When Your Kids (Seemingly) Keep You From Jesus

A couple weeks ago, our church had a worship night. It was the beginning of Lent, and I was eager to start the season with a night focused on Jesus, filled and surrounded by the presence of God.

There was only one “problem”: my kids.

There wasn’t childcare for the service, and I didn’t feel like I could ask anyone to watch them, because I’d basically be asking them to miss the worship night so I could go. I originally planned on just not going at all, but for some reason, Tyler and I decided to attempt bringing them. We must have been feeling extra adventurous that night or something.

You can predict how well that went. They barely made it through the first song before we had to take them out of the room.

It wasn’t that they were misbehaving or anything, really, it’s just that they are two and find it very hard to resist the temptation to run around the room wreaking havoc and distraction on everyone else.

So I took them to the cafe, where there was a video feed of the service, so I could at least kind of listen while chasing after my girls. Tyler had to speak during part of the service, and when he was done, he came out and told me I could go in for the rest.

Honestly, I didn’t want to go in. I was feeling frustrated and a little bitter, because I had really wanted an encounter with God and instead, I was stuck chasing after toddlers.

It felt like a metaphor for my life (I may have been feeling a little dramatic). I was feeling resigned, that this is just how it is and it’s the reality of my life right now.

But Tyler encouraged me to go in anyway. And when I stepped into the room, it was as though my frustration just fell away and God pulled me right into the worship.  I started crying for no apparent reason. I didn’t feel sad, but I just had a well of emotion that was waiting to come out.

It’s like I instantly felt the presence of Jesus. I went from distracted and frazzled to the throne room in an instant. Usually it would take a while for me to settle in and focus, but God met me right where I was.

I didn’t have to work my way into feeling His presence, and I didn’t have to force my heart and mind to shift. God met me there and took me right where I needed to go.

That night, I learned that God can meet us in the margins of our crazy seasons. On the days when life takes over, if we will pause long enough to acknowledge Him, he will meet us even in the smallest of spaces. Sometimes we don’t have an hour…we have minutes.

But if we will turn our gaze just a bit towards God, we will see that He is with us in every moment.

I was also reminded that this time with little kids is just a season. When I feel like I’m missing out, God reminds me that the time I spend with them is important and spiritual too.

Prayer isn’t always with heads bowed and eyes closed. Sometimes prayer is a short sentence thrown out in desperation in between dealing with tantrums and busy toddlers. And we find God there too, in the crazy and seemingly small moments.

I was wanting a mountaintop experience, to get away from my life to find Jesus. Instead, God met me right in the middle of my hectic life and evening with His presence. I didn’t have to get away from life to encounter God; He met me in the chaos.

But we have to keep seeking Him. We can’t just throw our hands up in defeat, thinking we’ll find God again when the kids get a little older, or life calms down or circumstances change.

God is with you even now, and we don’t have to climb a mountain to experience His presence. All it takes is a pause, a glimpse, an acknowledgement that He is with you.

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Are you struggling to connect with God or feeling like your quiet times are stuck in a rut? I’m working on a resource that I’m really excited about that will give you some practical tools and practices to help you connect with Jesus, even in a short amount of time. This will just be available for email subscribers! If you haven’t signed up for my email list, make sure to do so here and you’ll be the first to know when this resource is ready for you!

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