I don’t get any super mom awards for remembering to do it everyday, but as she’s gotten older, I’ve really been praying for a while about how to help Jessie understand salvation. I have prayed for each of my children to come to know and love God. The hard thing with talking to Jessie about God compared to my other children is how abstract concepts, things she can’t see, are just jibberish to her.
Jessie is maturing in so many ways. She continues to learn and grow in all areas of her life. In other areas of life she has shown that she is very capable of building on already learned concepts, but in this spiritual arena, I have not been able to explain things in a way she understands.
During VBS one year, Jessie went forward when kids were asked if they wanted to talk with our pastor about salvation. It was clear to Brother Dan and to me that although she wants to understand, she didn’t yet.
Jessie’s understanding of God is very simple. Although I haven’t felt she was ready to understand deep or more complicated concepts about God, she has for a long time now expressed in her own words that she wants to please God. Jessie has told me she likes to learn about God. She has also often mentioned people that we know and will say, “so and so needs God.” Sometimes she has expressed it so fervently that I’ve wondered if she knows something I don’t.
I had been brushing Jessie’s teeth one night when I asked if she had called a certain friend. When she said yes (I already knew she had) then I asked how many times she had called. She said once. I told her I was going to check her phone. She instantly looked guilty and said, “Don’t check my phone.” We’ve really been working on her not calling back multiple times when someone doesn’t answer. Jessie knows she’s only supposed to call once and then wait for her friend to call back if they want to. And it’s really, really hard for her to be obedient in this area.
If she’s going to grasp what salvation is, she first has to understand what sin is.
I’ve talked with Jessie before about sin, and it was clear at that time that she didn’t really understand.
While I continued brushing her teeth we talked about how it was important to obey and to always tell the truth. I explained that when she disobeyed mama and when she didn’t tell the truth, it wasn’t just mama to whom she had done something wrong, but she had done something wrong to God too.
We moved to her bedroom and continued her nightly routine. I put lavender essential oil on some cysts/bumps she gets on her legs, I put some cream on calluses on her feet. I looked through her phone and asked her a couple of questions. She blew her nose and then while I was getting her CPAP ready she suddenly said, “It’s hard for me” and she burst into tears.
I thought she meant it was hard not to keep calling back when her friend didn’t answer, but I asked her to be sure what she meant. She said, “It’s hard for me to tell the truth.” I saw that internal struggle all over her sweet face.
Bless that baby. We all know that sometimes it really is hard to do the right thing. I knew her statement represented so much.
There was so much wrapped up in that one statement that encouraged me.
Clearly she was thinking about what she had done wrong, and she knew it was wrong. She was also expressing her feelings, that it was a struggle for her to do the right thing, to tell the truth. It is sometimes hard for Jessie to express her feelings with the right words. There was so much developmental and spiritual good stuff wrapped up in that one statement.
Before Jessie laid down to go to sleep I took her hand her in mine. Her hand that has such sweet chubby fingers with little bits of polish left on the nails. I held her hand and prayed for her. I let her hear me thank God for her and thank God that he chose me to be her mother. I told God in her presence how I can’t imagine life without my Jessie. I prayed that God would help her to be able to obey. I prayed He would help her to tell the truth even though it was hard. And silently I prayed He would help Jessie to understand more than what was just said out loud.
It was in these everyday kind of moments that my two older children came to learn and understand salvation and their need of a savior. With them it was a gradual understanding too. It just didn’t seem so hard to explain it in terms that they could understand.
While she doesn’t yet really comprehend what sin is, I do feel we are making progress for her to begin to understand. While praying with Jessie I felt this sweet confirmation that God was answering my prayer. I don’t know the time-table, but I see God at work.
How sweet it is to know that the mighty God of all things listens to my concerns and cares about them and me. And you.