A couple of weeks ago, my middle daughter asked to be baptized. She is young, not quite nine, and so we had a long and serious discussion about what this decision meant and why it was important for her.
After talking with her I was convinced that she understood the choice that she was making in committing to follow Jesus, and that it was important to her to make this public through being baptized. I was still hesitant. She was young and so I told her we would take some time to pray and think about it. I could tell I really let the wind out of her sails and I left the discussion feeling uneasy.
As I prayed about it that week, God laid on my heart very clearly that I was messing this up. If she truly understood her choice and what it meant and I was still telling her that she needed to wait, what was I telling her about God’s grace?
We don’t need to be ready enough, or wise enough or good enough or have it all figured out to accept Jesus and make a decision to follow Him. That’s the whole point.
We made an appointment for her to speak with our pastor and he agreed that she would be baptized that Sunday.
Leading up to the day she spoke about how ‘nervous-cited’ she was. On Sunday morning I could see that she was quite nervous and during the actual ceremony she appeared timid and a little scared. We spoke afterwards and she and I were both surprised at how scared she had been – she has always been our fearless little daredevil.
This led us to a great discussion about how God sometimes calls us to do things that scare us. If we know what He wants us to do but we feel scared, that doesn’t mean that we don’t do it – it means we (to quote our pastor) ‘do it scared’. And so this beautiful ceremony symbolizing my daughters commitment to follow Christ also became a great teaching moment where she realized that God is at work in her and can give her the courage to do the things He’s calling her to. Even the things that scare her.
It was a great reminder of what it has meant for me to have Jesus in my life.
I am never in this alone. Motherhood is overwhelming at times with lots of tough choices. If I had to do it alone I’d be sunk. But I don’t. He is always at work in me, guiding me and giving me the wisdom I don’t have so I can parent these kids. He gives me peace and patience to love them well, and grace and forgiveness when I don’t love them well.
It also means that I have the joy of watching God at work in my kids’ hearts. They are not in this alone either. While I am trying to do my best through His grace to parent them well, He is doing the real work, drawing their hearts to Him and leading them into the life He has planned for them.
Maybe you’re not a mom and the stresses of parenthood aren’t what keep you up at night – but we all have struggles. Maybe you are dealing with difficult relationships, maybe it’s big life choices – whatever you are facing in life, you don’t have to face it alone.
We don’t have to rely on our own abilities and wisdom to live this life well. We have a Helper, and He is big enough, wise enough and powerful enough to see us all through whatever we are facing. And He is faithful.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6