There are times in my life when the grace of God astounds me. I am in awe of God everyday, but then there are days…
My family and I came to know the Lord within months of each other. We moved to our current home 16 years ago and at the time were finishing leading the pre-school ministry at our former church, which is only thirty minutes away but the commute is a two lane road almost the entire way there and it remains the same today. We didn’t have a new church to go to, yet I was excited when our commission ended so we could look closer to home.
We weren’t believers in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior at the time but then something curious happened. My husband began listening to Calvary Satellite Network and he would come home and tell me about the things he was learning by listening to the Pastors. I took the proverbial ‘bull by the horns’ and ran with it. At the same time a friend had given me the first book in the “Left Behind” series and I could not put it down. The night I read the last page I prayed and told God I did not want to be left behind, I asked for forgiveness of my sins and asked Jesus to come into my heart. The next morning I was literally a changed woman!
Fast forward about seven years to when our youngest, who we know now suffers from a mood disorder, anxiety and ADHD, although she is a straight A student, came out of Children’s Church one morning and announced that we were all getting baptized. So we did and we began serving together as a family. Our older two are a year apart in age and when our oldest entered sixth grade I became an adult leader with our youth group. Those were some amazing years, working with the youth and pouring into them and watching our own children grow spiritually. When our daughter graduated from middle school I felt my time with the youth was done and stepped down. What I didn’t anticipate was my kids not wanting to participate in youth group anymore. Slowly, they stopped going to church and remaining involved. The same pattern happened with our youngest, although I held out hope that it would be different for her, this is the child, who at five, announced God was going to give her money to open a homeless shelter and she wanted to take in as many people as she could. I cherish that memory and still believe it lives in her heart because God put it there.
Through the years one of my fervent prayers is for my children to desire to have an intimate relationship with God. As time has gone on our oldest studied abroad and met her boyfriend, who was in the same program as she was but from a different university, our son met his girlfriend and we discovered the challenges of our youngest. And, through the years, my children have gone from rolling their eyes at me or walking away when I would attempt conversations with them about God and faith, to listening, conversing and sharing their thoughts and ideas, to once again asking for prayer. There are some kids who immediately find their own faith after they separate from their parent’s faith and there are some kids who go through great trials and tribulation before they find their own faith. That is how it has been for our kids, each of them has had a life event that knocked us all for a loop. But, as I reflect back I realize I wouldn’t have it any other way because I have been able to walk through these events with my kids and my faith and the best part is that I have seen and continue to see them grow spiritually.
Over the past year and a half we have been consumed by the challenges of our youngest but life continues on. A few months ago our son’s girlfriend had a life event that caused our son to pray with his girlfriend and he led her to the Lord. Astounding grace! A few weeks after that she broke up with him and God has revealed how my son has turned to Him for help. Astounding grace! Recently our daughter’s boyfriend broke up with her and while she is going through the steps of grieving she commented to me that she still prays for him because she doesn’t want him to continue down the path of darkness. Astounding grace! Our youngest begins her Junior year of high school in little over a week. God has already shown me that he has gone ahead and placed in each day of her Junior year, exactly what we need. When I told her this she didn’t roll her eyes or comment negatively. Astounding grace!
Precious One, even when you don’t seem to feel or see God working, be encouraged that he is.
His grace is astounding!