When PinkGirl was 2 1/2, we moved her from daycare to Montessori school. She loved it. One of her favorite things to do at recess was to climb to the top of the monkey bars and SING at the top of her lungs. She sang songs from Disney movies, Dragon Tales, the Wiggles, Doodlebops and Veggie Tales. But her favorite thing to sing? Her own compositions.
Many, many times, those songs were about Jesus and how much she loved Him.
One day, after school, she was very quiet and sad. I asked her what was wrong and she said,
“They told me I couldn’t sing about Jesus anymore.”
I had a feeling I already knew, but I asked anyway: “You can’t? Did they tell you why?”
Tearfully, she answered: “They said some kids didn’t believe in Jesus and their parents might not want them to hear my songs. Mommy is that true? Do some people not believe in Jesus?”
I was struck. I thought she was sad because they told her she couldn’t sing about Jesus anymore – and she was, don’t get me wrong. But these tears were because she just found out that some people didn’t believe in Him. She was heartbroken and began praying that “people would know who you are” every night during her bedtime prayers.
The next year, we enrolled her in kindergarten at a private Christian school. There were uniforms and lines and LOTS of new rules. Even so, the first day after school, she literally skipped to the car, talking a mile a minute and then she jolted to a stop, whirled around and said:
“and the BEST thing EVER? I can sing about Jesus ALL I WANT!!! We even get to PRAY!”
For decades, I didn’t “sing” about Jesus. If you had asked me about it then I would have said I believed it wasn’t appropriate. Some people didn’t want to hear about Him, so I never talked about Him or the difference my relationship with Him made in my life.
I was afraid. and ill-equipped to share Christ with any confidence or graciousness, much less love or acceptance of someone who believed differently than I did.
Then, I read a book. “The Taste of New Wine,” written by Keith Miller in 1965. I think of this book every year about this time because I found it a the Whale of a Sale (our church rummage sale – I’m the “book lady”). Through Keith’s fearless testimony, I saw that it was possible to live an authentic, DE-compartmentalized life. I believe God had been preparing my mind and will for this message for a very long time.
I realized that I could “sing” about Jesus as much as I wanted without offending people who believed differently than me.
Over the last few years, I’ve come to realize that sharing my faith doesn’t mean I’m responsible for leading someone to a saving faith in Christ.
That’s not my job. That’s HIS job.
MY job is to be open and authentic in ALL areas of my life. My job is to make sure I don’t hide who I am just because I’m afraid I might offend someone. To be brave enough to share the most important thing in my life with those I care about. My job is to intentionally and fearlessly place myself in that position of vulnerability.
I believe God is sovereign.
Every blessing comes from Him.
Every trial passes through His hands before it enters my life.
He is the source of my strength.
The influence of my relationship with Him is at the foundation of every decision I make, including the thoughtless, foolish decisions – which are the ones I make when I drift away from daily fellowship with Him.
He can work anything in my life for His ultimate good, even my biggest mistakes.
He loves me and accepts me despite my deepest doubts, my selfish choices and my rationalized rebellions.
It’s His stubborn love that draws me back every. single. time.
I am blessed, even when discouraged or afraid, because He is with me.
One thought on “I believe.”
God is awesome. Your story of PinkGirl makes me smile and hope my daughter loves Jesus as much. Your story of you makes me want to read that book. I have a hard time (and often feel guilty) about thanking God, or saying God did this or that, when talking to people (especially my mom). I am getting better, but it is still a little embarrassing. And then I feel so badly for feeling embarrassed or for being so cautious. Who cares! Who cares what they think. Well, I must. :\ Ashamed is what I feel now. So thankful for His grace.