This has been a year where I’m pouring everything I can into our children. More than basic life lessons, I’m trying to show them prayer strategies to draw them closer to Christ and believe not just in God, but believe God.
That is, until the kids are teaching me.
Our youngest is thirteen and has some life challenges that forces her to work a little harder than her peers in a few areas. She has a joy about her that is in her smile and eyes. Yet, she has felt the loneliness of not having a true friend in school. She has acquaintances, but she’s grown up watching my friend since kindergarten remain close to me. More than that, middle school is rough, and she’s wanted “God with skin on.”
While praying, both her and her brother have had all kinds of experiences from bullying to transition to a car accident. As a mom, these things have rocked me like nothing else. But, we’ve pressed on. Right after the car accident I knew we were all angry that yet another tough thing was happening, and I didn’t want bitterness to take root. So we praised God. We listed every single thing that was good about the accident.
Turned out, there was quite a list.
And, I could tell it was breaking the pain.
Around the time of the accident, women from our church were waking during the night with our daughter’s name in mind. They would pray, not knowing all her circumstances. Presents landed on our doorstep, just for her. She’d walk into church and ladies would hand her gifts. Two of her favorite young adults handed her bags of clothes.
The favor was crazy, and I encouraged her that although that “best friend” prayer hasn’t been answered yet, this is God lavishing on her. Letting her know she is not alone, and He hears her prayers.
Recently another big request came to pass. There was a situation that wasn’t improving and we asked God that if it wasn’t meant to be for that situation to remain, prosper it somewhere else. She announced that out of no where, the situation was done. The result of everything about it prospering somewhere else.
I wanted to be elated. In a short amount of time I watched people rising up to pray for her. Encourage her. Sacrifice their time to spend time with her. That her second big request came to pass as fast as a finger-snap. But that one prayer. That one friend she could count on in a place that can be so brutal, it wasn’t there. Not even close.
And my faith was wavering.
I told her how awesome all this was and she admitted for all the times she questioned God if He even cared about her, He’s sure showing her how much He does. Her pain remains, but she hears His voice. She feels His presence. I went on to confess how I just wished that one prayer could be in the praise column.
Her face lit up. “Mom, don’t you see? So much has happened that I know He’s got an answer. It’s not here yet. But it’s around the corner.”
You’d think I would have learned by now. Years ago after encouraging our then elementary-age son to trust God, he was talking about a school picnic after school. It had rained all day and the chances of that picnic happening outside looked slim to none. I blurted that out to him. He shook his head. “But Mom, we prayed. I believe He’s going to give us sun. See, the clouds are already leaving.”
I looked up and sure enough, the gray was parting, revealing blue. By the time we needed to leave for the picnic, it was sunny. It was a humbling, amazing lesson.
I don’t know how God is going to answer our child’s prayer. It could be in the form of a girl her age that stays her friend for decades. It could be mentors older than her that can give her so much love and wisdom so she can walk the school halls with God confidence. I don’t know. But I know Who does.
And I’m thankful for the reminder that came from a child, full of faith.
ENGAGED will be released next month and to celebrate, I will be offering book 1, ENTRUSTED, as a free e-gift through my newsletter in the coming weeks. I’d love for you to receive my contemporary romance about surrendering fear, loss, and change. Subscribe for free at juliearduini.com and watch your inbox. Newsletters are every month or so, and include gifts, giveaways, updates, recipes and exclusives just for subscribers.