Doing Great Things BECAUSE of God

{a post I wrote a few months ago, and forgot to publish}

Dear Ellie,

Last week was Holy Week, and one I’ll always remember.

Your dad and I have been leading a small group the past few weeks, a one-night-a-week chance to practice gospel community and share from open hearts the good news that transforms us. You’ve proudly taken on the self-appointed role of “Small Group Assistant”, and I love watching you help prepare treats, put out chairs and open the door for our friends. I’ve been surprised to see you plop yourself down in between all the grown-ups and wait in anticipation for our discussion.

This nine-year-old-business is a complex state of affairs. You have one foot lingering in carefree childhood, and one foot in hot pursuit of growing up. This mama’s heart is in a constant state of complication – breaking for losing the little girl you’ve been, but overjoyed to discover who you are becoming.

During small group, we talked about grace-how grace is a person and His name is Jesus. We each shared how we’ve encountered this grace, and how it completes and defines and sustains us. We listened to Melissa talk about how this grace has wrapped up her heart for girls in the Philippines, and has completely captivated her future – as she leaves Tuesday to share this grace with those lost and broken girls.

We prayed and laughed and said goodbye. We tucked your brother and sister in bed, and you whispered, “Mom, can I talk to you about something?” My heart fluttered a little, because talking to you about anything – little things and big things, silly things and complicated things, the answerable and the unanswerable – is my absolute favorite thing.

We snuggled into the covers of my bed, and there you laid your heart bare. You told me that ever since you got baptized last year, Jesus has been so real and you’ve come to really understand and feel and experience his love for you. In your precious nine-year-old vocabulary, you shared the very best news with me; how “when you were a kid” you thought you knew all about God and the Bible, but now you realize you have so much more to learn and discover and enjoy; how you love to worship and you really believe the words you are singing to Jesus.

With such heaviness and conviction, you told me you realized you’ve sinned a lot and you haven’t treated people like Jesus would. Since you have literally grown up in the church, you’ve heard the cartoon-ed and flannel-graphed story of Jesus dying on the cross. But, I just knew you were ready to hear the appalling, gory and gruesome details of all the Jesus experienced as he took on the sin of all humanity; the extreme suffering he endured – for you and for me. We sobbed and wept and soaked in this holy moment as waves of His unfailing grace crashed over our hearts and our minds. With this realization that Jesus undeservingly took our deserved place of execution and death, I was completely overwhelmed with the platform for which you and I now stand.

You see, every parent believes and desires their child to do great things. Big things. Great big, important things. In my life, there are many times I look around and see the great things people are doing FOR God, and wonder if I’m doing enough. But when you’ve been completely wrecked by the amazing grace and undeserved love of Jesus, you realize ANY and EVERY great thing you do is BECAUSE of Him. And His definition of great is always different from mine. All the great things we do BECAUSE of him could include cleaning toilets, snuggling babies, putting out chairs for small group, sharing a holy moment of repentance and grace, or rescuing girls out of sex trafficking in the Philippines.

Our platform is grace, and the only way we are able to stand is BECAUSE of him. What seems little to us is BIG to him. What seems insignificant to us is SIGNIFICANT to him. Because you know his grace and are passionate to learn more about who Jesus is every single day, you will {no doubt} do great, big & small, important things-not for Him- but BECAUSE of Him.

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2 thoughts on “Doing Great Things BECAUSE of God

  1. You have a gift and are leaving a treasure to your children. Keep writing your love letters, Jen. They have touched my heart deeply.

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