For about 6 months, maybe more, Levi has been asking us questions about salvation. We have been very careful with the subject - explaining it thoroughly, but not presenting it in a way where he would want to do it because "he's supposed to" ... rather, that it will be HIS decision and a tugging and pulling at his own heart. Clearly Jesus and not Mommy and Daddy.
We've seen the tugs. We've seen the pulls. But we quietly covered him in prayer, asking for direction in how to lead him, as this will be the biggest decision he ever makes in his life - to follow Jesus.
Over the past couple of months I have noticed really big changes in Levi. I hear him praying all the time. I'll walk past his room and hear him in there talking to Jesus. In the bathtub, in the backseat of the car, outside while he's playing ... he talks to Jesus. When anything happens that worries or concerns him, his first thought is Jesus.
Fast forward to last night.
I'm cooking supper and the boys are off playing in their rooms, doing what they typically do while I cook - run, scream, jump off things ... the norm. When dinner was all cleaned up, I walked over to go sit down on the couch and Levi runs out of his bathroom with one of my wedding rings (my engagement and wedding rings are separate, but I wear them together). Panicked, I asked him why he had that ring and where was my other one? He shrugged and said he didn't know.
"WHAT do you MEAN you don't know?"
Frantically, I start tearing the house apart. My heart was racing, I had a lump in my throat, I was closing in on a panic attack. I could only imagine where it could be!
"Well, I mean, I gave one to Ezra and I had the other one."
Let's just say that statement did not go over well.
"You gave it to EZRA? WHY on EARTH would you DO THAT?"
Something came over me that no one in my family had ever seen and I completely LOST it. I was bawling - tears flying. I was screaming - WHY? You KNOW better than that!
I had my rings up in a place I didn't even think he could reach while I mixed and formed the meatloaf we were having for supper and why he decided to get them down and give his brother one while he had the other one is beyond me. If you knew my Levi, you would know how completely uncharacteristic of him this is. He never touches things he knows he isn't supposed to, and he is always the one I never have to worry about. Ever. I was just SO confused as to why he would do something like this.
We promptly asked Ezra what he did with my ring.
He took Husby by the hand and led him to the bathroom.
"Threw it down there," .....
as he pointed into the toilet.
My heart sank into my toes.
I ran out of the room sobbing. I was absolutely grief stricken.
Just completely DONE with everything and everyone. I was a basket case. Even I have never seen myself like this!
Levi ran after me bawling, screaming "are you mad at my Mommy? I am sorry! It was an accident! I am so so so so sorry!" As so very sad as that picture was of my precious little 4, almost 5 year old so upset by his actions, I couldn't move. I just sat there. Crying. I was confused, mad, sad, .... and I think with everything else going on in our lives right now, my emotions were magnified.
"I know you're sorry Levi, but it's gone. It's down the toilet and I'll never get it back. That was THE most important piece of jewelry I have and it's gone. Forever."
(I was acting real mature, guys. Real. Mature.)
I knew I wasn't acting Christlike. I told myself to calm down. But I couldn't. It was the last straw on this unbearably heavy hay bale resting on our shoulders right now. And it crashed down on top of me, leaving me sprawled out and suffocating.
Levi bawled so hard he ran into the bathroom and threw up. He was just so, very, sorry. Bless his heart.
I rocked in my chair and I cried out to God, "WHY? WHY? WHY WOULD THEY DO THAT?"
I know that this piece of jewelry is all wood, hay, and stubble compared to the kingdom of God. I know this. But the meaning that it holds to me is priceless - not the diamond. Husby gave me that ring 10 years ago when he asked me for my hand in marriage and I've worn it proudly every day since. He worked his fingers to the bone mowing lawns that summer, saving up for that ring. It means the absolute world to me as it is a symbol of the precious love and union between my husband and me. It would be the one thing I would grab if there were a fire. And to think of it down the toilet floating around in the sewer somewhere? It ripped my heart out. I felt sick.
Levi ran into my bathroom, shut the door and I heard him crying out to God ...
