There are some moments in life that are far too sweet to keep contained in the lockbox of my mind. Especially when it provides an opportunity to boast in the Lord.
Today was filled with such moments.
During the end of my work week, I spent time with a child that gives me particular trial. Granted, I love the children I work with. Yet, I have a hard time connecting and understanding this young child. I think it was not a coincidence that we spent the latter half of Friday singing and dancing to Big Time Rush. We delighted in each others presence.
After spending precious hours with my family in celebration for a remainder of the weekend, I made my way back to San Diego to hear a much anticipated message on calling and occupation. This is an area in which the Lord keeps attempting to teach me contentment. I lack the patience and want to dive into passion and calling and assume that my occupation also must reside in them.
I was comfortably settled in my chair to receive teaching when I noticed one of the mothers from my work cross the pastor to signal me. She instantly pulled me out of the service and walked me to the back of the room. "Abby's here. And they have no idea what to do with her." (I changed the name) This is a child I see day in and day out. This is a child that I find is a trial to love on a daily basis. So hearing that she would be joining my home church was one trial, but being asked to work with her was another. You are hearing the ugly in my heart.
We discussed in Bible study that sometimes the “ugly” in our hearts makes appearances when we least expect it. We often pray big prayers or speak big words without ever having the intention of following through. For example, I had felt God tugging at my heart to possibly get involved in children's ministry at my church. I thought I wanted to be a part of their programs for children with special needs. Yet when God is clearly asking me to step up and walk it, I am hesitant, almost complaining.
But here is the crucial part. I CHOSE to be obedient. Despite the fact that I may have wanted to go the easy route and just sit in church as opposed to USING the skills the Lord has equipped me with. This in no way makes me “holier than thou”, but it does allow me to take part in His story. And this story speaks of His strength and beauty amidst human failure and discomfort.
As this child and I spent the morning reading God's Word, I was struck by the timidity in my voice. I am unable to speak about my personal beliefs at work, unless asked, so having the opportunity to speak boldly was unfathomable. It was as though I was afraid to be judged by this child. He did not give me a spirit of fear.
Reality check. This child deserves to house the fullness of the Lord. It is my responsibility to show up, to be present, and to overflow with love. I get to take part in being His hands and feet.
So there I sat.
On the floor.
Learning the story of forgiveness for the first time from a child’s eyes.
And here is the beautiful part: This child, His beautiful daughter, has all the while been protected from my human brokenness. Although I fail at constantly overflowing with love, He provides the space in protecting her from my lack of excitement at working with her (although I did recognize His plan).
So each day, when I greet her, she runs into my arms and gives me a suffocating hug. Because regardless of what I feel toward her that day, regardless of how tired I am, she is protected from my inner thoughts and knows that she is loved.
Because she is.
The Lord provides opportunities to use your gifts for His benefit. My challenge is that we would constantly choose to use our gifts. It is important that my words match my actions. If I am going to pray boldly, asking to be used by Him, I need to avoid my hesitancy to take action. I cannot allow my insecurities and discomfort to come between the Lord and an opportunity He has set aside for me. Because regardless of the fact that I feel unworthy, He has picked me. I must have the courage to live out my prayer.
So despite the fact that I would prefer to sleep in on Sunday mornings, that I would prefer to check out and be fed, and that I would like to keep at least one day away from children, I am committing to sitting with Miss Abby. Because I have been given an opportunity. Because for right now, and for Sunday mornings, His intricate plan involves me.