An Awakening..........

What is it about the word "awakening" that makes me feel excited and hopeful?

I love the word.

It sings of hope and an awareness of something not yet known.

Last night after youth group, Olivia shared with me about the lesson they had studied.

She told me about a conversation with a friend where they both had shared that praying was hard for them because they felt like they always said the same things.

Then, so unexpectedly, I listened to Olivia talk about sharing in her small group about having an "awakening." That's exactly the word she chose to use.

olivia in the snow 0026_resize

She told her friends and leader that she realized one day that talking to God is just like talking to a friend, so now she just pretends He is in the room with her when she is getting ready for school and she just talks to Him.

I sat there thinking about where I was in my walk with God when I was only 13, then I watched with amazement as Olivia continued to talk about her evening at youth group.

I remember when Olivia was only four. We were sitting in the kitchen one day when she said, "When I grow up, I'm going to go back to India and teach them about God, and Jesus, and Spirit...."  I was feeling so overwhelmed with joy and pride when she stopped and looked at me with a very serious face and asked,

"What is Spirit?"

She made me laugh.  She had a passion for wanting to share God even before she really understood what everything means.  Oh, to have that kind of passion even now when I still don't understand everything about God's ways.

I'm thankful for her deep faith and yet find myself asking how this happened, because in many ways I feel like I haven't always been a spiritual leader in her life.  We don't pray every night before she goes to bed.  We don't have regular family devotions.  We don't force spiritual moments.

So what has caused this little girl to be who she is today?

I'm not sure. I don't think I could ever point a finger to one thing that has made her so confident in her faith, but I do think I can think of events and moments that have pushed her to know Jesus more.

Watching Nick fight cancer so bravely changed her.

Watching our family and community rally around Nick,staying positive and hopeful even on the darkest days, compelled her to want that kind of hope.

Watching us walk the road of grief in victory not defeat has surely helped her sleep at night.

Attending church regularly and seeing so many teachers and friends attend church too has inspired her.

Seeing kids who don't have the Lord long for Him and ask her questions about Him has caused her to want to learn more.

Olivia teaches me something every day which reminds me of a verse my students memorized in class at the Christian school I taught at years ago,

I Timothy 4:12

Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.

Today, I'm thankful for Olivia's "awakening."

In many ways, I feel "awakened" by her childlike faith.

I'm praying you do too.

olivia in the snow 0013_resize



5 Comments:

Blogger Cindy said...

Tammy, I just found your blog and was uplifted by your faith and strength. Your testimony touched my heart, may the Lord continue to richly bless you! He has blessed you with a beautiful daughter in Olivia and the Holy Spirit has obviously been working in all of your lives. I am familiar with KCU, my son is in his sophmore year @ JBC. Like Olivia, he was a gift of the Lord presented to us through adoption. I just wanted to reach out to you. Have a joy filled beautiful day. Cindy Hannon
http://timelessbeauty4u.blogspot.com/

Blogger Cheri said...

I have to say again how beautiful Olivia is! I feel like I have watched her grow up. :)

I too love the word awakenening. I recently did a 30 challenge on my blog,God...awake my soul! For 30 days the first words I said every morning were God awake my soul and I would pray my eyes would be open to the world around me. And like God, he did just that. I notice things I never would have before. I am beginning to see things differently. There is joy in everyday moments. The world is a beautiful place, isn't it Tammy? :)

Blogger Tammy Nischan said...

Cindy,

It is wonderful to meet you! I will come visit your blog today as I am home on yet another snow day. :) Our previous youth minister was a JBC graduate. Isn't the world small?

Cheri,

I love your 30-day challenge!! What a beautiful prayer! Open my eyes, Lord!

Love you both,
Tammy :)

Blogger Lisa Marie said...

Tammy,
I just "met" Olivia in this post. What a beautiful. special girl. You are blessed as is she!

Cheri, I will borrow your 30 day challenge! I am anything but a morning person and I'd like to change my outlook in the mornings. thank you both!

Lisa
http://dovechronicles.blogspot.com

Gosh...I love you...and your family even though I hardly know them! Praying for you, Olivia's Spiritual walk and the son driving down south...


LOVE YOU!

Amber

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