(This is another post by my beautiful bride as she helps chronicle this journey the Lord has us on. I am so thankful for her willingness to share her thoughts here, as I know this isn’t easy for her to do. I couldn’t be more proud of her, and more thankful for how God is using her.)
My kids LOVE a good story. Especially if it’s one that we tell over and over again. I think I first realized this when my oldest was three or four, she had a slight obsession with The Three Little Pigs. Every day, she and I would make up silly stories based loosely off of the timeless tale. (In fact, that might be why she’s so terrified of wolves to this day, ha!). I’d always start off with “Once upon a time, there were three little pigs”… and from there the possibilities were endless. We’d name the pigs and send them off on wild, grand adventures. Each day came a new adventure but she never seem to tire of our storytelling sessions.
Fast forward six years and while the story itself has changed, the love for details, characters, and verbal story telling has not. Made up, imaginary fantasies or real life occurrences, it makes no difference. And now, all three kids seem to perk up when there’s a story to be told. But the ones they really enjoy hearing are the ones usually involving something from our past or a story of when they were babies. And no matter how many times they hear it, somehow it never seems to get old.
Whether you realize it or not, each one of us is smack in the middle of our own story. And as Christians we have the most amazing, beautiful tale of redemption and love. A story to be told and proclaimed! The Creator of the Universe left the splendor of heaven for a wretch like me! For all of us! He doesn’t want anyone to perish but that all come to repentance. If we turn to Him, asking for forgiveness, He takes our sins and washes us clean, making us whole and new! And all who receive Him as Lord and Savior will one day be in His presence, face to face, for all eternity! What a glorious thought! When I think of this beautiful story that I’m a part of I’m reminded of that old wonderful hymn by Fanny Crosby…
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.
As marvelous as that is, our stories just don’t end there! Until we are in the presence of The Lord, He continues to write the pages, record and number our days. A dear pastor friend reminded Matt and me a while back that God doesn’t write boring stories. It’s impossible! Isn’t that the truth?! We needed that reminder. We needed to remember that the last ten months are just another chapter in our story. The twists, turns, suspense, heartache and waiting are all part of the story He’s writing and crafting for us until He calls us home.
From early on, we believed that God was not only stirring things up for our lives but also for the lives of our children. I’ve often prayed the prayer, “Be real to my kids, God. I don’t want them to think of You as some character in a far off, fantasy-like story but give them opportunities to have a real deal personal encounter with You. Let them see You. Let them hear You”. Be careful what you ask for, right?
Now we knew, it wouldn’t be in our kids best interest to know every single detail of our predicament but sharing the highlights of the ups and downs would work. As parents, that’s when it’s crucial to seek The Lord and know your own kid(s).
So with this opportunity right here in front of us, we’ve tried to be very honest and open with them regarding this season we are currently in. I pray that one day, they will think back to this time and have their own stories to share. I pray that just like the Israelite children after the Exodus they will remember Matt & I telling them about God’s love and the evidence of His goodness.
I pray they will say:
“Hey, remember when God told Mom & Dad to “take your family & move“?”
“Remember during that time, God so faithfully provided and blessed us as a family?”
“Remember when we prayed and prayed and at just the right time, God answered our prayers?”
I pray they understand that God had a purpose for it all. Yes, I pray that this will be an opportunity for them to KNOW Him! The King of Kings, Lord of Lords, The Great I AM.
Christians, we have a story to tell! And each one is beautiful and unique to only you. Never, has our world been so desperate to hear our stories which in reality all point back to The Greatest Story, the story of Jesus! Far too often we go about our lives (I’m speaking to myself here, too) without a desire to make Jesus known to those around us. It’s time our generation praises His works and declares His mighty acts to the next generation. (Psalm 145:4)
Mamas and daddies, tell your stories to those babies at home! They need opportunities to see God up close and personal and to know Him like never before. Begin a dialogue with your kids. Let them see and hear you calling out in times of trouble and rejoicing and praising The God who saves our souls. Live out your faith in front of their little eyes!
You know, I love how each of our stories are different and set apart from the next but yet they have one thing in common. The hero and main character in each is all the same. His name is Jesus. He makes them all epic, timeless and never boring! They’re not some fictional tale of something unobtainable. And no matter how many times they are told, somehow the stories never seem to grow old. The next generation needs to hear our stories – go tell yours!
“How, then, shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?”