Yesterday, I was too sick to go to church, so Angie and Ella went. We had a Trunk-or-Treat in which David Stewart, our awesome Children’s Ministry Director told a story about a pumpkin. I have no idea what David said, but Angie used it to spark a discussion when we got home. She had enough insight to see the question marks written on Ella’s face.
She’s been asking a lot of questions for a long time. In fact, just a couple of months ago, we had one of those “near misses” in which we really thought she might be ready, but encouraged her to wait a bit longer. We’ve sensed a deep longing in her to have peace about this issue. When some of her friends made a commitment to follow Jesus, she took notice and has remained in deep thought until now.
We talked about the meaning of a relationship with Jesus. We talked about the meaninglessness of terms such as “asking Jesus into your heart.” (Never use it… ever.) She expressed a thorough understanding of sin, guilt, separation from God, hell, the meaning of the cross, forgiveness from God, and the fact that being “saved” really means a lifetime acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior. She got it all right. Then, she bowed her head, acknowledged her own sinfulness, expressed her belief that Jesus died to pay the penalty of her sins, and asked Him to save her.
Afterward? My lovely wife led them in the “welcome to the Kingdom dance” (a phrase we picked up from our good friend t-show). Ella was ecstatic! She danced… with Jesus! She smiled… with Jesus. She laughed… because she was relieved of a burden. She’s free forever! She’s truly, in every sense of the word, eternally a child of the King!
Angie and I are relieved, elated, and blessed! God has brought us tremendous joy by watching our daughter take multiple steps toward a personal relationship with God. Now… the huge and heavy responsibility of guiding her faith until we release her into adulthood. God be praised!!