Monday, March 23, 2009

Teaching

I love teaching Sunday School! I feel so blessed that the Lord opened up that opportunity for me 4 years ago (WOW, 4 years already, where did the time go?) I don't know that I've shared this story, but I would like to take the time now so that you can understand how special this ministry that I'm involved in is to me and how the Lord can use something so "little" to teach a big lesson. However, in order to do so I must backtrack to a few years ago.

Back in 2004, before my final Navy deployment, I worked in the nursery at our church. Of course it was always a joy to be with the babies and I was sad to leave them as I headed off to Japan. When I returned in 2005, I came back to not having a ministry to serve in at all. My friend Abbey had been asked to take my place (which was necessary due to laws and child ratios, all that stuff) and so I was left to wonder what the Lord had in store for me. I had, while on deployment, finished the ABC's of Christian Growth so I now was able to graduate up into the "big kids class", Pastor Sargents SS class. In the mean time I set to praying about the Lord using me in another ministry, hoping that it might be a teaching one, but I simply desired a place to serve in. Meanwhile, I told
noone about what was on my heart. I wanted to be able to give all of the glory to the Lord once he opened a door.

Now, anyone who has sought the Lord's will for a door to be open in their lives knows that there are 3 answers that he'll give you - yes, no, and wait. Well I was waiting, and while I was waiting the Lord started to place on my heart a burden for young ladies. This was a complete shock to me, as I considered myself somewhat out of that category, due mostly to the fact that the Navy had given me somewhat of a hard edge and that was not what they needed to be around. Then one day, post devotion, I realized that he wanted me to actually teach them. Ummm, what? Was basically my reply. And in all seriousness my reply back was, "Well Lord, I really don't think that's what you want", and then listed
my reasons to him as to why I didn't feel qualified. But I also said "If that's what you want I'll do it, but you've got to open the door, because I'm don't want to knock." Seriously, how dim was I? I had already been knocking, duh!

Anyway, sometime later on that week I had to drop off my new address and phone number to Kali for an update to our church directory, only Kali wasn't at her desk (she was at lunch) and Pastor Sargent was taking care of the phones for her while she was gone. So I handed him my info and he said that he wanted to talk to me about working in a teaching ministry. The Lord was now saying yes! I was casual on the outside, but inside I was a flutter at the thought of my prayer request being answered, still not thinking that working with girls was in the picture. I said OK, and he said we would talk about it on Sunday. Well Sunday came and instead of a talk what I received was an envelope from one of the ushers telling me that I would be joining the Jr. Girls Sunday School class, ages 9-13. Obviously God knew what he was doing because I can't ever imagine having another ministry, at this point, that I enjoy as much as working with girls, ladies, and offering up encouragement in such a capacity as it is needed. As Tim so eloquently put it on Saturday night, "They'll have to take it from me from my cold dead hands", or, as far as I'm concerned, finally getting married and moving if that's the Lord will.

Since that time, and through a series of events, I've been moved on to teaching the Primary girls, ages 6-9. Making this move made me a little nervous, as I have a tendency to get a little deep into Biblical explanations, and challenging pre-teens in that capacity is a little easier. However, this too the Lord has used to teach me and help me grow closer to him. realizing that it's OK to just give a simple answer which completely appeases a 6 year old. They're usually onto the new thing faster then I can come up with an answer. This brings me to yesterday and hearing the sweetest name offered up from one of the sweetest girls that I've had (I'll spare her name as she is a minor).

This little girl that I teach is quite a sweetie and is starting to open up more and interact with the lessons. It's still a process as captivating the attention of someone that young is fraught with distractions and rabbit trails, but she's getting much better. She's also learning how to read, thanks to teacher Kali.

Yesterday's lesson was about learning to trust Jesus, taught through the story of Jairus' daughter and the woman with the issue of the blood (Mark 5:21-43). The start of the lesson was to get the girls focused on Jesus protecting us, so on the board I wrote "Jesus protects us when. . ." Well, after I wrote it her little voice spoke up and said "The J has a ja sound". I said, "You're right it does. Now what about the letter next to it? What does the E sound like"? To which she replied with "Eeeee". "So let's put them together" I said. "JE, (Jeee, she said) and whats the next letter"? "S" she replied. "What sound does that make"? "Sssss" she said. "So let's put them together again. JES. . . (Jeees, she sounded out)" and then knowing what the other two sounds were U and S she shouted out "That says Jesus". Ahhh, out of the mouth of babes (Matthew 21:16).


There are many circles that we approach in learning how to trust Jesus more each day, but the wonderful irony, for me, and for my lesson was in that moment. Having learned to trust him to put me in the ministry he wanted me in, and getting to hear the sweetest name I know, from someone who will hopefully as well one day learn how to trust him and let him into her life. What if I had never said yes, to the Lord wanting to put me into a ministry like that? What if I had been to scared to ask the Lord for a ministry in the first place? I never would have gotten to have that moment yesterday and missed out on someones heart growing in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

This story has also been prevalent in my thoughts as we go through another change at church and let our Pastoral change take place, how the Lord used this situation to help me instill my trust not only in Him, but in those people that he's put in leadership positions within my life. Because no matter what God is in charge and he is perfectly capable of being trusted for everything. I don't know about tomorrow, but I know who holds my hand.

7 comments:

Jersey Mama said...

I helped teach that class for a few months (years ago) and it is a sweet age. Now I have even younger kids in my Sunday school class but it's exciting to see them grasp concepts that are old news to me! It gives a fresh perspective. :)

Femin Susan said...

I used to go for my Sunday classes every Sunday. After all I always felt that our teachers teach with pleasure and grace to God. I am sure every teacher is having the same.(including you)
Cheers!

Engrafted Lives said...

It was a great moment indeed to hear this little girl scream out "JESUS".

It is always awesome to see God work in little girls lives and in the life of the one who is turning 30 soon. God is so good!!

nene8200 said...

I totally understand! I teach the Primaries in Stanwood, & it has truly been a blessing!! I love when we sing one of the songs that I was able to teach the children, & there's a part where they shout out "Salvation!" It is SO WONDERFUL to hear them get excited to sing that song. It is truly a blessing to my heart to see them grasp the lessons in the Bible, & want to keep learning. Praise the Lord!, sister, for sharing your testimony!

countrygirl85 said...

Children can say some of the most precious things. Something as simple as "JESUS" can remind us how wonderful he is. Remember Chris Major's story about Lilly? Chris was having a bad headache and Lilly said "Daddy why don't you just pray about it." So simple, yet true. I do not know what it is like to work with children, but it is encouraging to hear how God is working in your life.

countrygirl85 said...

Hey I really like some of the songs you have put on your blog. I had only looked at your blog on my phone so I was only able to see the text and such. I especialy like "Eternal Father Strong To Save" and "Come, Thou Fount Of Every Blessing" Hmm just hits close to home and lifts the spirits. :)

Island Girl said...

That's a cute story. I just love teaching her. She's so sweet. It's amazing the lessons we can learn from the innocence of a child.

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