In order to share the whole story, I need to go back to Christmas Eve. We went to church for the service as a family. At one point during the service, it came time for communion. Isaiah was asking lots of questions. Rick explained to him what it was and why we were doing it. He wanted to take communion, too. When Rick told him about trusting Jesus and following Him, he said, "I will do that next year." He seemed fine not to participate and we did not have any desire to push a decision on him he was not ready to make.
Fast forward to my overnight getaway in January. God really put Isaiah on my heart during that time. He impressed upon me that this was an important year for him. I felt very strongly that His security in our family is something I need to focus on this year. I felt like the stakes were high for him as we journey through this year. From the day we met him, there has been a spiritual battle for this little guy's life. We have had to fight for him in so many ways.
Over the last few weeks, Isaiah has wanted to talk about Heaven a lot. We have talked about what it is like, who is going there, etc. I discovered a couple of weeks ago that he was confused. When I asked him if he would like to trust Jesus and go to Heaven some day, his response was, "I don't want to leave my family." He misunderstood the timing of everything. He thought that if you trust Jesus, you immediately go to heaven. I explained that is not the case. That God still has work for us to do on earth and that Heaven would hopefully be very far away for all of our family. I explained that Daddy, Cody, Lauren, Abby, and Sam would all be going to heaven some day because they have trusted Jesus with their lives. We also had a discussion about Hell. He wanted to know all about it. You should have seen the look on his face when I told him what little I know about it. It was priceless.
He has been processing and thinking a lot. Throughout the process I have really tried to not convince him to do something he is not ready for. I wanted this to be his decision. We have talked about it lot, mostly at his prompting.
On Saturday, he and Laila took a bath. Afterwards, I needed to work on his hair, AGAIN. That gave us a good 30-45 minutes to sit and talk, something we don't get very often. Heck, that kid is not in one place that long for any other reason except maybe TV.
As I twisted his hair, the conversation began. It went something like this:
Isaiah: Mommy, I love you.
Me: Isaiah I love you, too. You know I will always love you(I think we might have had a discipline situation earlier, and I wanted to remind him that I love him no matter what). You know, Isaiah, God loves you, too. Even when we don't obey Him, He still loves us. He wants to spend forever with us.
Isaiah: In Heaven?
Me: In heaven and on earth. He wants us to follow Him and obey Him here, too.
Isaiah: How do we go to Heaven?
Me: We trust Him with our lives. We tell Him that we love Him, we say we are sorry for the times we disobey him, and we ask Him to be our Savior. He died to save us from our sins and the punishment of our sins.
Isaiah: You mean, Hell. That is a yucky place. I don't want to go to Hell.
Me: I don't want that for you either. Some day, when you feel ready you can trust Jesus, too. I believe He has a really big plan for you.
Isaiah: How do you do it?
Me: Well, you pray and say something like this, (I began saying a prayer for him that someone might say and he began repeating after me.) When we were done, I said, "why did you say the prayer with me?"
Isaiah: I wanted to give my life to Jesus!
Me: If you really said that prayer with all of your heart then you did give your life to Jesus.
Isaiah: I did, Mommy!
Me: Then that means you are saved Isaiah. That means you have Jesus in your heart to lead you and guide you and God has given you His Holy Spirit to help you make right choices. And you know what else? Right now, the angels in Heaven are having a party to celebrate your decision.
It was one of those moments that I have never experienced with our kids. Rick has had the opportunity to pray with each one of the 4 big ones. I wasn't sure what to do with it all. He is 5 years old which in some ways is young, but Lauren and Sam were even younger and they still talk about their decisions. I decided to just let him lead. Any steps he takes towards God are positive and I want to support him. When Rick got home, he told him,"Dadddy, I sended my heart to God."
That night, we were going to the Heisler's house for dinner. At dinner, he announced to them about his decision! They were so great!! We clapped and toasted and took the dessert of cheesecake cupcakes and made it into a little party for him. He even got to blow out a candle(the scent was "Heaven Sent" which was so appropriate)! I think it was good for him to have others celebrate his decision.
Over the last few days, he and I have had several conversations. God gave me a way to communicate this decision with him that I thought would really speak to his heart. I told him that now he has 2 families. He is always a part of our family, and now, he is always a part of God's family. He yelled, "WHAT?!?" in an excited voice(if you know him, you can just hear him doing this). Then, I told him that just like we adopted him into our family, God adopted me and now him into His family. I want Him to understand that adoption is a beautiful picture of God's love for us. I never want him to feel shame about being adopted. We ALWAYS talk about it positively. Of course, his response once again was, "WHAT?!?!"
Next, I told him that now that he is Christian, it is important that he learn about God, learn to obey Him, and grow stronger in the Lord. I explained that one of the best ways to do that was to read, study, and memorize God's Word. Yesterday was the big day! I took him to pick out his very own real(not kid's) Bible with his name on it.
Of course, he chose the one with the sword on it!
I absolutely love the big smile he has here.
He wanted Laila to get a picture to.
It was so sweet to see her excited for him.
They were hugging and kissing.
Putting his name, Isaiah Sanele Clapp, on the Bible
He is watching every step of the process.
He wanted a picture of it once it was done.
I couldn't get one with the name clear in the pic, but you get the idea.Isaiah was right when he said that he would "make that decision next year." Who knew that a simple task like twisting his hair would provide an opportunity for a discussion that would lead to his heart trusting God. It reminds that even the mundane times of parenting my kids can lead to an impact on their lives. I don't want to miss those opportunities that God gives me each day!!