Saturday, January 7, 2017

God's Love

There is a twelve year old girl in our life that has, over the course of a year, become part of our family. She still has her parents and sisters but she is a daughter of my heart. She's nothing like me - She's athletic and prefers Under Armor over skinny jeans but we connect in other ways. We bake cookies or she sits on the laundry room floor and talks to me as I fold the 30th pair of tiny underwear. She shares stories of tough teachers or friend situations and I do my best to listen without giving too much advice. I have felt strongly that I wanted to lead her to God but I've been tentative about pushing. I decided early on that I would just lead by example and take any opportunities that God gave me. A few months ago, he started opening that door.

My phone pinged with a text. "Think I could start coming to church with you?" 
I replied quickly, "Of course! Anytime!"
"Oh good," popped up in the green bubble. "I just miss you guys and I would love a chance to see you every week."
"Done. We'll pick you up at 9:30."

And that was that. I knew she wanted to see us more than she wanted to actually be at church but that was okay. We used to live across the street and she could visit anytime. We had moved three months before and I missed her too. I jumped at the chance to check in and give her an extra hug every week.

She has been coming every week for the last couple months and she's starting to absorb some truths about how much God loves her. "So there was a rainbow at basketball practice today," she shared with me. "I told the team what it meant - That is was God's promise to us to always take care of us and never hurt us. Coach pulled me aside and told me what a great thing it was that I was such a light for the team. That was pretty cool."

"What a cool gift you gave them today. They'll never look at a rainbow the same way again."
"Yeah, me neither," she said as she stared out the window and retreated into thought.

Then, last week, she said she'd been thinking about getting a Bible. I decided to buy her one for teen girls so that it was more approachable but still felt a bit uncomfortable about giving that to her for her Christmas present. My husband and I decided to get her a watch, too. She is twelve, after all. But I never should have doubted her sweet old soul. As she unwrapped the Bible, she blinked back tears. "I'm going to be spending a lot of time with this." She looked up at me with wide, appreciative eyes. "Love you."

"I love you, too, sweetheart," I said as I hugged her.
"Here," my husband said, jumping right in. "Let me show you where to start."

As I watched them, I felt so grateful for God's timing. Evangelizing is no easy task. People have so much baggage about religion and you never know what land mine you will be walking into. But I firmly believe this child is a gift to me and that I owe it to her to know how much God loves her. I want her to feel embraced by him and know that He will always guide her. Always. I am so thankful for opportunities to share his love with her.

Is there someone in your life that needs God's love? Buy them a devotional, invite them to church or a small group or just listen and wait for God to open the door. After all, he wants nothing more than for us to share his gifts with others.

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