As a blogger, Stacey Philpot naturally spends a lot of time on the Internet, but felt that the air was getting to be a bit too toxic for her taste. She decided to take a break from the online world, and was looking forward to the wide-open space that was free of all the constant social media notifications.
Unfortunately, the stressed-out mom didn’t get to stay off the grid for long. As soon as Stacey cut the cords to the digital world, a friend sent her an urgent text about a post that she just had to see. Apparently, there is such a thing as a Facebook emergency!
The frazzled mom begrudgingly logged back on to see what the mystery was all about. A passerby caught a kid in the act of doing something his classmates had refused to do with him, and now his story had gone viral. As she scrolled through the picture online her eyes went wide as she realized the boy was her own son.
As most parents know, when you don’t spend enough time with your kids, it can be hard to keep track of what they’re doing on a day to day basis. But, when the whole world knows what your child is up to before you do, it can make you feel a little bit gutted on the inside.
Stacey didn’t know what to think when she realized the whole community was talking about her own son. Thankfully, instead of wagging fingers at him for his bad behavior, everyone was actually singing praises about his courageous actions! In an article she wrote about the incident, Stacey said that her son Hayden:
“… captured the attention of our community by standing alone, by doing everything we’d ever taught him, everything we’d ever hoped he would do. I was completely undone.”
Hayden took a chance by standing up for what he believed in, even though he knew that he would be doing it all by himself. Stacey had a right to feel immense pride for her son!
Hayden was the only person who stood before Lake Minneola High School’s flagpole during the annual See You At The Pole day. The global event, which has been taking place for over 25 years, encourages our youth to gather around their school’s flagpole and pray for their family, friends, churches, and the community at large.
“My son says at first, he thought he would simply pray until someone else came along. Eventually, he realized no one else was coming. Then, the cry of his heart changed. He asked that God would do something with his standing alone.”
Although Hayden was standing there all alone, he actually had a higher power on his side. God answered his prayers in a big way, and social media was buzzing soon after!
Stacey couldn’t wait to tell Hayden the good news about the impact he had made, and she texted her son while he was still in class:
“You should know that people in our community are going crazy about a young man who stood at a flag pole alone and prayed this morning. They are talking about what an amazing young man he must be and how proud his parent’s should be. And I want you to know that your parents are so proud of you. You are an amazing young man. I love you so much.”
Stacey had vowed to stay off the Internet, but after Hayden came home with tears in his eyes, they both read through the hundreds of positive comments together. However, more important than the comments is the humble lesson that Hayden taught her that day:
“So to you, wherever it is in your life you stand alone, be it a flag pole or a marriage, a place of work or a seemingly impossible situation, I believe my son would like to remind you God can do big things with your standing alone. Perhaps, for now, you are praying until someone else shows up or takes notice. God sees, he knows, and he can do big things.”
Social media isn’t as toxic as Stacey had come to believe it to be. She just needed to look in the right place, and see the world through a more divinely-inspired set of eyes.