Oh this girl~ Bedtime is either a disaster with her or the best moment of my day!
And last night was pretty special. We were reading THIS book and we were making some connections to the characters in the story and how she is a princess because when she asked Jesus into her heart (at age 3) she became a daughter of The King of Kings. She sat up in bed and started to cry and here's how the conversation began to unfold.
McKenna: "Mommy I'm worried because I don't remember asking Jesus into my heart. What if I didn't say the right words?"
Me: "You don't have to say the perfect words, you just have to believe in your heart that Jesus is God's son and that God raised Him from the dead. And you believe that and you told God you believed that, so he wrote your name down in his book and he doesn't erase it."
McKenna: "I just want to pray again and use my words and I don't want you to help me. I want to make sure God knows I'm really serious. I don't want to have to worry about this anymore."
Me: "Remember, God's special book has your name in it so you don't have to pray again, but if you want to tell Jesus again that you believe in him, then I'm sure he would be very happy about that. He loves you so much and he wants you to know FOR SURE that you're going to Heaven one day."
And so, on November 3rd 2014 at 8:26pm, McKenna prayed the most sincere prayer. She told Jesus that she believed that He is God's son and the she believes that Jesus rose from the dead. She asked him to forgive her of her sins and prayed that his special "Holy Spirit" power would fill her heart. And when she was done, she felt so much better. Her lack of memory of the first time she prayed was causing doubt in her mind. Probably the most important thing that I told her last night was that "doubt is okay" and when you have doubts the best thing you can do is talk to mom or dad about it.
Reggie Joiner in his book Parenting Beyond Your Capacity talks about how the most important thing you can do as a parent is create a trusting relationship with your child, so that they feel comfortable sharing their fears, doubts and worries with you! We always think that our kids should be earning our trust when really we should be working hard to earn the trust of our children!
1. Create time for conversation with your kids. Whether it's bedtime, around the table or in the car. You will not know what's really going on in their hearts if you don't make time for conversation.
2. Work at building trust. You do this by not overreacting to situations. Be predictable and consistent in how you interact with your child. They won't trust you if you're mad at them one minute and want to snuggle with them the next minute.
3. Salvation is a moment and a process. This will not be the last time that McKenna wrestles with her salvation. It's a normal part of maturing. I want her to doubt and wrestle through her belief in God because that means her salvation is her own. She doesn't just believe in Jesus because I told her that's the right thing to do...she's believing in Jesus because that's what she really believes. She's developing her own faith and that is the goal!