As a mom, the moment you find out you're pregnant, life seems to be consumed with the very real fact that you are now responsible for another human being. There is a weight of excitement and joy that overwhelms you, but right along side all the giddiness walks the fear of what the future may hold. From the very beginning, as this child begins to develop in the womb, you can find yourself constantly wondering, "Am I eating right to help the baby? Am I drinking enough water? Am i doing something that could cause my child to develop improperly and so on. Should I be exercising more... or less? Should I hold my breath as I'm walking through a smokey airport in Israel?? (yes, I did actually have that thought when I went to visit my parents while they were living there).
And then once baby arrives to the world outside the coziness of the womb, the fear can easily grow deeper. Have you ever laid awake at night plotting out the 'fire scenario' or the 'intruder scenario'? 'If someone comes into my house, this is the first thing I will do in order to protect my kids.... If this part of the house catches on fire, this is what I do first... if this other part catches on fire, then I'm going to grab this child first and then that one.... ' Has it ever caused you loss of sleep?
Or how about where your head goes when you read articles on Facebook about children (some close friends) that are diagnosed with heartbreaking diseases and illnesses, or when you hear stores about a parent who loses their child in a tragic car accident or a freak accident.... Do you ever put yourself in their shoes and wonder, 'Could I handle that? What would I do? What can I do to protect my child from that?'
It takes some serious faith in God to not 'go there' and get lost in the fear of the unknown or the fear of the 'could happens'. Although it shouldn't be hard, it really is no easy task to
surrender our childrens' lives to God. To trust them into His hands and let go of this false idea that we somehow have the ability to give them the life we want for them.
And this goes not just for their physical safety, but it goes for their spiritual well being as well. There are times when I question, "Am I talking TOO much about God that they are going to be turned off and not want to follow His higher way? Am I being too pushy? Or maybe I'm not praying enough with them or reading the bible enough to them and because of that, they won't love Jesus." I don't want to push Jesus on them, but I want them to love Him like I do. When they do something wrong and I constantly say, "That doesn't honor God," are they going to resent that I say that all the time or are they truly going to embrace that God doesn't like it when they do hurtful things to themselves or others. What if they don't care that it doesn't honor God. Then what? The questions that run through my mind are endless. I want to make them believe, but the bible says only God can do that. Therefore, I must surrender the false idea that I can make my children Jesus followers.
Oh, but I want them so bad to know the depth of His love for them and the richness of knowing Him personally. I want them to fully understand the gravity of what Jesus's birth, death and
resurrection means to us as people, and in truly grasping that kind of love, they would be motivated, encouraged and led to live a life that honors Him in all ways... even to the point of denying
themselves and taking up their own cross. I want that for my kids... because it truly is glorious... and freeing... and life-breathing... and oh, it gives hope, and peace, and joy and
comfort and oh so much more.
And today, with tears in my eyes, knowing that God did something amazing in my son's heart, I watched my oldest little boy stand before fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, and proclaim that he believes; proclaim that he recognizes he is a sinner in need of a Savior and he believes that Jesus died in his place. That the Holy Spirit resides in his heart and He wants to follower Jesus!
JT came to John a few months ago sharing that He had trusted Jesus as his savior and he wanted to be baptized. JT had the opportunity to meet with our pastor a couple times over the past few months and talk about his decision- to confirm that he truly understood what he was choosing to do. And finally today John had the honor of baptizing him in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Praise Jesus!
Oh, I am thankful. I am so so thankful. There are a zillion memories I have treasured over my 7 years in this career as a mom, but this memorable moment #3481 is truly one that brings tears of joy to my eyes. For me, I find great comfort and joy knowing that no matter what happens in the days, months and year ahead, my little boy belongs to Jesus and he has the holy spirit living inside him. And I'm so proud of him for standing before our congregation and proclaiming his faith (My handsome little man is wicked shy when it comes to standing in public!.... He did super great answering the pastor's questions and fighting the urge to crawl behind daddy with all those eyes on him).
Father, we are thankful for the work you have started in JT's life. And as your word says in Phillippians... you are not finished him yet. You have drawn him to an understanding of who you are and who he is and you have restored that broken relationship. Lord, I pray that you would fill his life with people and friends who would encourage him in his walk with you and who would challenge him to pursue you even in the tough moments. Lord, as he faces the decisions he will be confronted with in middle school years, in his teens, in his college years, in his adult life, that he would always feel your presence, that he would always remember his identity is found in you and you alone... and that he is yours. I pray that you would give him the peace and joy that surpasses all understanding in the moments he needs them and I pray that you would give him wisdom in his decisions that can only come from You. I pray that when at the fork in the road whether to choose himself or choose to honor You, he will always choose you. I thank you that in the profession of his faith, nothing can separate him from your love and that his name has been written in the book of life. I pray that He would wage war with evil and he would take up his sword and fight the good fight of faith. Lord, I thank you that the war has already been won and one day he will be in heaven singing praises for eternity with his family!