Yes, it is!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Jackie's Own Personal Decision

Do you know what AWANA is?  Do you know even know what it stands for?  I know what it is but I don't know what it stands for.  For the past 3 years, I've been taking her to this  kids' Bible club called AWANA.  She really enjoys it.  And I know she can probably tell you what the AWANA stands for. I admittedly have not been very involved in it but it makes me happy that Jackie enjoys it so much.  She has been learning Bible verses. They have AWANA olympics in which she participated last year.  They also have occasional theme nights such as Derby races, movie nights, costume character nights, pizza nights, etc.  The kids have a lot of fun and l like I said, Jackie absolutely loves it and has been learning a lot about God.  I really don't feel that the teachers/helpers pressure the kids to learn or make a religious commitment.  That is one thing I like about AWANA.

Recently, Tim started taking Jackie to Sunday School (I meet them at church for the sermon) on Sunday mornings and she loves that, too.  In just the past couple of weeks, she has also been following along and filling in the sermon notes during the preaching.  This has all been done on her own, no prodding from me.  Jackie is growing up so quickly.  It seems like yesterday that she was just a preschooler.  And now, she is reading, writing, taking her own notes. 

I am not a religious person (I have a wee faith) but I have always felt that it was important to provide my children at least a basic foundation of faith and religion.  As they get older, they will choose what path they want to take as far as religion is concerned.  It is important to me to let my children make their own religious decisions as I did not have the most pleasant church experiences during my own childhood and as an adult.  Some terrible things happened to me during my childhood that too many church people chose to ignore.  Because of that, I am not ignorant of the many terrible things that can and do happen in churches.  I am going to do my best to monitor my children's safety, even in church, and I will be listening to them for any indication that something bad is happening.  Unfortunately, I know all too well what can happen.  Thankfully, my kids have a mom who won't ignore their cries for help.  Right now, however, I feel that my children are in a safe place. 

Recently, Jackie has been asking a lot of questions about God, Jesus, religion.  I am the last person qualified to answer her questions, especially since I still struggle so much with my own faith.  Jackie wanted a Bible for Christmas so I bought her a youth study Bible.  She really likes it and reads it several times during the week.  It helps that this particular Bible has activities in it to make it more interesting.  I recently let Jackie talk to some people at church (with me present, of course) and ask questions.

Last night after AWANA, Jackie made a commitment to be a christian.  (I wasn't with her as I was in choir practice). I'm very supportive of her and proud that she is making such a decision of her own free will.  She has also been wanting to be baptized.  Like really bad. A few of her friends have been baptized recently so I'm pretty sure that has a lot to do with Jackie's desire to be baptized, too.  As young as Jackie is, I am fine with that if she truly wants to be baptized for the right reasons.
I love that my precious daughter is showing some maturity with her questions and wanting to make such a big decision.  I don't want to ever make her feel that she is not a good enough christian.  I want to try to support her in her walk down this path as much as I am able.  Who knows, maybe she will teach me something.   I really hope that Jackie can grow to have a much stronger faith than I've ever had or ever will have. 

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