I shared with you about my daughter’s close, 15 year old friend Ashlyn who is battling a rare cancer. You can read that previous blog post here.
Today’s post is to give you insight into how we coach our kids to be there for a friend- even if it’s scary, a journey through the unknown, or requires attributes of which they are not yet comfortable nor confident.
Please note: this applies to you teaching your kids…but it starts with you believing this and living this out.
Expect to Hear. Trust. Obey.
This is something my kids have heard me say. They have been a part of living out this principle with me as I’ve felt the Holy Spirit’s promptings to go, do, or just be.
But in times like this, when it’s their own friend who is hurting, it becomes more personal.
At times like this, we as parents, have the incredible opportunity and responsibility to be intentional to point them to Christ. To point them to a stance of expecting to hear the Holy Spirit guide them. He is that still, small voice that will reveal particular persons and needs. He is the One who gives creative ideas, specific thoughts, and perfect timing.
God knows Ashlyn’s needs. He wants to use people to meet those needs. He wants His people to be her prayer support. #prayforAshlyn. So my conversation with my daughter might go something like this:
“Laura, as a Believer, you have direct access to the Lord speaking to you. Expect to hear Him give you ideas for being there for Ashlyn. He will give you ideas of specific ways to minister. He’ll give you supernatural insight into the needs she has and ways that you can meet those needs. When you have an idea, trust that it is from Him. Obey right away knowing His timing is just right and He wants to use you. And then…leave the results to Him, not second guessing anything.”
Here are specific promptings to her heart.
- While eating birthday breakfast at Cracker Barrell with her dad. “Get her that stuffed horse.” Ashlyn loves horses.
- Beautify and personalize her hospital room
- Print pictures of her with friends laughing
- Ashlyn was unable to come to Laura’s birthday party because of beginning her first round of chemo.
- Make a banner for her hospital room
- Have friends sign it at your party.
- Forge some of her favorite celebrities’ signatures on it.
- Invite her brothers, to lighten the load of their mom and give them some much needed fun.
- Have the friends pray together AT the party. Put the brothers in the middle and pray over them.
- Go visit her in the hospital. Hug her. Be there for her. Take her the banner, pictures, cards.
- Offer to just go sit and be. Watch a movie with her. Don’t force conversation…just be present.
- Write a card. Include pictures in it.
- Pray right now. Pray for her with your family.
Here I am, Lord. Send me.
When the Holy Spirit puts someone on your mind and gives a specific idea, are you quick to banter, like this…
- “That’s a ridiculous idea”
- “Someone else will do that”
- “I don’t know if I’m close enough to her to do that”
- “What if I’m laughed at?”
- “What if the timing is terrible?”
- “What if I’m in the way?”
- “What if I’m embarrassed?”
We question the very idea that God placed on our minds. We let our insecurities keep us from going, doing, and just being there. Our questions are evidence of our doubt. They reveal our lack of belief that God is speaking and wants to use us!
We do that as adults. Our focus in on ourselves and our insecurities. Only when our focus is off of ourselves can we be free to say, “Yes, Lord. Here I am. Send me.”
This is how their walk with the Lord becomes their own.
Do you recall me quoting Stephanie, the author of the Bible study Believe, “The way to grow spiritually is to believe,”
This very act of them believing and doing over and over IS the way to grow spiritually. This is how their walk with the Lord becomes their own.
Such a sensitive and holy trust.
As a mom, I want to first be expecting to hear my Lord speak to me regarding specific people, needs, opportunities, and creative ideas. I want to make sure in this journey that I’m helping my daughter to rely on her Lord, the same One that I love and serve and hear.
I also want to make sure that my daughter and I both learn to leave the results of our obedience to the Lord, not second guessing, or needing validation. Obey- needing no approval from anyone. We are growing in our walk with the Lord by the faith demonstrated as we personally walk in obedience.
I want to help her in being obedient, by supporting her and helping her, by driving her… bystopping my world to enter her world – a journey through the unknown with a friend she loves. Entering her world and seeing through her eyes.
Have you been on the receiving end of someone obeying the Lord’s promptings? Share with us.
Rhonda “StoptheWorld”appliestopraying,doing,andjustbeingtheretoo ellis
Unfortunately, I am always so in much in “my little world” that I don’t always hear or heed to that still small voice. Whenever I have, it always seemed to be just exactly what that other person needed at just that time. It seems that I always walk away from obedience as blessed, or more blessed than the person who was the recipient of my obedience!
Glenn, you are so right. True JOY is found in obedience!
Great suggestions, Rhonda. My favorite part was letting insecurity replace Holy Spirit ideas.
Miriam, it is such a wonderful journey with the Lord to yield to these feelings and just be obedient. I have been in many serving situations which were so much bigger than my experience or comfort level, and chose to just obey, let go (meaning don’t second guess the actions, but let go of insecurities and doubts) and have watched the Lord increase my faith to where now my normal inclination is “okay, Lord. Let’s do this.”
Expect. Trust. Obey. Leave results with Him. What a wonderfully succinct list of the elements of discipleship. The most difficult element for this particular disciple is to “leave the results to Him”. Ouch. I am too often guilty of setting the value of the action based in what I see as the response rather than how I obeyed the prompt. Thank you for sharing a beautiful example of what discipleship during dark days may look like.
Christina, Thanks for your valued input from our time at breakfast this morning. I was able to add a few extra key points in here because of YOUR friendship and our time talking about the Lord. I’m reading an excellent book by Jerry Bridges called True Community (Thanks, Mel) and when I got home today I read these things that made me think of you, “One of the most important things we can share with one another is the spiritual truth God has been teaching us that might be of great help to fellow believers.” Another quote I read from this same book that made me think of you is from J.I.Packer, ‘Fellowship with God, then, is the source from which fellowship among Christians springs.” I’m thankful for your friendship, your prayers, and your fellowship with the Lord. 🙂
Thank you Rhonda. I am learning to stop the world for training, prayer, and obedience to what God wants me to do. I am outgoing on the outside, but a very fearful person on the inside if everything. Perfect love casts out all fear. I hear that verse now loudly as if the Holy Spirit had a megaphone. Over and over it rings in my head. I cry out to God that I want that in my life. Perfect Love! Trusting and obeying no matter how it looks, or how many arguments I can think of to not obey, and not chewing on it like a piece of bubble gum…just let go and trust and obey! Sweet! Learning what that Perfect Love looks like….never will I arrive..enjoying the journey! Thanks for the sweet post!
Misti, I think many can relate to what you just described as “outgoing on the outside, fearful on the inside.” The journey of allowing the Lord to refine us is scary, yet beautiful. In this relinquishing of our fears we are showing our love for Him. The very act of obedience is demonstrating our trust in and love to Him. This perfect love casts out fears. Misti, to God be the glory at what He is doing in and through you, my sweet friend.