I walk forward to the front of the cafeteria-temporarily-turned-awards-auditorium along with the other six finalists. I stand with them, waiting for the announcer to tell us (and everyone watching) how we did in our speech event: extemporaneous speaking. My heart is pounding, and I hope for anything but last place. The announcer starts at seventh place and works his way to first. When he starts announcing the second place winner and I’m still standing, I panic, thinking maybe he had called for, “Thematic Interpretation,” not “Extemporaneous Speaking.”

“And, in first place,” he says, “from Bakersfield Christian High School–“

His pronunciation of my name is completely wrong. But for once it doesn’t matter to me. I shake his hand as I hear my team screaming in excitement.

It’s all a memory. I smile as it vividly runs through my mind, and my smile is just as big tonight as it was that night.

How does God do that?

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