Monday, February 2, 2015

Welcome to My Childhood

My first childhood began in the fall of 1987, in a hospital room in Atlanta, Georgia. I spent the majority of my childhood in Riverdale, Georgia which is on the southern end of the Atlanta Metropolitan Area. I can remember with nostalgia my school, my friends, and my childhood home with a large backyard. I would spend hours exploring the magical world of this backyard filled with princesses and mermaids and rolly pollies. As an only child with an active imagination, I spent ample time speaking with my imaginary friends. I was a comfortable and happy child, and had every intention of spending the rest of my life in the same situation. 

Parents, however, often have a way of ignoring the intentions of their children. So in the summer of my eleventh year we moved to Blountville, Tennessee, and I had to begin again in a new home and at a new school. That summer I also began down the most important path of my life. 

My Second Childhood

The childhood that began in Atlanta, Georgia ended as I grew up and became a wife and mother. It ended as I earned my bachelor and master's degrees and began my search for a job. It ended as the reality of working two part-time jobs to cover our bills came to be my norm. It ended as I watched my mother travel to and back from the edge of death. 

The summer of 1999, was the beginning of my second childhood. Though I had visited churches occasionally throughout my life, that was when the knock of Holy Spirit on my heart's door was answered. I found myself on an alter and then speaking with a kind lady who tried to explain the gravity of the decision I just made. I was soon baptized in a local river and began attending church regularly. 

It wasn't until high school that I discovered the importance of my decision that day. As peer pressure began pushing me to make harmful choices, my faith was something to which I would cling. As people began breaking my heart in different ways, I found refuge in the arms of my Heavenly Father. It was during that time that I discovered I was a child of the Creator of the universe, and an heir to the King of Kings. 

Child of the King


Christ compares a person accepting Him as Savior as being reborn. In fact, He says that "no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above" (John 3:3). Jesus goes on to explain how this rebirth is made possible by His sacrifice. God gave His Son up to be slaughtered, and in exchange we are all offered a chance to be His child. So every person who chooses Christ as their Savior becomes in that moment a child of the King. And as He did with Jesus, God will rescue us from death and bring us into His home. 

By Elise Anna Wood
Paul describes this process in chapter 8 of his letter to the Romans as killing off our human nature through the Spirit, so we may live. He goes on to say that "all who are led by the Spirit are children of God" (v. 14). As we choose to follow after Christ by the leading of the Spirit, we inherit the same life that God gave to His Son at the resurrection. For "if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ" (v. 17). We have been given an amazing gift, a gift greater than the riches of any kingdom on Earth. We get to share in the richness of life that Christ has. 

Of course, Paul also reminds us that the process of becoming God's child is not an easy one. Truly killing off our human nature is as painful as it sounds, and it is a long journey. The childhood I began that summer will not end during my time on Earth. As Paul speaks about at the end of 1 Corinthians 13, I only have a partial picture, a child's understanding of God and this world. One day I will be able to comprehend the magnitude of my Father, but for now I have a constant opportunity to learn and grow, if I am able to humble myself to His will. When I approach God from a place of energetic desire I will grow and touch those around me. 

This approach is what Christ was speaking of when He tells His disciples "'whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it'" (Mark 10:15). As I have seen with my own son, children come at new things with an unmatched energy. The children coming to Christ, were surely excited to be so close to someone important. Likely their eagerness was what earned them harsh words from the adults around Christ, but Jesus did not rebuke them. He did not tell them to calm down and wait quietly for their turn. Instead "he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them" (Mark 10:16). He will do the same for us when we come to Him as children. 


So each day I continue to strive to be humble, to look and listen for the will of God in my life during the hardest times, and to present myself as a child of the King. This is my journey, and I welcome you to it. This blog is an attempt to chronicle my journey and inspire people on similar ones. I plan to write once a week on Mondays about the places I am encountering God in my everyday life. Three pieces of my current journey are:

  • First, I am currently reading through the Gospels in this time between Advent and Easter. I am struck by Christ's focus on His mission. He did so much in the short time of His ministry. Where would I be with such focus?

  • Secondly, I am also reading The Land Between: Finding God in Difficult Transitions by Jeff Manion. It is a devotional text that focuses on the children of Israel in the desert, the land between Egypt and the Promised Land. I am in the land between in many ways right now. I am looking for my classroom, I am seeking a church home, and I am just becoming financially stable. I know what it is to rely on God's provision and to feel His discipline. 

  • Finally, I mean to observe all of the Jewish holidays and fasts this year, along with the traditional Christian ones. The Jewish festivals and fasts are based on scripture, and Jesus was an observant Jew. I want to know a little of what it was like to walk in His shoes as well as learn more about God. The first festival of the year is coming up this week, so I will write about it next week!


1 comment:

  1. I'm so excited to see how you observe the holidays- I'm not terribly familiar with the Jewish ones!