Thursday, October 15, 2015

coming to faith - a letter

Dear Bubby,

We were in the minivan Tuesday morning - you, me and Bug - driving to my BSF meeting. Pulling out of the driveway you asked me a couple of questions about heaven.  This was not unusual. At least once a week, usually more, you ask me theological questions on a drive somewhere. The questions were answered to the best of my ability, with one I clearly remember saying, "That's probably a question for Pastor Doug."  We moved on with normal chatter and silence and music and your little brother asking to listen to the Veggie Tales cd.

A few minutes later we were driving down Kansas, and you asked me for a tissue. Handing you one, I asked if you were okay, to which you responded you felt like crying about your sin.  This was pretty out of the blue since you had not been in any real trouble that morning or the day before, and our conversation hadn't been about sin. So we chatted about sin and about Jesus and as usual, I asked if you had any other questions.  You didn't, so I continued to focus on the road until you told Bug to stop talking so you could pray. And there in the minivan you prayed your own version of the Sinner's Prayer, and then announced that you were following Jesus now. That you were now a Christian.

My heart went a million directions at once. I wanted to be enthusiastic but also cautious.  One of my biggest fears of raising you in a Christian home is that you would become a Christian to please me and your dad or because it was the thing to do. It is a hard balance in teaching you about the faith that is central to my very being without letting it become something you would do just because you are a MacB.

I asked a few more questions, and then I called your dad. I went to my meeting, and upon picking you up from the childcare there, the two older women working that day were all smiles because you had told them also that you are now a Christian.

I am writing all of this down so that you and I both remember this in the years ahead. I want you to know that my heart is full of joy and peace about the decision you have made. I do not know where you learned the Sinner's Prayer. That is not really a script we use at our church.  There is no altar call in the sense of an altar call that I witnessed for much of my first thirty years in the Church. You do not attend a children's church (like I did until I was seven or eight) that constantly asked us if we were sure we weren't going to hell. And although I was raised in a church-going home, already I know that your faith-journey is different than mine.

I don't know where exactly the need to come to Jesus to forgive your sins and follow Him with your life came from on this last Tuesday. I rest in the belief that the Holy Spirit has been growing the seeds that have been planted by your Sunday school and Awana teachers, BSF leaders, pastors, and hopefully by your family as your dad and I have done our best to answer your questions and live out an authentic faith in front of you from day to day.

A part of me worries because you are on the young side to come to faith, but God keeps bringing to mind examples in the Bible of the young people He called and His emphasis on having faith like a child.  This week I read something that essentially said when God gets someone's attention spiritually it is because He has made that person ready to accept. God reminded me that salvation is not of works, it is of faith and it is a gift of God not of ourselves - and so the God Who is calling you is able to give that faith to you - no matter if you are six, sixteen or sixty - because it is about His glory and His purposes for you and for His kingdom. Once again, God is asking me, your mama, to trust Him with your life and what He will do for you and in you. I see that you understand your need for a Savior. I see that you are thankful for what He has done for you. I see that you want to follow Him and live for Him, and it makes me cry happy tears.

You are His, sweet boy. He has called you, and He will continue to lead you and grow you. I pray that you would see His good purposes in both the beautiful and the painful moments of your life. I pray that you would sense His nearness. I pray that you would be bold for Him and be filled with His love for others. I pray you would know that you are adopted into sonship through Jesus Christ in accordance with His pleasure and will and that He has lavished His grace upon you.  You will make mistakes and stumble and doubt in the years ahead, and when that happens I pray that you will fall each time on your Savior rather than yourself. He is able and has already paid the price. You are His. I pray that you would know that nothing - NOTHING - can separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.  I pray that you would see His faithfulness woven throughout the seasons of your life and that you would remain faithful to Him.

Love always,

you with the letters that were given to us for you
on your baby dedication day six years ago
to be read by you when you came to faith in Jesus
(tears were shed by you and me today reading them)

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