Saturday, July 08, 2006

A Brother in Christ

When Caleb was about three, we started trying to prepare him that Pappy was not going to live forever here on earth and that Pappy would be in heaven when he died. Pappy was someone he saw at least 6 days a week, and we knew that it would be a transition. With our discussions, Caleb would ask a lot of questions about heaven and we would answer them. As he got a little older, 4 and 5, he understood about heaven and that you needed to ask Jesus into your heart to go to heaven when you die, but he said he did not want to go to heaven. We did not pressure him. Pappy dying gave him a real grasp on death when he was four. Although he said he would miss Pappy, he was not sad because he knew Pappy was running in heaven with Jesus. And then when he was five and we were still in Texas, he asked Jesus to forgive him of his sins, but did not ask him into his heart. He continued to ask questions and we continued to answer them. We just prayed that he would accept Christ when he was ready.

Fast forward to October 21, 2005. Kerry was laying down with Caleb before bed, a usual occurrence. They read from the Bible and during prayers that night without any encouragement, Caleb prayed saying that he had already asked Jesus to forgive him of his sins while he was in Texas and that he wanted him to come into his heart. Kerry and Caleb came running down the stairs to find me on the couch nursing Josiah. Caleb shared with me that he had asked Jesus in his heart. He knew exactly what it meant. I was a little upset that I had missed it, but I'm glad that Daddy got to be a part of it. And it's so amazing that he is now looking forward to going to heaven someday. He does say sometimes that he wants us all to go at the same time. He's definitely a family man, wants to do everything as an entire family.

Tonight we went to a class at church called Sidestep. It is for children that have asked Jesus into their hearts or are asking questions about making a decision. This is the class they go to before they can be baptized at church. And then the children interview with a children's leader to see if they have already made that step or need to take a little time. Caleb was a little nervous when he found out he would have to talk with someone alone without Mom or Dad. But I understand since they don't want the kids to feel pressured from Mom and Dad. I believe he did fine. They said he is ready. We don't want to rush into anything, so we're making sure he understands everything clearly. I am so happy that Caleb has made a decision to follow Christ and that when we die, we will see each other again in heaven.

Sharing my faith in Christ does not come easy for me, especially in person unless I'm talking to children. God has placed a burden in my heart for my extended family. I have no idea how many of my extended family actually reads this blog. Feel free to leave comments. But if someone was to ask me if I knew for sure that I would see my aunts, uncles, and cousins one day in heaven, I would have to say I don't know. And that saddens me. Why is it so hard for me to come right out and ask my own family members if they have a relationship with Christ. Sometimes when I think about it, I'd rather ask a complete stranger since I'd never see them again. My prayer is that God will give me the courage to ask my extended family members if they have a relationship with Christ. If the answer is yes, then I'd love to hear their stories. And if the answer is no or not sure, I pray God will give me the words to say because I so want to see all of my family members up in heaven one day. One of these days, I'll share my own story.


Kristi said...

Thank you for sharing from your heart. You put into words a fear I have as well. I will be praying for you as you hear from family members that God will give you the words to say!

Granny Mackey said...

Granny's "Thanks"
God will give you the strength, because you have a "grieving heart" for those who donot know Christ. Some day, maybe my story!

Kristen said...

Stephanie, you are raising a sweet Christian little boy...some girl is going to be so lucky one day!

On a completely different note, I was looking through some old pictures at my parent's house this weekend and saw a bunch from a birthday party you had at Lion's Park in Waco (I think you were turning 7 or so). There were some cute ones of us as little girls and Stephen & RyAnn as toddlers! We have known each other a LONG time!

Jaclyn said...

Stephanie, I pray the same prayer! I can't speak for all of your family, but as for me and my family we will all see you there!