We got to meet a bunch of people from different Student Organizations tonight and I talked to 4 churches!”
(That’s great honey...…wait, what?)
“I was trying to get information from them so I just asked the people at each booth what the Gospel meant to them. I mean, I know what it means to me and I wanted to see if their answers were Biblical before I even bothered to ask anything else.”
Sweet Lord…she really has been paying attention all these years.
I have to come clean - I almost dropped the phone.
Oh my word, it shouldn’t have taken me by surprise at ALL, but it SO did.
Because even after all the years spent in our home church and all the time discipling her and taking her along on the journey to help plant a church, I never quite knew that she really ‘got it’.
Because it’s impossible to truly know the heart of another - even your own child.
Please tell me I’m not alone in this, my Mama friends.
I know you’ve felt it too; wondered too - if the day in, day out ebb and flow of everyday faith, everyday trust and a common hope punctuated by every possible church service because it’s just. what. you. DO. really has any lasting effect on these little 'curious georges' we’ve been trusted to raise.
And I KNOW you wonder - because I have done - what do they understand about this faith of ours.
What do they see? Really see?
They witness all the meals cooked and delivered;
hospital rooms visited;
prayers prayed in desperation for others and tears shed on bended knee with clasped hands; Bible pages folded, quoted and highlighted and marked;
people gathered around the kitchen table time after time, piled up together on floor cushions and deck chairs and indian style as stories and laughter and weeping and loss and grief and joy upon joy upon joy are shared and moments are treasured among kindred hearts - all are experienced by those questioning eyes and seeking minds.
Always watching us.
And seeing us at our worst sometimes - anything but grace-filled or mercy-giving - but forgiven just the same.
Thank you God for that mountainous miracle over and over again.
They see the times we are barely holding on to our own faith by a thread - angry and weeping and broken and confused because WE don’t understand - how could they possibly?
They feel the shockwave of us losing our sanity over the endless legos and polly pockets and cd’s and hair clips and ice skates and video games left in the middle of the floor once again and just as quick as they take their next breath, they feel us wrap our arms around them with love and I’m sorrys and sweet kisses on their hair.
And they decide that their Mama is crazy, but Jesus loves her anyway and if He does then they should too - and again, Thank you God for the miracle of that love.
And sometimes, we get to see them decide that this Jesus who loves their crazy Mama must love them too - so VERY much - and they choose to love him back and try to follow him with the special faith and beautiful trust that comes from knowing He is the essence of love.
And we think they ‘get it’.
For a while.
We are forced to watch them stumble and fall and pick themselves back up again and trip and stumble and fall again in a gut-wrenching cycle of stretching the rope, being jerked back and stretching it out again.
We watch them doubt and question and struggle and fear and lose their ever lovin’ minds and thumb their nose at the truth they know….
and we pray -
Oh, how we pray…..
We trust. We hope. We pray some more.
And then, in what seems like a blink of an eye, we’re driving them to college orientation and sitting in our hotel room and get the phone call that reminds us that Jesus has had them all along.
“Mom, one of them is a church plant, like us! And they believe like we do. They’re sharing Jesus, and I could serve there - isn't that awesome?”
It sure is baby girl.
It sure is.
(Photo Credit - Bethanne Runyan Photography)