We have family prayer every evening together, and we take turns saying it. Becca needs our help, but Emma launches on boldly and pours out her little heart in sometimes touching, and sometimes hilarious ways. She asks her Heavenly Father to help her parents be “better,” to cure our owies, and to help us be happy. She expresses her hope that Heavenly Father and Jesus had a good day like we did. Sometimes, she tells on her sister if Becca has been particularly meddlesome that day, and my husband, Neil, and I struggle not to laugh.
We’ve been teaching her that she can talk to her Heavenly Father in prayer whenever she wants. Whenever she needs help or strength or comfort. We want her to know that Heavenly Father and Jesus care about her on a personal level.
Saturday night, after brushing teeth, prayers, hugs, kisses and tuckings-in, I said one last I love you to Emma and went to close her door. She rolled over onto her back and started talking towards the ceiling.
“Jesus? I miss you Jesus. Did you have a good day too? I had SUCH a good day. I love you Jesus. I want you to come to our world again so I can see you. I miss you so much.”
This. This is what it means to have faith in the Savior. My heart was full to bursting as I overheard her simple, heartfelt words. But it also ached in a painful way, because I feel like I’ve lost the simplicity of a child’s faith that my daughter so beautifully demonstrated that night. Suddenly, I understood why we are charged to be as a little child — because of that faith and love that the complications of adulthood too often obscure.
I love my Savior. I understand in some small part what He did for all mankind. I know that He suffered not only for the sins of the world, but for all our hurts and strife and struggles. I know that no matter what I suffer in this life, there is One who understands my pains and sorrows because He has felt them. But do I trust Him the way my daughter does? Do I yearn for His return with that sweet air of expectation she has?
I know it is such a common thing to say, that our children become our teachers. I thought to teach her about Jesus Christ and her loving Heavenly Father, but the tables have turned and now, she teaching me.
Tears are welling, and my heart is aching again. I’ve never been so glad to learn anything in all my life.
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