November 5th is a special day in our family. It’s the date that Madelyn (our oldest) professed her faith in God for the first time. Since she was so young, it has been important to us to have conversations with her as she develops emotionally/mentally. We want her to think about her past, present, and future in a way that prepares her for the moments when she will question her faith. The first couple of years we celebrated with necklaces/flowers. Now that she can read well enough to process/comprehend with ease, I decided to write her a letter. Turns out that this letter was exactly what I needed to force me to “process” where I am in my own faith walk. Today, I’m thankful for this little girl and the very big God that makes the hardest of days productive towards His good plans.
I had been in the kindergarten pick up line for 15 minutes…waiting for you…listening to your little sister talk (you know how she was/is). You got in the car, and the first thing out of your mouth was that you wanted to be a Christian. Who knows what happened the hours before, but you were adamant. I asked you a few questions. I told you we would wait till Daddy got home. You waited anxiously on the steps of our front porch, never taking your eyes off the driveway.
When he got home, you ran up to him…wrapped your arms around him…”Daddy, Mommy said I could be a Christian today.” Lol. You had a way of twisting my words around in your head…for your benefit. 🙂 He looked at me with uncertainty in his eyes. I made the face I make when you have twisted my words around…and nodded “yes.” He smiled. We sat down in the grass under the same oak trees that had been shading that lawn for 100 years. Your dad instructed you to tell God what was on your mind. It was not even close to the ABC’s (admit, believe, confess). It was something sweet that started with “God, I hope you’re having a good day…” and ended with “…God, hold me forever.”
Did that collection of words make you a Christian? No. God put a desire in your heart for Him. You were too little to understand it. See, at six years old, your brain was doing some pretty cool things. You were looking for your place. Where do I fit? Where is it safe? Can I play here? What are we doing today? I loved those questions. God also gave you a family that desires Him. It was only a matter of time before you noticed that He was a safe place to play, to cry, to talk, to stay. I was not surprised that you were only six. You had life figured out before we left the maternity ward. 🙂 Your request for Him to hold you forever made perfect sense to me. I knew you. I had been watching you learn. I had been answering the countless questions you had about Him. Your dad and I had had several conversations about it. I had eloquently explained the Gospel to you many times…using appropriate words for your developmental phase. See, there’s nothing I felt more prepared for than telling you about God and His plan. Still, you were too little to understand. Why?
Because at 33, I’m still too little to understand. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. His ways are higher than our ways. I get little pieces of Him. Sometimes it’s when I’m reading His Word. Do you know that it’s alive? It deserves the same attention and respect as He does. Sometimes it’s when I’m sitting by the lake…looking at a sunset that I’m sure could swallow all of everything at any given second. Still, there are times when I “get” something about Him that goes much deeper than a fleeting thought or sunset. It changes me. In a moment, it wrecks something old. It births something new. I have a list in my mind of these moments, but before those, came my faith…as a kid…just like you.
As a child, I wanted Him. Who wouldn’t want Him? The Story of God’s love is an attractive one that answers the questions children need to have answered. I was loved. I was safe. It was okay to be me. I prayed a prayer of repentance and request because I had a tiny chunk of faith pushing me to tell my small, country church that I loved Jesus.
As a teenager, I was devoted to His Word. I didn’t quite “get Him,” but I gave His Word my best effort. Side note: my best effort turned out to be a total joke. I survived the “WWJD” bracelet craze. Yes, I had all the colors…and coordinated them with my outfits.
As a young adult in college, I had my first “wrecking ball” moment. For the first time, my developing mind could wrap around how He felt about me. He loved me back. This was the most emotional experience I had had in my faith so far. Something new happened.
Little did I know that this would be the first of many wrecking balls. From there, I can think of three more specific moments where God has torn away something old to reveal a new twist or turn to the story of “God as He relates to Amber.” Each time it knocked me to my knees…except this last one. As far as I can tell, I sought this one out. It didn’t take my breath away. It came slowly and felt like rest. What does that mean? Who knows? He’s a beautiful mystery…with higher ways than the ones He created for us. He chose you…before you were born. At six years old, He filled you with confidence. At nine, you are starting to explore His Word for yourself. You have a lifetime of “God as He relates to Madelyn.” You will give it your best effort. There will be wrecking balls. There will be rest.
When you were a mere six years old you professed your tiny desire for a big God in front of our little family under 100 year old oak trees. Never forget where it started…cause it’s what being a Christian looks like. Too little to understand…doing crazy stuff with tiny chunks of faith.