She glides up to the podium in a shear peach dress, hair pulled back with a trendy feather attached to strands dangling on her shoulder. My shoes fit her perfect now. Unfolding handwritten notes, she begins by introducing herself to the audience of churchgoers with a smile. These words, virgin to her parent’s ears, tell about what happened for my daughter on her first missions trip:
“Throughout this trip I was personally able to discover a lot about myself. I discovered things about my faith, things about the way I viewed myself, and the motivating factors behind my actions. I realized that throughout my life, especially in the last couple of years, I have not truly believed in God. I “believed” in Him because it was what I was told, what was expected of me, and what my parents wanted. I love my parents. I view them as role models and think the world of them. But their faith has been the only thing carrying my faith for some time. By learning this about myself, I was able to have a new view of the things around me and felt the presence of God for the first time. I am now working on deepening my faith and the full understanding of what it means to have God by your side and with you all the time.”
So much honesty, I wish I could hit a rewind button. I am still stuck on these words, “I believed in Him because it was what I was told, what was expected of me, and what my parents wanted.”
For a fleeting moment, those words made me feel naked and ugly. I wonder if people will judge me as a mother and clergy wife; that she is choosing to follow Jesus now, instead of earlier in life. Is this somehow a reflection of my inability to present Him well?
Then I realize that this is not about me at all. I feel my face flush exposing of my selfish thoughts. Her words answer prayers of fifteen years now. That she would know Him as her own. Follow Him because her heart ached to. Feel Him beside her, loving her.
This honesty is a gift.
A gift not only for me, but for others in the room moved to respond, ask for prayer, get their lives in order. Apparently, this kind of authenticity is rare. It moves people to action.
I wipe the wetness from my eyes. Want to laugh at the hilarity of my focus and worry as I mother this teenager. He laughs with me. I know it.
We know God because He reveals Himself to us. Not because of all the good things we do or don’t do.
He doesn’t need anything from me to accomplish what He wants for my daughter.
I sigh deep, feel His peace and remember: Exhale the cares of life, inhale His promises.
“Who do you say I am,” Jesus asks the disciples. Simon Peter answered, “You are the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “You are blessed because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.” Matthew 16:15-17
It is by revelation that we know Him. An open heart that we receive the life He wrote for us. That same revelation reminds me that all is grace. His simple grace makes life truly beautiful.
Who do you say that He is?
I remember the moment when Emily’s faith became her own and it was beautiful. So happy that Muriel can now take ownership of all God’s wisdom, knowledge, grace, etc for herself and how much she has already stored in the ‘warehouse’ of her heart due to her upbringing. This year I have the privilege of attending Bible Study Fellowship for Adult Women with my daughter. A few years ago, I wasn’t sure this would be possible. God is good and His love endures!
Lisa, I still remember our girls when they were pre-schoolers. Hard to believe how much time has passed so quickly. Thanks for sharing your experience with Emily. It encourages me as a Mom and is a reminder of God’s faithfulness through all seasons.
This a lovely post. It makes me think of my own son (I always thought/think he had his own relationship with God also…) Your honesty is so wonderful!
Authenticity. Transparency. Clarity. Revelation. Relationship.
Shared with such honesty and love for her and for Him and for yourself.
This gift extended, shared, touches hearts and changes lives, it is God’s heart wide open.
Rose, your words encourage me so much. Thank you for taking the time to comment. Feeling God speak through you.
You beautifully recorded a wonderful day in the Lord. I am so glad that I was present to hear Murielle. My eyes welled with tears as she spoke. I remember thinking, how blessed her parents must be to hear this public testimony of God’s grace. I ached for the same type of public moment with my daughter. May my daughter, too, move from inherited faith to a living, personal faith in an Almighty, Awesome and Loving God! Personal revelation is the key!
It blesses me to know you shared this day with us. I pray the Lord blesses you with your hearts desire for your precious daughter. Thanks Beth!
I too, have to remember the same things as you in the opposite circumstance – my 13 year old declaring herself an atheist!
Exhale the cares of life, inhale His promises. *smiley face*
That’s a tough moment as a mom – that naked feeling, that exposure. I’m so glad you shared your feelings and your process here though, otherwise all the rest of us are out here in the world thinking we’re the only ones struggling with this! 🙂 Glad I found your blog through Gypsy Mama’s link up!
It was a moment I won’t soon forget. Both my daughters accepting Christ as her own and my selfish feelings. Thankful for the link up and the way it creates new friends! So glad you stopped by.
What a precious Mama moment for you. I pray that my girls will run after Jesus – not because I told them to, but because they see Him as their loving savior who pursued their hearts with reckless abandon!
Stacey, that is my prayer too. In all things, that their heart would choose Christ and His ways first. It is something we cannot make them do so I look on those moments when I see their heart respond over the culture as true miracles.