Saturday, September 27, 2014

Following in the footsteps of my daughter!

This is Gwen and her friend Angel in 4th Grade.  Angel invited Gwen to CYC (a midweek children's program at her church).  Gwen really wanted to attend, so we added this evening event in to our already packed schedule.  The good news was that sometimes I drove Gwen to CYC and Angel's parent would bring her home.  I had no idea how important CYC would be to Gwen and to me.  I'm not exactly sure when it was, but at some point, the wonderful women who taught Gwen's group, encouraged her to "pray and ask Jesus into her heart".  Now (remember my blog from yesterday) this church did not believe in infant baptism and practiced "believer baptism".  I really didn't care at this point.  Gwen was very clear that something important had happened and she felt changed.  I know that Gwen began to pray for our family.  I started to help her do Bible memorization, learning passages along with her.  And shortly after this, I experienced a very real change in my own spirit and truly began to know and understand the real presence of Jesus in my life.  I know that my own spiritual walk really started as I walked in Gwen's footprints.  That may seem like an unusual thing...for a mother to follow her daughter.  It's interesting because this was just the path that Jesus planned for my life.  I had a strong church background, so many seeds sown in my generations, always knew Jesus was real.....but I had not really been living fully for Jesus.  Yes, this was a real banner year for both Gwen and I.  And for our family.  Sometimes it IS a child that leads!

That church that hosted this CYC program... well, it is not a church that exactly matches my beliefs.  But the core, the center of it all, was Jesus.  And that was enough.  I am so thankful for that little girl who would not stop asking her friend to come.  And I am so grateful that Gwen pressed us to let her attend.  If I stop and consider what might have been had I dug in my heels and refused to let her go to a different church, I get very sad.  I know that there are some people and churches that would discourage letting a child attend a different denomination for this kind of program.  In fact, our pastor at the time, told Gwen that nothing had happened when she prayed that prayer, since she already had Jesus in her heart at her baptism.  Unfortunately, he missed the point that something very real HAD happened!  Again, I think this is an encouragement for all of us to really consider the body of Christ as our sisters and brothers. We need to stand together in unity, and BE the body of Jesus, working together.  Not fighting among ourselves.  When we succeed in that, we will have the power and the authority to stand against any enemy that might attack us.  And let's face it, we need that power and authority today more than ever before.

So these first footprints had the solid foundation of Jesus as the central, core imprint.  And these footprints were those of a child.  But Jesus did an amazing work in these steps.  He not only changed Gwen, but he also changed me.  Really quite an amazing thing.  I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit drawing Gwen and I to come into a deeper place with Jesus.

Jesus, thank you for your great love for us and your plans and destiny for each person.  Thank you for children's programs and the amazing volunteers that change peoples lives every day through your Word.  Holy Spirit, thank you for speaking to children.  Keep us all mindful of the ways that we treat our brothers and sisters in Jesus.  Help us all to tear down walls that divide us and be open to standing on the unity we have in Jesus.  Amen

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