggles were a reflection on thier parenting.
    Dear Lord, thank you for this brave young man. Give him courage in you that is greater than any fear. 2Timothy 1:7.

  19. Dylan I loved your answer to question 4. (Does it still bother you?). It brought tears to my eyes to read that you decided to only listen to people who said good things and not worry about the negative things people said. I wish I would have had the ability to do that when I was a child and teenager. Negative things were done and said to me because I was visually impaired. Even as an adult I’ve had people say and do negative things because I can’t see. I do get some positive comments from good friends and a few family members and I will focus on that. I was also very blessed by your answer to question 11. about finding other ways to deal with problems instead of crying over them. That’s more advice I could have used over the years.

    Father, I thank you for Dylan sharing his story and how you have helped him overcome all the problems he’s faced in his life. You have given him a caring heart for others. Use him to be an encouragement to others and pray for them. Continue to give him strength to face any trouble that comes his way. Continue to bless Dylan. Amen.

  20. I really appreciated your interview with Dylan. My son also has had anxiety from an early age, but not diagnosed until he was 14 (a source of much concern for me – how did I not realize this?) Two years later he is doling much better – his medication, therapy, and prayer have helped a lot.
    Dear God, Please continue to be with Dylan and Melissa and their entire family. Help Dylan to continue in the peace of mind that comes only from you. Give him the strength to share his journey with others that they might be helped by it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  21. Christine says:

    Dylan,
    Thank you for sharing. My 12 yr. old daughter was diagnosed with bi-polar this past year and has trouble accepting her circumstances. I plan on sharing your interview with her.

    Dear Lord,
    thank you for the blessing of Dylan. Continue to watch over him and his family.
    In Jesus name, Amen.

  22. Heavenly Father, Thank you for Dylan and the blessing he is to you, his family and friends and to me who he doesn’t know. Young people living for the Lord are the best of encouragement for me. Learning and growning in the Lord leaning not on our own understanding bring us closer to you and your will. Continue to bless this young man for your glory! Amen

  23. Deanna Clardy says:

    Wow! What an inspiration Dylan is to so many people! Reading the interview and Dylan’s answers really impressed me as to how God is truly working in Dylan’s life and YES, God will definitely do something huge in his life! Way to trust in God alone Dylan!! Very proud of you and I know you have great things in store for you and your life!! God bless you and your family!!

  24. FATHER GOD YOU KNOW MY HEART FOR SPECIAL NEEDS PEOPLE. I PRAY FOR DYLAN YOU KNOW WHAT THIS YOUNG MAN NEEDS I ASK THAT YOU BLESS HIM AND KEEP HIM IN YOUR EVERLASTING ARMS. THANK YOU FOR THE WONDERFUL MIND AND WISDOM YOU HAVE GIVEN THIS YOUNG MAN. I ASK FATHER GOD YOU MET HIS EVERY NEED IN JESUS NAME AMEN

    I RETIRED FROM SPECIAL NEEDS . I HAVE NEVER RETIRED FROM HELPING SPECIAL NEED PEOPLE. I WASN’T HELPING IN SUNDAY SCHOOL UNTIL SEEN A SPECIAL NEED CHILD THAT REALLY NEEDED A SPECIAL TOUCH. NOW THERE ARE AT LEAST 3 THAT I CAN HELP ON SUNDAY AM . WHAT A BLESSING . GOD BLESS YOU AND YOURS KAY

  25. Dearest Father,
    I pray for Dylan today as he goes about his life as a young man, blessing people through his service at Elevation and beyond. Thank You for his heart to SERVE. I pray that you will continue to give him a heart for You and Your people, and bless him in all seasons of his life. I pray that You will put huge dreams, aspirations, and revelations into his heart today that will lead him to do the huge things that you have planned for him. Thank You, Jesus, for his testimony of overcoming the struggles he faced, and for giving those of us who also struggle from anxiety an example to follow. Lord, bless him always. In Jesus’ name forever. Amen!

  26. MY HEART GOES OUT TO DYLAN. HE IS A WONDERFUL BOY AND I AM GLAD HE HAS TWO WONDERFUL PARENTS. I AM DEALING WITH ANXIETY ISSUES AS WELL. I HAD AN ANXIETY ATTACK AT THE DENTIST ON SATURDAY. I THOUGHT THAT I WAS GOING TO DIE, BUT I PRAYED TO GOD AND HE GOT ME THROUGH IT. I READ DYLAN’S STORY LAST WEEK AND I AM PROUD TO SAY THAT IT HAS HELPED ME DEAL WITH ANXIETY BETTER. I WANT TO SAY THANK YOU FOR SHARING DYLAN’S STORY. HE IS AN INSPIRATION TO ME AND OTHER PEOPLE WHO ARE DEALING WITH THIS ISSUE. I WILL CONTINUE TO PRAY OVER DYLAN’S HEALTH BECAUSE I KNOW THAT GOD HAS SOMETHING AWESOME IN STORE FOR HIM. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK DYLAN!

  27. Please thank you son for sharing his store. I am honored to pray for him. I can tell this experince has made him strong and wise.

  28. patti strain says:

    I pray that Dylan will hear and listen to God’s voice. That he will understand that God often uses the weakest of the weak to do His good work. Work that shows God’s glory and not humanity’s. That he will forever be strong in The Spirit. That he will know that God has a plan for him and I suspect it will be a big one. But don’t fear, God will be with you always.

    Thank you, mellisa for praying for my son too. He started work today. Praise the Lord!

  29. Nelly Espinoza says:

    First of all may God continue using you!
    What amazing answers for such a young guy.
    Dear Dylan, you are such an example of how God can do great things when we choose to keep and believe His commandments.
    Dear God, please continue showing your mercy, power and love in Dylan´s life. Let him know that you are in control and that Dylan can trust in you in every are of his life. I pray that you may use him to share his story to others and that they may come to know you, God. Let him shine and prosper in every area you want to use him. Please let us follow his example.
    I would like to share 1 Tim 4:12.

  30. Thank you so much for sharing Dylan’s story. For the last year I have been home bound due to some health issues and paralyzed by anxiety and panic attacks that have ruled my world. I could not walk out of my house without fear totally taking over and causing a panic attack. After reading Dylan’s story I was so encouraged. I made it out of the house yesterday to a Doctor’s appointment and to have labs drawn and not once did anxiety rule me. I recited the Joshua 1:9 verse and wrote it inside the book that I am reading, A Confident Heart.

    The first time I read Joshua 1:9, after reading your blog, I felt as though the verse was talking to me like a father in a stearn voice saying, “HAVE I NOT COMMANDED YOU? Be strong and courageous. DO NOT be terrified; DO NOT be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

    Thank you Melissa and Dylan for sharing your story!!

    Father God, I thank you for Melissa and Dylan and pray that you continue to bless them in their daily walk with you. May they continue to touch the lives of everyone they come in contact with. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen!

  31. Thank you Dylan for sharing your story. I had 3 boys that were not raised in the church. I know they had anxieties at your age also, but I was helpless to help them or direct them. I know Christ now would have made all the difference in their lives. Fortunately God loves us all as we are and continues to love us and desires us to follow Him.
    Thank you Melissa for the way you are serving God. What a blessing you are in the ministry of teaching.
    My one son Michael has aniety attacks so much he has to be on medication all the time to control them. He has just committed his life to Jesus and is trying hard to live according to God’s will. I have learned that as long as we are in the word and can hold His word in our heart we need not fear.
    Heavenly Father, I praise you God, Father and Comforter for how you are using Melissa and Dylan to futher your kingdom I pray you will bless their daily walk with you and provide for them what they need to continue in your service according to your will.