Thursday, February 14, 2013

How do you know?

Last night, as we do every night, Shawn and I sat down with the kids and we all shared the best thing that happened to us during the day.  Then, just as every other night, we progressed onto prayers...but last night was different.  Instead of drawing sticks from the prayer pail to help the kids with ideas of who to pray for, we prayed over a box of shoes that Santa brought as requested by Addie Claire.  We prayed over a box of books that Leagan suggested her friends bring to her party last year in lieu of birthday gifts for her.  These special items are leaving for Uganda in a few days with our precious friend Dacia, and so we wanted to take time to ask God to bless the children who wear the shoes and read the books and prepare our hearts to meet these very children in just a few months!

After we prayed, Leagan and Addie Claire almost instantly and simultaneously expressed fear and doubt.

"How do you know God wants us to go?"
"I'm scared...that's a long way to fly on a plane."
"I got sick the last time I flew on a plane."
"Will there be spiders?"
"But what if we don't like the food there?"
"What if bugs crawl on us when we sleep?"

God immediately filled my mouth with scripture, "I did not give you a spirit of fear" and I went on to explain their doubt is coming from satan.  He doesn't want us to go and be used by God.  He would rather we doubt and fear ourselves right out of the trip...he would like nothing more than just that.  He is master of holding us back...only if we ALLOW him to.

Again, "But how do you know God wants us to go?".  These questions from my babies always cause pause.  Not because I don't have the answer necessarily, because in this case I do...I just want them to feel as confident as I do in the way that God speaks to us.  I want Him to speak to them through scripture and through prayer.  I want them to see for themselves His love and how He cares about these very feelings they are having.

The only way I could respond was, "I know because of scriptures God has led me to, I know because of Dacia and her prayers, I know because of my own prayers and the peace that God is giving me."  They seemed ok with the answer, and then Addie Claire began talking through a stream of tears that almost interrupted her speech.

"I am scared that we will make them feel bad because we have nice clothes and nice shoes and we have a family."  Oh that Addie Claire.  Her heart is as good as gold and she is THE most caring and intuitive child I have ever known.  She keeps me on my toes and on my knees because I have to be at the top of my Christian walk in order to answer her questions and lead her.  Sometimes, often times...she is the teacher in my journey.  She, in her carefree way, keeps me grounded.  She doesn't always come home with the highest scores on state mandated tests, she consistently needs to be encouraged to focus, she lives among chaos in her room and is content there, she is happiest when singing at the top of her lungs, her mind wanders and her heart lingers with those who are hurting and in need of Christ.  (now I am wiping away my own stream of tears)

After I cried with her and reassured her that we were going to do our best to be sensitive to their feelings and not wear our fancy clothes, the kids went off to bed.  It was at that moment that I remembered we had forgotten part of our nightly time together...reading the daily devotional in Jesus Calling for kids. I opened the page and this was waiting for me...waiting from even a time before I was born, before even the book was written.  God knew.  He showed up.  So I was once again overcome with tears, this time of joy, as I read...

There it was...God speaking to them!  Just as I so desired and wanted.  It wasn't me quoting scripture or sharing what I had found through was HIM speaking to THEM!  Now...the funny thing is, I didn't realize until after I had read the days devotional that I was actually reading for the 14th and not the 13th, but God knew I would look on this very page and so that is where His love for my kids was written...for them to hear on this very day, to calm their fears and remind them that He loves them and is in control of their destiny.  He not only wants us to be in Uganda, but he will be holding our hands!  My heart is so full, not only because He has spoken yet again into my life...but because He has shown up in a very obvious way for me as a parent and for my babies. I. LOVE. HIM.

This morning, as I sat quietly in prayer asking God only for what He has for me today...nothing more, nothing less...I opened my bible.  Psalm 91...again the very God that wakes the sun each morning and ushers in every season, the very God that shuts mouths of lions and raised the lame to walk again, the very God that hung on a cross clothed in MY sin and defeated death by rising 3 days later...He has shown love again with another reminder that He is protecting my family and I have every confidence that we will arrive safely in Uganda and return home unscathed but with a heart that is crushed, broken and rearranged in a beautiful and magnificent way that only the Father of the Fatherless could orchestrate.

I can't wait to show the girls when they get home from school!

 Further down in the scripture, in verses 11& 12 His words say, "For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.  They will hold you up with their hands so you won't even hurt your foot on a stone.".  Even that far away on a plane in a place where we might not like the food and bugs may crawl on us.  He is there, He loves us, and He is protecting THIS road.  

How do I know?  Because the bible tells me so. Thank you Jesus.

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