Well, to be honest, (sorry Bro. Mark), as soon as the sermon was being wrapped up, I was checking things off in my mental list, already moving on to the next thing. Yeah, yeah, while singing in the choir. It happens sometimes. Then, the unbelievable happened. My husband started leading my six year old daughter down the aisle. WHAT?! I was NOT expecting that. In fact, we always are prepared for this. With days and weeks of talks, family discussions, and such at home. I didn't know what either one of them were thinking.
Fast forward past lunch, scary phone calls (I'll get to those), a Bible Drill competition, and we arrive home for an hour or two to regroup before church. Heath and Paulee do some talking, Daddy to little girl. I then take my precious Paulee Rea by the hand, and we sneak off to my room for some girl talk. She begins to tell me about the things her and her sweet Daddy have talked about, and so I ask her if she is ready to talk with God about her heart. Y'all I was NOT prepared for this. "Yes Momma. But you need to leave." My heart constricted. How was I to know if she prayed right? What if she got it all mixed up? Could I really know she was "saved"? And then I remember thousands of times these words have come out of my mouth, "It's not about a prayer. There are no magical words that POOF, make you worthy of God." I did the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I walked out of that room and shut the door. Nearly all the way.
What I saw next was a little girl lay down prostrate on my bed and begin to talk with her Jesus. It was holy. And private. I was intruding. It sent me to my knees. Again, I was being shown I had to trust the One I claim as my Savior, with these that are most precious to me. Because no matter their worth to me, it doesn't hold a candle to their worth to the Creator.
"Oh Lord, I really do have to trust her to You. She isn't mine to begin with! Set your flame in her heart, consume her, and let that fire be unquenchable. Change her, and through her, set the world on fire. And give me Lord, just a touch of her faith and trust in You. There is no compromise in her eyes. No questions. Just pure faith in You."
I have no idea how long she prayed, or I. But when she walked out, she was determined. I said, "So?",
"Well Mom, don't you know? The wages of sin is death. I have sin Mom. I have said things, thought things, and done things that make God sad. I have a payment. Dad showed me in the Bible. But Jesus gives a gift of eternal life. Its why he lived here. And was perfect. And died on the cross. And rose on the third day. So I asked Him to give me His gift".
"Mom, don't you know? The Bible says if you ask God for something, He gives it to you."
"I see. So now what?"
"Well, the Bible also says that 'if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, you will be saved.' So that's what I am doing. Momma, don't you know these things?! (she was looking very worried about the condition of my heart) Every Sparkie knows these things. It's basic Bible truth!"
So black and white. She told me that the next thing she needed to do would be to "get baptized". Because that is what Jesus did. And she wants to be just like Jesus. But since she has to wait for that, she needed to find a Bible to read. Because if she is going to act like Jesus, and be like Jesus, she probably should read about what he did and how he acted. I am not making this up! So this precious little girl went and found this Bible that Heath's grandparents sent to us, and began reading Psalms. Chapter 23 to be exact. Because she has it memorized and so it wouldn't be too hard to read. And this little girl, who isn't a ferocious reader, and has just an average six year old reading level, has proceeded to read chapter after chapter in Psalms. And today, she informed me that the Psalms were great, although she didn't understand them well, but they weren't telling her what her Jesus did every day. So I suggested she start reading the Gospels. We looked at John. It was too long. Luke, too wordy (her description, not mine). Matthew, well, she's tried it before, but the names just get to be too much. So we flipped to Mark. And on the title page, it bold print in the margin, it said, "MARK IS THE GOSPEL THAT SHOWS US HOW TO PUT OUR FAITH IN JESUS INTO ACTION". She squealed. "This is it Momma!! Now I will know how to act! It has to be different than I have before I surrendered my heart to God!"
I asked her that now that she is my sister, if she would stop calling me Mom. I got the eye roll, and "MOM!!" Good to know she is still my little girl. With a passion fresh, new, and bold.
And, to hear what else was going on that day, and to see a sweet video from Paulee Rea herself, visit my sister, Teri Lynne. There stories will forever be intertwined.