Perhaps it all started on the day we had Reagan baptized. We stood before our church family and presented a "tiny" baby who we had desperately prayed for and were overjoyed to have. And there before our whole church family who had prayed for us and even cried with us over our longing for a child, Pastor Ryan poured the water over her head, covering her in Jesus gift of forgiveness and grace. Reagan belongs to Jesus. It was the theme of the day for us.
Just this week we reached the point in our children's story Bible (which we read for family devotions after supper) where Jesus is at the last supper. Reagan listened intently, as she most often does, to Daddy telling her that Jesus knew he was going to die. Immediately she became upset. The word "die" is scary and upsetting to her. Sometimes our children's Bible is a bit too real for her little mind and heart to handle. But we explained that even though Jesus would die on the cross, he would rise again. I asked her then if she knew why Jesus died on the cross. With tears brimming in her worried eyes I smiled at her and said, "It's because he loves you so very very much!" She smiled then.
On Sunday night, we sat down to read three books of her choosing on the couch. She chose this one, That's Where God Is by Daniel Morrow. At one point Reagan stopped me and said, "But I want Jesus to live in MY heart!" I set the book in my lap and said, "Well, shall we ask him together to come live in your heart?" She nodded. I prayed a simple prayer that she repeated and my little girl asked Jesus to come into her heart and live in her. I managed to read the rest of the book while the tears streamed down my face.
Now, I know she's young. I know there are people who will doubt and question and think this is nice but really, just not all that big a deal. That's entirely up to you. But I also know this: not a single one of us really truly knows what it is to know and love Jesus. And quite often I am reminded that the faith and trust of little children is FAR greater than my own. It's a step along the way of Reagan's walk with Jesus. And I hope and pray there will be many many more - stretching across all the years and every decade of her life. It's a life we helped to create and a life we gave up to the Lord, knowing that he would follow her all the days of her life. Reagan belonged to Jesus then, just as she belongs to Him now. The difference is she sort of knows that herself.
September 4, 2011. Reagan Hope gives her heart to Jesus. A beautiful, sacred day.