Heartfelt Worship

I walked in, quickly scanned the crowd to find my son, and was paralyzed in my tracks.  “Wow,” I said to myself, with a wide-eyed, open mouth stare.  I couldn’t move.  I couldn’t speak.  I could barely breathe.  All I could do was thank Him for this vision.

*    *    *

It started off as any ordinary day does in our house.  It’s no secret that mornings are difficult for us.  My son and I are NOT morning people.  My husband and daughter wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed ready sing and joke around and play and… did I mention SING?  My son and I do not like to talk to anyone, listen to anyone, and we certainly do not want to be bothered for a little bit. We don’t want to hear singing.  We need time to wake up. 

This day, though, was different.  We woke up excited because it was my first day working at our church’s summer camp- with Camden.  Camden attended the same camp as an afterschool camp during the school year.  I was thrilled to get a glimpse into my son’s daily realities, while also serving my church by using my skills and talents for God’s purposes.  As an afternoon teacher, I would be teaching art and facilitating activities to PreK-5th grade. 

Camden and I arrived mid-morning so I could get my room set up and make sure any last minute things were taken care of, and Camden went ahead and joined his PreK class.  I joined the group for snack time, and then they headed into the praise and worship room.  All of the summer camp students gather together to have snack and then go to praise and worship.  I knew that praise and worship was part of the day everyday, but I pictured it more like a church service.  I didn’t know what to expect.  Camden does not attend big church with us on Sundays, he goes to the preschool for children’s church.  I had never seen him in a praise and worship setting.  I was not prepared for what I was about to see.

I walked in, quickly scanned the crowd to find my son, and was paralyzed in my tracks.  “Wow,” I said to myself, with a wide-eyed, open mouth stare.  I couldn’t move.  I couldn’t speak.  I could barely breathe.  All I could do was thank Him for this vision.

Camden.  Seated indian-style.  Hands open in worship.  Eyes closed.  Rocking back and forth.  Singing heartfelt praises to God. 

For the full thirty minutes.

I watched him worship.  And not just sing a children’s song to God, I watched him truly WORSHIP.  I was awestruck. 

He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. -Mark 10:14

That day, God allowed me to see my son the way He sees him.  I often get bogged down with the realities of raising a five year old; not listening to Mommy, messes galore, zany stunts, and boo-boos.  I prayed that God would help me in this area of specifically parenting Camden.  He is a very opinionated strong-willed child.  He needs someone with the patience of Job, seriously.  And God chose me for the job, knowing that I would need to ask Him for help.  And I would.  Continually. 

I love how God answered this prayer, not by just helping me to be a better parent, but by showing me how He sees my son.  He actually put me in a situation with a complete visual experience.  

And I am overwhelmed at how much God loves me, so much so that he would answer my prayers for patience in such a wonderfully creative way. 

As I watched my son, I was pouring out with love and joy and pride for him.  And as I thought about just how MUCH I love my son, I was overwhelmed at the thought of how much God loves him. 

And me. 

And you.

When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
and I realize just how beautiful You are and how great your affections are for me.
Oh, how He loves us so
Oh, how He loves us
How He loves us so.                       –lyrics from “How He Loves”

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3 Responses to Heartfelt Worship

  1. Oh Jessica, what a touching story. I could actually visualize it as you were describing the scene and your emotions in watching Camden pray. So glad you had this opportunity to witness His power in your son’s life. Truly remarkable.

  2. noel says:

    I used to work at that same after school and summer camp program. I was so blessed to be a part of such an amazing ministry! I was moved many times by the sincerity of worship that I witnessed there! Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so glad Camden gets to participate and throw his hands up to the Lord without fear that someone might be watching!

  3. Carrie Venclauskas says:

    Thank you for sharing this. Both my children have left home, with the youngest leaving just recently, and my missing them is overwhelming at times. Reading your story sent me on a trip down memory lane with my two daughters, thinking about all the special moments they have had with the Lord, and how they lovingly embraced their Savior throughout their childhood, including in worship as you have described with Camden. This reminder of how strong their relationship is with God has brought me great comfort in their absence, and has reminded me that they aren’t out in the world as young adults on their own, but have the presence of Jesus with them always. Thank you for reminding me of the value of these moments, and how they shape our children into who they will become, which is particularly special when those apron strings are needing to be cut. Blessings to you.

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