"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the truth."
3 John 1:4
January 5, 2014: The day we discovered that Ruby has given her heart to the Lord! The overwhelming joy that fills my heart -- I can't even put it into words! Tears of thankfulness and happiness are all I can muster!
It may sound funny to say we "discovered" this. But that's kind of how it happened.
Our children have always been surrounded by the gospel. From before they were born, we were praying that God would call them to Himself and that they would respond in faith. We have prayed -- and continue to pray -- that their faith would be their own and not just a copycat of what Dad & Mom say and believe. We have prayed -- and continue to pray -- that all of our children would know Him and serve Him their whole lives.
For Rae, her need for a Savior came at a very young age. You can click here to read about how her guilt for getting out of bed lead to a conversation with JP about our need for forgiveness. As soon as Rae recognized her sin, she wanted to ask for forgiveness on the spot. But Ruby's story is different.
We've had many conversations with Ruby about Jesus, sin, forgiveness, heaven, hell and eternity. She has always acknowledged her sin and admitted that she needs a Savior. She has always said she loves Jesus and wanted to ask Him into her heart, but then when we'd ask her if she wanted to pray, she would say, "No. Not yet."
This kind of caught us off-guard the first time! Then it happened again...then again...and again. After each instance, we explained to her that she didn't have to do anything special. Whenever she was ready, she could just quietly ask Jesus to come into her heart. She didn't need to come get us or make an announcement, but we did request that she would just let us know if and when she DID ask Jesus into her heart. She assured us that she would.
Tonight, we were all hanging out downstairs as a family. Rae was spinning in circles on the piano stool, Rosie was finishing her dinner at the coffee table, and Ruby was hopping back and forth on the couch behind where JP and I were sitting. Rae & Ruby were chatting with each other as I was absorbed in some bookkeeping and JP was absorbed in a show. Then, JP looked up at me with a puzzled look and said, "Did you hear what Ruby just said?" I shook my head "no," and he asked Ruby to repeat herself.
"I ask Jesus into my heart all the time," she repeated.
JP and I looked at each other, puzzled and amused!
"Ruby, did you ask Jesus into your heart?"
"Yeah, I ask him all the time."
Amazing! Our 5-year-old had received salvation and hadn't even told us about it?! What a stinker! And apparently not just once, but many times. Ha!
Ruby has always been our "worry wart," so it didn't really surprise me that she would ask repeatedly, "just to make sure." I used to do the exact same thing. JP pulled out his Bible and showed Ruby some verses about how we can be SURE that our sins are forgiven. He explained to her that one time is all it takes; she didn't need to doubt or worry. Then they prayed together, thanking God for saving Ruby and asking Him to help her always remember that she is forgiven forever.
PEOPLE, THIS IS HUGE! My Ruby is a Christian! The same God that made the whole universe and walked on water now lives in her heart, not in a shrunken-down, mini-Jesus form, but in His full-blown glorious, powerful, world-changing form! I can't wait to see how God uses her as she walks with Him.
"Know, therefore, that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments." Deuteronomy 7:9
To Ruby: our sweet daughter, we are so happy that you have made this very important decision -- the most important of your whole life! In fact, NOTHING makes us happier. As you grow up and go through life, sometimes it will be hard. You might get frustrated or hurt. You might doubt or be tempted to wander away from the truth. Just keep looking at Jesus -- He is the author and perfecter of your faith. He will bring you through every storm. He will always be right there with you. He forgives every mistake you have made or ever will make. He is the answer to every fear or worry you'll ever have. Always trust Him. Always look to Him. You'll do great with His help. And someday, you'll be in paradise with Him. We love you, Ruby Ann, and we are so proud of you today and always.
To Jesus: Thank you, Lord, for choosing Ruby as one of your own and drawing her to Yourself. Thank you for your faithfulness to every generation. Please be with Ruby as she walks through life's trials and tests, and may she always remember You in every decision she makes. Help JP and me to be faithful to continue to teach her from your Word, and may she study it on her own when she is old enough to read the words for herself. You are good, and we love You!!!