While we were on spring break at the beach in March, one night, right before bed, Niamh asked me a question that I wasn't prepared for. We had spent the day in fun and lightness- just relaxing and enjoying ourselves, kids playing, laughing...So I was ready for kisses and sweet dreams. And she parent-bombed me with
"How do I really know that God is real?
What if I am wrong and somebody else who doesn't believe is right?"
I'm pretty sure I looked like a deer in headlights, stumbling over re-assuring words. But as I worked them out...and pulled myself out of that initial desire just to make everything 'okay' for her... we were able to have a good conversation about the Gospel and our hearts. Looking back at that night before bed, I probably did an inadequate job in explaining theology to my daughter...but I think that is okay. I don't think she needed theology that night. She needed to wrestle-out her own doubts and fears...And I know that is a good place to be.
Recently, I read the line
"The great artists keep us from frozenness, from smugness, from thinking that the truth is in us rather than in God, in Christ our Lord. They help us to know that we are often closer to God in our doubts than in our certainties, that it is all right to be like a small child who constantly asks:
Why? Why? Why?"
~Walking on Water
It is difficult for me as a parent to not strive to just "fix" my children's heartaches. That is what I want to do right out of the gate...just make everything okay. Happy. Calm. Brilliant. But I fully believe that I, in my own heart, have experienced God on much deeper levels in times of doubt and uncertainty than in the happy-go-lucky. When I am crying out for help and answers-- and sometimes just 'Jesus, give me faith because I have none right now on my own'-- those are the times I have looked back on and seen rescue, love, and miracles worked.
When WiseDecor offered to host a second giveaway on my blog, I new exactly which quote Niamh needed. It is by C.S. Lewis:
"If I find in myself desires that nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world."
Leave it to C.S. Lewis to put my stumbling thoughts into a beauty-filled, short-and-sweet sentence. (When I get to Heaven, he is on my "Top Three People To Find and Hug" list.) So, I carefully applied the words to Niamh's wall, right above her bed. (The wall decals apply just as nicely to wallpaper, at least for us!) She thanked me 100 times for the words...But I think it was more for the space to be allowed to figure some things in life out for herself. Phil and I can either teach our kids in a way that they adopt what we believe because it seems the right thing to do; or we can encourage the doubts and wrestling with hard things, and have them come to a place where they believe because they believe.
In order to enter the giveaway, you can do any of the following follows. (For each additional one you do, please leave a separate comment to increase your chances of winning!)
Words are just my thing...I have them tattooed on my skin and applied to my walls and numerous books so marked-up they are difficult to re-read...So maybe I am biased. But, I think a beautiful quote is something that, when offered to friend or family, can stick with them for a lifetime. WiseDecor will customize any quote for you; so keep them in mind for special gifts and graduation presents.
Giveaway ends Saturday, May 30th.
All are welcome to enter.
Good luck, friends.