How God Transforms us as Parents

 

New dad, Tom Rodden, had questions before little Alex was born. 

“What do I do?  Will I be patient enough?  Will I be good enough?”  Grace transformed Tom who says, “After Alex was born, I discovered a wellspring of love and patience I never knew I had that was truly transformative.  And I’ve never experienced a joy so profound as when I get him to giggle and laugh.  That is surely God’s grace at work.”  New mom, Katie, adds, “Since Alex was born I’ve witnessed God’s grace through the kindness of others.  We were blessed with friends and family that brought car baskets, meals, and loving visitors that helped ease our beginning months as new parents.  I felt so grateful for the support that God has provided us.”

Colin, Rachel, Maggie, and Wyatt Helton

Colin, Rachel, Maggie, and Wyatt Helton

Colin and Rachel Helton saw a transformation in themselves in baby Wyatt’s arrival this past December. 

“The biggest change is seeing the reflection of God the Father in ourselves,” they share.  “We must be patient with our children in the very same ways God is patient with us . . . so that we can become our best selves for our children, and in God’s eyes.”

God’s grace is working and transforming parents-to-be long before the baby is born.  Amanda and Aaron Lawler learned to rely on God’s timing as they waited for a baby.  “When we decided it was time to start our family, we were hit in the face with  the reality that it wasn’t going to happen as fast as we thought, ” Amanda says.  Weeks of waiting turned into months, and after a year, they were referred to a fertility specialist.  Finally, the good news – the very day after the fertility consultation they learned that Mason was on the way.  “The day we had him, we felt God’s presence more than any other time in our entire life.  Our faith as individuals and our faith as a family has never been as strong as it is now.”

Wes, Amanda and Elijah Johnson, Sundae Johnson, and Pastor Pam after Elijah’s crib blessing

Wes, Amanda and Elijah Johnson, Sundae Johnson, and Pastor Pam after Elijah’s crib blessing

Sometimes God’s grace transforms new parents in surprising ways. 

Wes and Amanda Johnson’s son Elijah was born in December.  Amanda shares, “Before his birth, I would rarely ask or accept help from others as to not inconvenience anyone.  I was very proud of my independence.  God’s grace has transformed me by teaching me that I cannot do everything alone, and that there is no shame in accepting or asking for help.  Through the Community Care ministry at St. John’s, we received hospital visits from the pastors, meals from disciples in the congregation during the hard first month, and a blessing of the nursery by Pastor Pam and Sundae Johnson. The blessing of the nursery helped connect Elijah and us (his parents) to God, and allowed us to reflect on God’s greatness, grace, and love that he bestows on us daily.” 

What a blessing it is to be used by God to transform the lives of others through our serving and caring.  It’s not just our official ministry teams, and it’s not just the Community Care area of our ministry.  It’s all of us together.  We who are transformed by grace care for and serve others, who in turn are transformed by the grace of God.