This is Part 2 in a series of posts! If you didn’t catch the first one, click on the link below and read that one first. Things will make more sense then!
Wednesday morning, I called Silas into our room.
“I want you to sit with the verse and see what the Lord might say.”
Before moving out of our building and into the school, the church was having a last event, a worship night. A few of the musicians, including myself, would get to lead some songs and we’d asked a few of the older kids to read verses and maybe bring a word to encouragement to the church.
Originally Silas had agreed to read a verse. Then a few days before, he wanted to back out.
“We won’t make you if you really don’t want to read, but you have to give a real reason. We don’t say we’ll do things and then just leave people hanging. Why don’t you want to read now?” After a minute or so, Silas said, “I just don’t feel like God has spoken to me in a while Mom.”
What an honest answer. “You know what? We all feel that way sometimes.” He looked up. “Have you been praying lately? Sitting with the Word and listening?”
“Not really, I guess.” Another honest answer.
We assured him again that if he really didn’t want to read, he didn’t have to. But after some time, he came back and said he would do it. The verse he’d been given was Joshua 1:9:
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Wednesday morning I asked him to sit with his Bible and pray. After about half an hour, he came back to me.
“Mom, I think God spoke to me.” He was smiling a little. “He said that He loves us. And we don’t have to be scared, because He’s going to take care of us and go with us.”
“That’s great buddy!”
“And I think He means it for the church too.”
I smiled. He had taken it for himself. And God had given him an encouragement he could truly share, because it was for him first.
“Does that sound like God?” He was hopeful and little and it made me happy how honest he was.
“Yes, it does.”
The worship night went well and Silas did a great job. Later that week, the church would finish the chaotic whirlwind of packing and moving. That first weekend in the school went well. There are new challenges, like setting up and tearing down everything, sharing spaces, but we are slowly figuring it out.
One morning later that week, we were starting the day with some personal Bible time. The boys had the task of picking and reading a chapter of their choice, anywhere in the Bible, praying, and then writing it into their journals and drawing a picture. Ethan picked Psalm 34, a chapter he’s never read before but somehow landed on.
“Do you want me to read it to you Mom?” he asked.
“I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. I will glory in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Fear the LORD, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry; but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth. The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit…”
Ethan’s voice got weak as he read that line. He finished the chapter.
“Are you okay Ethan?”
He left the room; I didn’t follow.
A few minutes later he returned. “Is there a verse that stuck out to you?”
“This one,” he pointed to verse 18. “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Branden walked into the room just then, and saw Ethan’s face. “What’s wrong?”
“Ethan was reading through this Psalm, and said this verse stuck out to him,” I said, using my parenting tag team voice. Ethan read the verse again.
“Are you heartbroken Ethan?” Branden asked him.
“A little,” he managed to get out and then began crying again.
“Me too buddy.” Branden scooped him up and held him for a few seconds. He said something encouraging that Ethan already knew but needed to hear, then told him a joke and wrestled with him until Ethan was laughing. He always knows how to bring us out of it.
“Ethan, why don’t you write the verse into your journal, okay?”
I looked at Branden and smiled. I’m thankful I get to do most things with him, and that the goodness we have is sourced in Jesus. And I’m thankful for how God is meeting my kids, right where they are, in ways they are truly comforted in, through His Word.
When we moved the Ireland, the boys were definitely more “along for the ride.” Of course we prayed as a family and talked a lot about leaving for the mission field, but in the end, they came because they had to, not because it was their choice. Even though this is hard, I can see how they’ve grown over the last year. They are seeking the Lord and opening His Word, finding Him in the unknown, and feeding on His faithfulness. This is their story as much as it is ours. Honestly as a mom, it’s humbling, and I’m grateful for these opportunities to grow in Jesus as a family.