“Wait, what?! Mommy you didn’t know Jesus when you were my age??”
My overly concerned 7 year old asked me this, mouth agape, as we strolled hand in hand on a dampened track not too far from my mother-in-law’s house. She and I had braved a little drizzle and a spring breeze to get some fresh air and exercise.
As of late, this middle daughter has been biting at the chomp to have me all to herself — a quick ride to Aldi, a Target run, heck even a short walk upstairs! And quite honestly, who could blame her in a house where she’s number two of four?
Plus, I really don’t mind.
You see, I enjoy every talk I have with this kid. She’s intelligent, thoughtful, sensitive and ridiculously funny! One minute, we are engaged in an in-depth discussion about her fan theories for the upcoming Descendants 3 movie and the next we are cracking up over one of her hilariously surprising insights. Her comedic timing really is unmatched folks!
But what I love most are our conversations centered on our shared faith. I’ve enjoyed breaking down weighty biblical truths for her when she’s got a complicated question about God. And I absolutely love the times when she’s opted to stay inside to read her bible instead of going out to play with her friends. She really does take Jesus seriously! I’ll never forget the time she fussed at me and Curtis because we randomly made a reference to The Lord of the Rings. We could tell this girl was not playing when she stopped dead in her tracks and emphatically stated, “Only Jesus is Lord!!” (lol)
And two days ago, it was no different.
As we walked, we talked about all sorts of things but in time, our convo turned to spiritual things. As we chatted, we spoke about my own experiences of navigating the faith as a kid. At one point, I began to share the story of how I became a follower of Jesus in middle school. That’s when she was stunned to learn I hadn’t yet trusted in Jesus for salvation by the time I was her age. Her mind simply could not compute that there was a time when her mommy wasn’t a Christian.
I wanted her to see that choosing to become a follower of Jesus is something that comes at different times for people.
“But mommy, you went to church…”
…was the next statement she made as she tried to wrap her mind around my “shocking” revelation. I proceeded to tell her that going to church, being good, simply praying or reading your bible doesn’t mean a person knows Jesus as their Savior. I continued to explain to her that when I first asked Jesus to forgive my sin and come to live in my heart, I still did and said things that kept people from knowing I loved God. Among other things, I told her how I used to lie, would occasionally steal, was ridiculously sneaky and super angry…
All. The. Time!
At one point, I said, “Did you know mommy used to curse and use bad words?”
(Again, with the mouth drop!)
She was floored…
“But you don’t talk like that now…” was her sweet response.
And I didn’t stop there. I told her how in middle school and high school, I enjoyed being angry and showing off to impress my friends. I talked to her about my years long wrestle and uphill battle to grow in honoring God with my speech.
~ And when she’s a little older and can better handle the subject matter, I look forward to helping her navigate the pitfalls of lust and seeking affection outside of God’s parameters. Both of which I struggled through in my teenage years. ~
I did share how even now, I still get needlessly annoyed and frustrated with people. There are days where I simply just want to be mean! I still struggle with selfishness, blatantly disobeying God and countless other sins that all culminated in Jesus being nailed to the cross that ill-fated Friday so many centuries ago.
However, I was also able to explain how over time, I got to a point where I didn’t want to live that way anymore. God began to slowly change my heart. He took away the desire for me to curse people out, curse about any given situation or simply curse just because. I told her how beginning in junior high school, I’d feel sorry whenever I told someone off. Instead of losing my temper, I was beginning to control it.
“This was how I knew God was growing His fruit of the Spirit in me”, I said.
I recounted how God started to change what I liked and gave me the ability to love what he loves and hate what he hates.
As we neared our fourth lap around, she asked me some pretty in-depth questions. She wanted to know more about what it means to die to your old life and live anew, bear fruit, grow in knowing God and more. As we broke a sweat, I truly believe my precious daughter was able to get a glimpse into this life long journey of following Jesus – – the call to discipleship.
Even now, as I sit and type this blog post, I can’t help but praise God for giving me the opportunity to pour the nutrients of the Kingdom into my four children.
I pray that they will see a life lived in dependance on a Risen Savior. I want them to witness true repentance when sin has occurred and be convinced of my desire to look more and more like Jesus everyday.
This is motherhood discipleship.
I didn’t know I was automatically registered in this life long course the moment that plus sign appeared on a plastic stick.
But as 1 Thessalonians 5:24 reminds us, “He who calls you [and me] is faithful; he will surely do it!”
So dear sister, press into this call. Our Lord equips those he calls to do the work he has already laid before us. Don’t shrink back from walking this life with your children. Please, by all means, share your successes with your children! Have rainy day walks around the track with them. Allow your kids to jump in the backseat for a quick ride up the street. Talk to them about what you know and how you’ve gotten to this point in life.
Nevertheless, don’t forget, they will see Jesus all the more through your need for him!
Thanks for reading!