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I've always said I didn't want to shelter my kids or give them an unintentional message that I was afraid for their faith to be challenged.
I wanted to raise them to not be afraid of the tough questions because what we believe is True, therefore it can stand up to skepticism and challenge and still be True.
Both King Charming and I have also raised them to be critical thinkers, to not just take something as true because someone (or the Internet) says it is true, but to test what they are told.
We want them to use their minds and although it is an act of faith, they do not need to check their intellect at the door in order to place that faith in Jesus. Faith in Him is reasonable.
All of that sounded great in theory, but recently I had to put that confidence into practice and I must admit my gut reaction was to panic.
Sometime in mid-November, I began to notice changes in one of my princesses. In order to protect her privacy, I won't go into great detail, but I was so worried about how resistant she suddenly became to any activity that had to do with church, the Bible, praise, or prayer. For two months I fretted and worried and tried to get it out of her what was wrong, but she wasn't letting me in.
And then I finally got smart enough to pray about the issue. Why, Oh why don't I remember that is where I'm supposed to go first?
The answer was to pray more. Somewhere along the way this past year I got off course with my prayer life and I realized I had stopped consistently covering my family in prayer. And when I started praying for her, the guard came down one night at bedtime, and in tears she started sharing a list of questions she had and let me see how doubt had crept in and how she was afraid and not so sure that what we believed was true anymore.
I wish I could say I was able to calmly and rationally reassure her, but emotion crept in and turned my mind to mush. I didn't have all the right answers. I just tucked her in to bed and ran to King Charming for help. : )
The next morning, I sat back in awe and listened as he led her through a set of questions that helped her come to logical conclusions on her own about the real evidence her faith was built upon. He also praised her for being a critical thinker and let her know he was proud of her for thinking through this stuff. Later that night she prayed, "Thank you, Lord for showing me you are the true God."
And then I breathed a gigantic sigh of relief. : ) I was so thankful for the answers to my prayers for her. And I'm so thankful for the continued peace I see in her lately.
She is such a smart little girl and so young to already be going through these times of doubt. But it was so cool to see how God carried her through and encouraged her. I believe her faith will be stronger now then ever because she is learning that He is worthy of her trust, and I'm glad that her faith is becoming her own, not just something she believes because her parents do.
I learned a lot going through this first little crisis of faith with one of my children. Here are some highlights:
• Don't stop praying for them. I pulled out this list again to help focus my prayers.
• Don't panic, just pray even more. The more I panicked, the worse pressure I put on her.
• Remember God will cover where I fail. He answered her questions even when my stumbling and stammering couldn't.
• I'm thankful my husband is so smart. : )
Thank you, Lord, that you are worthy of our trust. Thank you that you are real and what we believe is True with a capital T. Thank you for loving my family even more than I do, and for answering my prayers. Thank you for helping my sweet princesses grow up to be beautiful women of God.