I often wonder what paths my children’s faith journeys will take. How will they respond to what we share about what we believe and why?
I’ve been spending a lot of time and energy working with Miranda regarding a couple of character issues that have recently been coming to the surface, as they tend to do in four-year-olds 🙂 That can be draining for both of us, but I also believe that it’s what she needs, and we try to get in a lot of fun and sweet times, as well. Sometimes I wonder if I’m going about this whole mothering thing the right way, and I’m very thankful for a couple of great friends in Chicagoland who are willing to offer solid parenting feedback. Even so, there can be times when I wonder if we’re making any headway.
But every once in a while there seems to be a touchstone moment, and for those I am very grateful. They are such encouragements to me to press on, to be grateful for the hard times – the burners turned down to low while cooking dinner is put on hold or the to-do-list tasks put off. Those moments of character revelation and subsequent discussion really do matter, even if I can’t see the payoff right away.
Tonight, after some harder moments, we had a long talk about love and how we can continue to love people even when they are being unkind. I talked with her about the Holy Spirit and how He is in our hearts when we are following Jesus, and He can help us to love people even when it’s hard.
After our conversation, Miranda went into the living room to play with CaiQun, and they told me they were going to practice playing together kindly. I reminded them that they could also pray that God would help them do that, and when I walked into the living room a few minutes later, Miranda was sitting off to the side, quietly praying. Moments later, she came over to me and sweetly said, “Mom, I prayed, and I asked God to send the Holy Spirit to my heart, and I prayed such a lovely prayer, and God heard me and said that He would.”
I suffer no delusions that my four-year-old daughter has a full understanding of what it means to follow God or that she is capable of making lifelong commitments. However, I also take Jesus at His word when He says, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14). I believe He loves little children, and I believe He hears their prayers. It seems to me that right now, in her own way, my little Miranda is taking some baby steps of faith. And who am I to discourage any steps of my little ones toward Him?