When you’re unsure about changes ahead and how they will shape a new you, what encourages you to keep going?
You’d think I was serving him his last meal.
“What do you want for breakfast, TJ? … Anything you want…” I wanted him to be happy.
“Frosted mini-wheats!” hollered my five year old.
No oatmeal for him today, I thought as I scrambled up some eggs to go on the side.
It was TJ’s first day of kindergarten.
And I was nervous.
What Was Fazing Me
I didn’t expect to be. After all, TJ’s had years of preschool. He knows how to raise his hand, sit criss-cross applesauce, and stand in a straight line (sort of).
I wasn’t concerned about his ability to learn. The kid’s got an ample supply of imagination. The academics will kick in as needed.
I even went to sleep soundly the night before. Back-to-school shopping wasn’t so bad. Some glue sticks, Crayola markers, backpack and new socks. Everything was set.
But, I woke up worried.
Getting TJ dressed and ziploc’ing his turkey sandwich in time for the 8 o’clock bell, with two year-old-brother in tow, required a new level of calisthenics. Still, that wasn’t fazing me.
One question TJ’s been asking me about school was.
What if I can’t make new friends, Mommy?
After Our Amens
I gave the textbook answers moms give to their boys — assuring him it was normal to be nervous and reminding him he’s made friends wherever he’s been.
What if kindergarten is where he first tastes rejection? I wondered silently.
As I tucked him in bed, TJ offered his prayer. He asked God to send him one friend to play with the next day.
After our amens, I felt prompted to add some last words.
I looked into his eyes.
Remember, friendships takes time.
God may answer your prayer — by making you the friend that someone needs.
See if someone looks shy. Say hi. You never know.
“I like my old school better.”
I know, sweetie.
Then, I kissed him goodnight, leaving him with I love you.
Meant To Be Mine Too
When I woke up the next morning with our conversation floating in my head, I turned to Moses’ conversation with God in Exodus 33:13-14 —
“If I have found favor in Your sight,
let me know Your ways that I may know You,
so that I may find favor in Your sight…
And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Your presence, Lord. That’s what I want for TJ. Your presence.
As I read and re-read these verses, along with the chapter, it dawned on me.
This prayer is meant to be mine, too.
Your presence, Lord. This is what I want. Your presence.
I realized TJ and I were standing at our own crossroads of faith.
Seasons of Change
We look back now on kindergarten and life seems simple. But, to a five year old, his world just got a lot bigger. His awareness of his need for friendship and acceptance is growing with each new challenge.
And so, this is true for you and me. Each of us is standing at our individual doors of kindergarten in faith.
No matter how long we’ve walked with Jesus, we all encounter new seasons of change.
In the conversation of faith, it may be your turn to answer God.
Is He calling you to step closer to Him, by stepping out of your world of familiar people and places?
When God opens a door to a new you, the time has come to let go and move ahead.
As you point yourself to the unknown, you may sense a greater need for friendship and acceptance.
It’s normal to wonder.
Will I make friends?
Will I like the new me?
God looks into our eyes and whispers to each of us, as loving Father to the apple-of-His-eye —
Remember, friendships take time.
I will never leave you or forsake you.
I love you.
I’m right here with you. Every step of the way.
Reach out to a trusted friend and share your fears.
Grab onto the promise that keeps us safe — the promise of God’s presence.
No longer alone, we can move ahead.
What new changes is God calling you to take?
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Written by Bonnie Gray, the Faith Barista, serving up shots of faith for everyday life.