I’ve been getting a lot of notes and texts lately about my daughter. Let me tell you, this is one of my favorite parts about being a dad. I love to hear that my daughter is about the things of God. I love to hear about how she has encouraged someone and often doesn’t say one single word about it to me or her mom. It’s beautiful to me. This year she became president of FCA at her high school, and recently she spoke at a couple of their meetings. April and I were able to attend the first meeting, but not the second one. Anyway, we all three grabbed a bite of dinner after she spoke, and Gracie was absolutely beside herself with excitement to tell us about it.
“Dad! I went off of my notes today.” She said.
I said, “You did?”
“Yeah. I was talking, and suddenly I wasn’t afraid anymore. I asked God to put his words in my mouth and I believe He did!” Y’all, her smile was downright contagious. By now, April and I had already caught it and were on the edge of our seats. It was kind of funny. People were sitting right next to us within easy earshot, and Gracie forged on with her story- wonderfully oblivious and completely lost in what God was doing through her. I love it.
During her speech, she declared that the enemy was trying to take their school and their nation. She told them that we need God and that He can heal both. When she finished, she asked them all to bow their heads and lead any who want to know God in a prayer to do just that. “Wow!” I said. “That’s awesome, SallyRow!” (her nickname) “April chimed in, “O it gets better!”
Gracie beamed with excitement!
“Yeah, dad!” We all leaned in a little closer and learned about a freshman that approached Gracie after she finished praying. The girl asked if she could talk to her. Gracie gave the freshman a big southern two syllable yeas! (She gets it honest from her mom.)
She explained that the girl had questions about the goodness of God. So Gracie started sharing what God had done for her in her own life, and that God also had plans for her (the freshman) and that she needed to know Him. By this time, Gracie’s voice was shaking as she told her story and tears rimmed the edges of her eyes. Her parents weren’t faring much better.
“Dad, I asked her if she wanted to know God,” she said. I asked her if she wanted to be saved.” She said YEAS! Gracie can hardly get the girls answer out of her mouth— even with two syllables. They prayed right there and that little freshman became Gracie’s new sister in Christ.
Y’all, April and I wanted to hoop a loud holler for our God and our girl but I don’t think Panera would have appreciated our enthusiasm. So we all three sat there eating our sandwiches, wiping tears and grinning like a cat that just got a bird.
Okay… you have obviously you caught me on a particularly full morning at the Forge. I just woke up to yet another text about Gracie from someone and my heart is crazy full of gratitude because of the goodness of my God. I didn’t really think too much, I read the text and this is what came out. All I can say is you’ve been warned. This is a proud dad who is about to gush over his kid. That is my daughter, y’all. That’s my Gracie. Her growth spiritually, especially in her gifts and in her boldness to use them, provide moment after moment of joys like the one I just shared. Gracie is the breaking point of many, many generational curses in my family. She is healthy, happy, unmolested, discerning, wise (for her age), teachable, kind, bold in faith, empowered by the Spirit, gifted in evangelism, loyal in friendship, honoring toward her parents, consistent in the disciplines of faith. She’s an encourager to many, her vision is often very clear because her heart is the Mathew 6:8 kind of pure. Gracie is not perfect, but I’ll tell you what she is, though: She is a daughter of God, fashioned and fiercely equipped for kingdom purpose. My kid follows hard after God and I couldn’t be more proud if she were a flippin’ astronaut. We gave her to Him when she was just a baby and look what He has done. Look what my God has done!
If you are a parent and you’re reading this, invest in your kid and pray your guts out for them. Your kid is eternal. Aside from your own heart, they are one of the few lasting treasures that you can offer God. They are also the only thing that is truly yours and that can go with you when you leave this place. If you want to leave a mark on this crazy world when you’re gone, love your kid like crazy while you’re here! Pray! Pray for them and pray with them! Teach, laugh, have family night every week, cry together, watch movies, talk about the things of God over dinner and chop the enemy’s hands clean off with the Word of God when he dares to touch your kid.
I am convinced that a mother and father hold one of the most sacred offices on the planet. It is a weighty thing. I believe that its sums are sufficient enough to change societies and even shape our world. I believe parenting is amongst the highest of calls and if done skillfully, and holy, God’s values and virtues will last generation after generation.