Why am I continually shocked when the Lord answers the whispered prayers of my anxious heart, the ones my lips never form and the ones that my mouth never utter?
Why am I constantly surprised when the Lord knows my needs even before I know them, paving a way and providing in advance?
Why am I consistently startled by the many ways the Lord demonstrates His care for me and my loved ones, reminding me that He is the author and controller of all?
Because I am fearful, forgetful, and finite.
And this morning, as we were walking into Caden’s 1st-ever Vacation Bible School experience, my heart was reminded (yet again) of my fearful, forgetful, and finite heart.
See, for the past two weeks, this emotionally-sensitive mama has been prepping her son’s introverted heart for this VBS experience.
Yes, I completely realize that some kids are just naturally pumped about doing new things and going new places. And yes, I realize that other mothers probably don’t have to pull out their pom-poms and paste on their unitard to convince their son that doing something fun is going to be okay.
So, I did what I do and what my son often needs. I channeled my inner cheerleader, and I grabbed my cards.
1. I pulled the “Make-it-sound-like-the-most-exciting-thing-you’ve-ever-done-and-ever-will-do” card.
It’s gonna be awesome, buddy!
2. I pulled the “You-aren’t-going-to-Mars” card.
This is the same place you went to Cubbies! Remember? You have been there before!
3. I pulled the “Let-me-tell-you-about-all-the-not-so-scary-parts-of-VBS” card.
You’re going to play games, learn about Jesus, make crafts, and eat yummy snacks!
4. I pulled the “You-are-now-four-and-a-big-kid” card.
Only big boys get to go to VBS!
5. I pulled the “I-did-this-too-and-survived” card.
Mommy went to VBS when I was your age, too, and I loved it!
6. I pulled the “I-stand-in-awe-of-your-bravery” card.
Buddy, you are so brave for being willing to try something new!
Ummm…yeah. Suffice to say, I pulled some cards. And as we opened the car doors this morning and headed toward Mt. Kilimanjaro, he was still a little bit anxious and a little bit scared. And truth be told, his Mama was, too.
As we made our way across the parking lot toward the heavy, glass doors, my boy reached for my hand and said, “Mommy, sometimes I get shy at new places when I don’t really know anyone’s names.”
Tears threatened my morning eyes.
“I know, buddy. And that’s okay…you just be yourself.”
Before we were even able to open the door in entirety (gosh, those things are ungodly heavy), I hear, “Hi Caden!” A girl (who I had never met before) had quickly remembered Caden from the fall AWANA program (Side note: This church is not the church we regularly attend; they just have awesome programs for children).
My boy was surprised, and my Mama-heart was comforted.
Not knowing what the whole Kilimanjaro theme was all about, we walked down a hall that was creatively lined with a bunch of zoo animals. “Mommy! This is just like my Wild Kratts birthday party!”
My boy was excited, and my Mama-heart was comforted.
We reached the end of the hall and approached the registration table. Within seconds, two of Caden’s Cubbies’ leaders came up to him, addressed him by name, and asked about his summer. Again, his eyes lit up, as he excitedly talked to them about turning four.
My boy was calm, and my Mama-heart was comforted.
As we checked him in and found out that he was with the “Giraffe” group (his 2nd favorite animal), one of his dear friends (from outside the church and Cubbies, the friend who I had already warned him would probably be in an older class) ran up to him and said, “Caden! We’re in the same class. We’re both giraffes!” Letting go of my hand, he ran toward the “Giraffes” and never once turned around.
My boy was thrilled, and my Mama-heart was comforted.
As I turned on the car and headed home with a thankful heart and tear-filled eyes, the following lyrics played on the radio.
“Jesus, He loves me, He loves me, He is for me
Jesus, how can it be, He loves me, He is for me”
And my Mama-heart (the one that is often fearful, forgetful, and finite) was once-again amazed by the Father’s love for me.
He knew that
he we needed to be greeted by a familiar face.
He knew that
he we would be excited by the animals on the wall.
He knew that
he we would be encouraged by the friendly welcome.
He knew that
he we would be pumped about the giraffe name tag.
He knew that
he we would be calmed by the safe friend.
And guess what?
He orchestrated it all…every. single. piece. of. it.
Because He played the “I-love-you-and-am-for-you” card, the only card we ever really need.
“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ [or ‘How will VBS go?‘]…your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. Matthew 6:31-32
Oh, and when I went to pick him up this afternoon, guess who greeted me?
Miss Betsy…the “Giraffe Teacher”…and my son’s very favorite teacher from Cubbies.
Well played, Lord…well played.