On Monday my oldest began kindergarten. I won’t ask, “Where does the time go?” because I’ve seen your first day of school pictures and know you’re asking the same question. Today, I read in my Chronological Bible from Jeremiah 29. I smiled/laughed when I got to verse 11, a verse many of us can quote from heart. It’s the verse I used as my senior quote. (At least I think it was. Either that or Isaiah 40:31 because those two verses and John 3:16 were all I had memorized, and they all seemed pretty inspirational for someone donning a cap and gown ready to embark on her own with an ego that thought she knew it all. I laugh at that girl now.)
Of course, thirteen years later, I am more drawn to the verse before it. Verse 10 reads, “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.” My almost-31-year-old self feels the truth of that verse resonate down to my toes. He has a plan for me, a plan to prosper and not to harm, a plan to give hope and a future (v. 11). But this grace-covered mess of a soul wanders and grumbles and complains just like the Israelites exiled in Babylon.
Thank goodness it isn’t about me. Thank goodness it all rests on His faithful promise. Keep reading to verse 13, and I wish I would have bothered to crack open my Bible when I was choosing my senior quote, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” There are two types of seeking. There is the type of seeking when I come to him with my plan and beg and plead (and occasionally stomp my feet) asking him to make it happen. The Israelites and I have tried this one. A lot. Unless you’re a big fan of regret and frustration, I don’t recommend it.
And then there’s the second kind of seeking. It’s a desperate one too, but it’s a desperation that clings to the very Person God is. This seeking humbly opens God’s Word and prays Scripture having no idea how God will work but trusting that our Faithful God will always prevail and that our Elroi sees us, every part of us, even the deep, dark crevices we try to hide. He sees us, and He loves us. And He longs for us to see Him.
I’m reading a book on prayer that was recommended to me, and only a few pages in the author talks about an international women’s prayer group called “Lydia Fellowship.” They got their name from the same place I got our kindergartner’s–Acts 16:13-14. The Lord opened Lydia’s heart so she could understand Paul’s words, the same words which make up much of our New Testament.
That’s what I’m praying for my girl this year. That in the welter of math worksheets and geography pins and phonograms and science projects she will seek Him with all her heart, and that God will continue to open her heart to receive His Word. That her worth will come from the great I Am. That she will know the Author and Finisher of faith. That she will be His Dwelling Place. That she will know Him as Elroi, God who sees and trust Him as her Abba Father. That this year seeds will be planted and prayers prayed of which the fruit I cannot fathom. Are those some high expectations for kindergarten? Yes, they are. But I’m not preparing my girls to receive a diploma. I’m preparing them to love a broken world and bravely tell His Story.
His arrows, His glory.