Earlier this week we attended First Wednesday at our church. Once a month (on the first Wednesday), our church holds an evening service filled with worship, communion, and baptisms. For as many years as we have attended our church, it is probably unusual that we have never attended First Wednesday. It starts at 6:30pm which means if we are going I am flying solo because my husband is still at work.
I can't speak for all moms, but for me, events like this make me feel anxious and a bit overwhelmed (wonder where my son gets his anxiety...). I have said this before, my husband is like my security blanket. If he is there I feel calm and willing to attend various activities. However, if he is at work, I would rather just not attend and stay home. I am a huge home-body and I just prefer to keep my crew under my roof, my watchful eye, and away from the judgement of others. Due to my son's anxiety, ADHD, and ODD, new events and sometimes events that he should be used to can cause the worst meltdowns and reactions. And let me also bring up, these moments are not quiet and un-noticed. Nope, these moments are always an interruption and moment of entertainment for everyone else. So, one episode after another, it just became easier to stay home.
Now, what so many people don't get to see is the softness my son has for the Lord. He may not always show it, but he truly loves God. Last year, he prayed the Prayer of Salvation during the Christmas Eve service at church. As he prayed aloud, his voice was filled with so much confidence and joy. It was such a beautiful moment witnessed by my husband, myself, his siblings, and my parents. A year later, he is really beginning to ask questions about being baptized. He heard about First Wednesday and asked me if we could go. Knowing that this was something that meant a lot to him, I pushed my feelings and anxiety aside and made a commitment to him that we would attend.
He reminded me every day for a week that First Wednesday was coming. I assured him we would go and then I would pray and remind myself that I could do it. :) I made a plan of action in my head. It went something like this:
1. Use the book, If I Could Ask God Anything (Amazon link) to explain to the kids about communion and baptism. Side note - this book is amazing. I use it all the time with our kids. It is great for those tricky little questions that you can't quite find the right words to answer.
2. Explain the baptismal pools and why the people being baptized are not "swimming". (Get my kids around anything that looks like a pool and they are ready to dive in.)
3. Think of the the sanctuary and plan where to sit. It must be on an end, it must not be too close or too far back so all three kiddos can see. It must be in a location for easy departure, in the event "something" comes up.
4. Limit liquids four hours prior to leaving the house so the bathroom thing just doesn't come up. Okay, okay, I didn't really do this but the thought did cross my mind. :)
5. Plan a good dinner so everyone has nice full bellies and good moods.
6. Pack a roll of Lifesaver candies in case anyone decides they need to talk.
7. Explain to the kids that the small cups of grape juice and tiny wafers (for communion) are not a snack, do not ask for more, do not complain that the wafers have the appearance of styro-foam, do not make gross faces or gagging noises if the taste is not preferred.
Now do you see why it is just easier for me to stay home?
So, are you wondering how the evening turned out?
It. Was. Amazing!!!!
The kids were great, they loved every part of it. They danced, clapped, and sang their little hearts out. They used excellent manners during communion. I successfully opened four communion cups and distributed to the kids without spilling (this was a huge concern of mine). The containers have those really strong seals, one wrong move and you are throwing it across the sanctuary. I watched my kids through teary-momma eyes. It was such an awesome moment that God allowed me to witness. I felt like I was watching my children through His eyes. I did not feel any anxiety, stress, or worry. I only felt pure joy, the type of joy that can only be given to you by God. I felt God's love wrapped around the four of us. I sensed Him telling me that their futures will be fine and that we (my husband and I) are doing a good job. I felt Him assuring me that we are instilling in our children a love for Him and His kingdom.
It is so easy to only look at our children through our own eyes and often times those eyes are tired, stressed, overwhelmed, and anxious. It was such a gift to have an hour of watching my children through His eyes - eyes of joy and love. It was a huge reminder to seek out those moments instead of hide from them. I thank God for placing First Wednesday on my son's heart. Through his determination to attend, I experienced a wonderful moment.