"Please oh PLEASE GOD, help us find Mommy's ring! Please God! Please! God please help Mommy find it or Daddy find it or Ezra find it! Please God! PLEASE!"
I heard all of this going on in the background, but my tears were drowning out his. Husby had the tools out ready to take the toilet off and look for the ring. Trash bags were laid down and tools in hand - I went into Levi's room and just started dumping out toy boxes. Ezra followed me saying, "why you cry, Mommy?" I asked him again where he put the ring. "Toilet," he said.
"Please God! Please help us find Mommy's ring!" echoed in the background...
For some reason, I just felt the push to keep looking. He's two. Maybe he's just being silly. I held on to that slight bit of hope. At that point - it's all I had.
As I threw out Spiderman and slingshots and boxing gloves and silly string, something sparkly caught me eye. "Please Jesus," I whispered.
I gently pushed the last toy out of the way and there laid my ring. At the bottom of the toy box.
I just stared at it and cried.
"Thank you, God!" I ran into my bedroom where Husby was, fell into his arms and just weeped. Levi jumped up from his knees and I said, "I found it, baby" and his eyes turned the size of silver dollars as he lept into my arms, hugging me and kissing me and screaming, "GOD ANSWERED MY PRAYERS MOMMY! HE ANSWERED MY PRAYERS!", wiping the tears from his soaked cheeks and the snot from his little nose.
I just sat there sobbing and hugging everyone. It was quite dramatic if I do say so myself, but it was necessary. I didn't want to let them go. My ring seemed so important at the time, but as I clutched it in my palm with my three boys wrapping me in their arms, I thought to myself .... "These three people? These are my treasures."
I started telling Levi how proud I was of him of running to God when it all seemed so helpless. I thanked him for stopping to pray - even when Mommy was running around like a wild woman (full fledged in her sin nature) and not acting very nice. I told him THAT is why we found my ring. Because he was praying. He just sobbed and hugged me tighter.
He said, "Mommy, sometimes I just need a little privacy to pray, so I went into your bathroom and I was praying over and over and over again ... just me and God."
I've known God is working in his little heart for a long time now, but this was solid evidence. My little Levi knew where to run. He knew Who to seek. He knew the Only One who could make this situation any better was God. And He went to Him ... privately and confidently, asking Him to help us.
And He did.
About an hour went by and all Levi would talk about was how Jesus answered his prayer. I told him that our first response as Christians should ALWAYS be to ask God our needs - big or small, He cares. Levi said, "that's because I am a Christian. I asked Jesus into my heart one night before I fell asleep after Cubbies. I felt like Jesus was telling me I needed to, so I did. He's forgiven my sins!"
Husby and I just looked at each other and began asking him lots of questions - making sure he knew exactly what that meant and what that will look like in his life ... and he knew. He even surprised us with some of the things he said! He went on to tell us how he is different now that he is a Christian verses before, and that Jesus is now in control of his life. He knew that he knew that he knew that he was a Christian and no one was going to tell him any different. He had a confidence about this unlike anything I've ever seen before.
Oh, the tears!!!
Husby sat and prayed with him, thanking God for his decision and asking for His hand upon Levi's little life as he follows him all of his days. Ezra sat in my lap as we prayed, bowing his head and holding my hand. My greatest prayer is that he comes to make the same decision one day.
It was a hard day. It was a glorious day! It was a day of desperate lows and the highest of highs. I don't like that just moments before this huge conversation with Levi, I was acting like a lunatic. But, had this situation never happened - neither would this conversation. And it was Levi's first time experiencing an answered prayer first hand. He was absolutely amazed and it is all he has talked about!
There has been no prouder moment in my life as a Mom. His Daddy and I have been praying for this day since the day we found out we were pregnant with him. It's absolutely amazing to see how God uses our circumstances - good or bad - to draw us to Himself. I could not be more proud of Levi and how at the tender age of 4 years old, Jesus Christ shines through his life.
Jesus said, "let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
Welcome to the family, little Levi. Welcome.