I want Jesus to live in my heart
“Mama, I want Jesus to live in my heart like He lives in your heart,” Hannah said as she hugged me. She had just had her bath and even though she was seven years old, I still loved to smell her freshly washed hair.
“Well, we’ve talked about what that means. Remember that a sin is when we make the choice to do something wrong even though we know it’s wrong. Just ask Him to forgive your sins and to come live in your heart and He will.”
She bowed her head and folded her hands. “Jesus, will You forgive my sins and come live in my heart like You do my Mama’s? I would really like that.”
She looked up at me with a twinkle in her eye and a smile on her face.
“I think it worked, Mama! I think Jesus is in my heart!”
“He sure is, sweetie! You just put the biggest smile on His face and all the angels are singing!”
“You think so?”
“I know so. Jesus loves you and I sure do too!”
As I tucked her into bed, she gave me an extra big hug. She had the sweetest look of contentment on her face.
I prayed quietly as I left the room, “Lord, I’m really not sure how much she understands, but I know You’ve touched her heart tonight and that she is blessed, You are blessed, and I am blessed. Thank You! This means so much to me!”
Seven years later, Hannah called me from Faith Christian Camp.
“Mama, I’m gonna get baptized! Can you and daddy come early on Friday? We’re gonna wait and do it at the end of the week, since we live so far away, so you can be here. Can you believe it? I’m gonna get baptized!”
“What? Really? You’ve always been afraid to get baptized, because you don’t like to have a lot of people looking at you. What changed?”
“Well, we had the most amazing church service tonight and guess what?”
“I rededicated my life to the Lord!”
“Oh, Hannah, that’s wonderful!”
“I was a little embarrassed at first, because I’d start to get out of my chair, but then I’d sit back down. I did that a couple of times before I went up during the invitation. The Dean kept looking at me like he wasn’t sure if I wanted to go up or not.”
I couldn’t help but giggle. I could picture the whole thing.
“It’s just that my thoughts were going through my head so fast. I wanted to know what my heart was telling me. I wanted to know the real reason why I was going up. Finally, I realized that I’d been running away from God. I know I asked Jesus into my heart when I was seven; and I know you can only get saved once, but I really felt like I needed my faith to start over. After I rededicated my life to the Lord, I was happy.”
“Wow, Sweetie! That’s awesome!”
“We also had an Encouragement Circle. Mom, it was just as cool as it was last year! Remember what I told you my friend, Shea, said during the E Circle last year?”
“Ummmm…No I don’t.”
“She said, ‘You are amazing and don’t let anybody tell you any different!’ This year she said, ‘You are a great friend and I love you! You always take my advice when I give it to you.’ Remember, last year, she was the one that talked to me about getting baptized?”
“Yes, I do remember that, but you were still afraid to get baptized.”
“It’s different this year, Mom. I’ve gotten know the people here better and I really love them. That is what has made such a big difference.”
Since I was choking back my tears, all I could say was, “Wow!”
“Like I said, I was happy after I rededicated my life, but after the E Circle, I was overjoyed!”
“Honey, I’m so happy for you!” The tears fell freely now.
“Thanks, Mom! I’ll see you Friday!”
Dan and I chatted as we drove. We were thrilled about being there for Hannah’s baptism. Hannah had been watching for us. We hadn’t even parked the car and she was there with the biggest smile I’d ever seen.
“Come on! Hurry! We’re about to start!”
“Ok, we’re coming!”
She’s really gonna do this in front of all these people?! This is a miracle on more levels than these wonderful people realize. I’d like to find a way to tell them, to help them see how huge this is for Hannah, but how do you explain autism and how hard Hannah has worked over the years to understand social situations in just a few minutes.
The baptism began and I watched in utter amazement.
“Lord, would You look at our girl? Look what You’ve done! You are SO good!”
*This video of Hannah’s baptism is used with permission of Faith Christian Camp