• Sara Chapple

Don’t mind me. Just crying while some teenagers sing in my living room.

Seriously. That’s exactly what’s happening right this second. Me, somewhat hiding in my office, crying, while 4 incredible teenagers sing and play guitar in my living room. I don’t even know them. I remember one of their names for sure, the second is just on the tip of my tongue. And the guy with the guitar? No clue. I didn’t even meet him or the girl with him when they came in. But it’s just those 4 kids. None of my kids are here. No one else is home. But God’s faithfulness is filling my home and it’s bringing me to tears.

The End. Lol. j/k. Let me back up a bit. Stories are hard to tell sometimes when they aren’t just your story. This isn’t really my story. It’s impacted me deeply but it’s not my story. So I’ll give you the gist and then explain how my current reality (crying and hiding in my office) came to be. All of my beautiful step kids have grown up in our church. The last one from birth and the older two from way before they can remember. So all of them for essentially all of their lives. They are all on their own journeys with the Lord. And goodness, they are so many lightyears ahead of where I was at their age it’s staggering at times. But in my experience being around other couples with kids in church can be hard sometimes. Can anyone else relate? I really try not to but sometimes you hear other couples talk about their kids and all they are doing in church and it’s SO HARD not to compare! It seems like their kids are basically ready to plant a church and mine are falling asleep in service. Ok, let me be clear - neither of those exaggerations is close to true. But that’s how the enemy makes you feel! Man, why do we do that? I’ve learned a few things in my short years in the parenting game. The biggest one I have learned, am learning and will always be learning is to just trust God with my kids. Trust him with ALL of them. Including their walks with him. And don’t compare kids! (really don’t compare anything; homes, marriages, cars etc. You’ll just be more full of joy if you don’t.) The truth is our kids are all walking with God in some way. Whether I see it or not. He is pursuing them and thankfully he is relentless. That has been my husband’s prayer for them for a long time. That God would pursue them and that he would be relentless. (Y’all I cannot stop crying!) Anywho. A year ago our oldest wasn’t involved in our student stuff at church. Not the end of the world, just a fact. Over the last year, though, God has been doing something amazing in this young man. Again, I am not here to tell his story. But he started going and slowly started taking more steps to get involved. He started serving, leading and taking on more and more. Now this week he has been tasked with organizing a student event. He had to put together a group to lead worship and he’s going to be sharing in front of the group at this event. He’s currently out of town but the worship group needed a place to rehearse. Thus, the four teenagers currently singing about being a child of God in my home. And me crying in my office. I’m crying, because we all know it’s just what I do, yes. But I’m crying because I’m just so overwhelmed with God’s goodness and faithfulness. It’s scary to not know what’s going to happen with your kids. Are they going to be ok? Are they going to have a relationship with God? Are they going to know how good he is and how much better their life will be if they are surrendered to him? And when is all of that going to happen? Soon? Much later? Can’t I just script it all out for them and have them walk it out like a beautiful story I design? No? Darn. Then my only other option is to trust God. To trust him fully with all of them. It’s scary at times. But then you get a day when 4 random kids practice worship in your home and you feel full of hope. He’s got them. It’s all going to be ok. He loves them more than I do. More than anyone else ever could. And he is with them. Their lives won’t be perfect or difficulty free. But I can trust him. He’s got them. I share all of this for one reason: to encourage you in any situation where you wish things were different.

A job, your health, your relationship status or maybe your beautiful kids. I hesitated to write this because I don’t want to perpetuate the kid comparing thing. Please don’t let the enemy make that the point of all of this. The point is God can do anything at any time in any situation. The way things are today is not necessarily the way it’s going to be tomorrow. Because of God we always have hope. He is so faithful. He hears our prayers. He cares. He sees and knows all the things we are praying to change. Friend, I promise, you can trust him. Psalm 86:15 “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, Psalms 119:90 Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast. Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

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