Olivia began shuffling her feet, rounding her shoulders and looking down as we approached the classroom. My happy-go-lucky-can-make-friends-anywhere girl was not up for the challenge. She has been struggling with a recent transition in her life where she has to courageously participate in a program of 6th-8th graders, knowing hardly anyone. And… the two or three kids she does know, may or may not be there on any given session.
I said a quick prayer over her and stated, “Olivia, what if you don’t worry about your discomfort, but rather look for somebody else who needs a friend, and help them feel welcomed? What if God has you here for that very reason? What if God answers my prayer for you to have a friend in this class, by you being a friend to someone who looks lonely?”
Reluctantly, she left my side, giving me one last pleading look with those beautiful brown eyes. I quickly walked away, but not without first noticing how ginormous those 8th graders were!
It’s interesting how much I fight lately with trusting God to prove himself faithful to my kids. So much so, I think I delay the process in their lives because I interfere and/or intervene when God is training THEM to rely on him.
Several times this past week I would be chatting with one of my kids, saying how much they can trust God, and… simultaneously… thinking how unconvincing I sound. In other words, I’m saying all the right things, speaking words of faith while silently begging God to come through for them.
But that’s just it. I have to release my grip, my control, on what I think God SHOULD do for them. His “coming through” will most likely look different from what I want… and even what they want.
So…it’s AGAIN back to the issue of trust.
Can I trust God with my kids?
Or rather…DO I trust God with them.
Do I trust He will watch over Jessica, Cory and Olivia in hard times? Painful times?
Can I stay out of the way and let a personal relationship unfold between THEM?
I don’t want Jessica, Cory and Olivia to have years of struggle like I did, BUT I do want them to have a real, intimate connection with him. I’m their covering in so much of life, but they have to grow in their own relationship with Christ.
An hour later, Olivia was walking toward me. I scanned her face, looking for the first clue of how things went.
She was smiling.
“Mom, we talked about how God wants us to have confidence in him. I think the talk was for me.”
As we reached our car, Olivia turned and waved goodbye to a new friend. “That’s a girl I just met. She’s really nice and a bit shy.”
2 Timothy 1:12 “I know whom I have believed and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day,”
Entrusted. What a great word. It means to put into the care and protection of someone. I am entrusting my kids to God, in whom I’m believing… AND working on being convinced that he is ABLE to take care of what I’ve entrusted to him.
Olivia turned 11 last week. She is a gift, my little summer surprise, a child we specifically prayed for by name for years. (What can I say… I’m a HUGE Olivia Newton John fan!!)
It is one of my greatest joys to be her mom, and now one of my greatest joys to watch her grow in her faith in God.
Not only am I entrusting her to God, God has literally entrusted Olivia to us— put her in our care and protection. (You can read a bit more of her story HERE.)
I hope your summer has been full of God-given surprises! Just remember this… from a hopelessly devoted Olivia Newton John fan………….
He honestly loves you!
I relate to everything you said Lori except you said it a million times better than I could. I find myself doing the same thing, talking to my kids about God yet hearing myself and how unconvincing I sound sometimes as they look at me with somewhat blank stares… It is their journey, not mine. Thanks for reminding me 🙂
It IS their journey and it’s hard to release them! God is faithful!!
Definitely experienced hearing myself saying the right thing while being unsure myself. Your willingness to show your vulnerability is such a blessing and gives me courage to forgive myself for not being where I want to be on my spiritual walk.
Thank you for your very vulnerable comment Kathee!?