Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. — Matthew 5:16
Before all five of us Brumleys go our separate way in the mornings, my husband and I round the girls up into our kitchen to pray over our day, or we at least attempt to pray every day. (Listen, the struggle is real!) My prayer has been Matthew 5:16: that each of us would be lights in a dark world that day, wherever we are. Having three girls in three different stages of life, I am learning more and more that shining their lights in a dark world means something totally different during their day.
Lessons at Kids’ Camp
Until this summer, I had been praying for each of them to perform good works during their day so that others would look at my girls and say, “Wow, there is something that stands out about that Brumley girl, and I want to know more about what she has.” Not to say that I was praying incorrectly, but God spoke to my heart at our church’s kids’ camp, opening my eyes to pray for more than just my girls’ good works that day.
Yes, you heard me correctly; I did say God spoke to my heart at kids’ camp. For the past two summers, I have had the cool privilege of being the camp nurse at our church’s kids’ camp. Some of my nursing duties include giving kids their routine meds that they take at home, giving Tylenol for headaches, giving TLC with band aids as they get boo boos, applying Benadryl gel to bug bites, and pulling out many, many splinters. My biggest nursing duty usually comes into play around worship time in the evening when “little Susie” gets still, starting to miss mommy back home. “Little Susie” will make up some type of ailment such as an upset tummy, a headache, or even a toothache. So I give Susie an ice pack (it works, don’t knock it till you try it), and we go out of worship for a minute to call mom. So many times I miss worship being the camp nurse.
There was one night during camp that I had an unusual, uninterrupted time to sit and listen to our visiting speaker, Bill Keel, from Biltmore, North Carolina. He had been talking to our kids all week about how they could go back home from camp to shine their light. The message he spoke on this particular night was about ways the enemy keeps our kids from shining their light. He told the kids four different things the enemy wanted them to have their focus on, rather than shining their light for Jesus. While Mr. Bill was talking to these kids, this camp nurse/mama started jotting down notes as fast as I could write.
Four Lies the Enemy Tells
Fear, worry, loneliness, and messing up (failure) are the four things that the enemy wants us as Christians to focus on that will dim our light. As I took notes, it broke my heart knowing that my girls were probably focusing on these lies. Another thought crossed my mind as I wrote these lies down, “Have I ever asked my girls what they struggle with daily so I could pray for that struggle?”
Coming home from camp, I had made a decision that I would set aside a time to talk with each one of my girls separately to discuss and pray for her particular struggle. My girls have many, “Hey, let’s talk moments,” so this is not an unusual event for them. Sometimes they even text me from another room, especially my oldest, to come talk. I love these moments as much as they do.
I did spend time with each one of my girls asking her which one of these lies she struggles with the most. Without hesitation, each one of my girls blurted out the lie that the enemy has been whispering in her ears. One of them struggles with loneliness because it is hard following Christ in a world that says, “Do what makes you feel good.” The other said she has a fear of failure because she doesn’t want to let her daddy or me down. Then one of mine had a list of many fears.
Remember the Truth
For just a brief second my heart broke, and I became angry all in the same thought. But then I was reminded of the scripture Mr. Bill gave the kids at camp. In Luke 8:22-25, when the disciples were faced with a storm, Jesus was napping in the bottom of the boat. (On a side note, Mr. Bill took note of Jesus napping. Mama’s naps are Biblical; you need rest too!) Those disciples became frightened, forgetting they had the very ONE that created that wind and rain in the boat with them. All the disciples had to do was ask Jesus for help in that storm. When those disciples asked Jesus for help, He immediately spoke, calming their storm.
So if you are reading this, you are probably a mama that prays that your girl will shine their light so that others do see Jesus in them. But then you also know in your heart that your girls have a fear of failure or of the dark, or her best friend has a new best friend, causing a feeling of loneliness. Maybe you are a foster mommy, and your sweet girl that you have taken in has a fear of not having shelter. (That was a true fear of one of our kids at camp.)
All of these lies that the enemy tries to give our girls to focus on to dim our girls’ lights in this world can now be a gift given to our girls to share Jesus. Talking to our girls and finding out their struggles gives us and our girls power over that lie. Finding out the lie that the enemy placed in our girls’ lives helps us know how to pray more specifically for them to just shine their lights.
We know that after we accept Jesus as our Savior, and after our girls accept Jesus as their Savior, that we are not promised an easy road. But, mamas, we are promised that we can ask Him for help, and He will help us with our sweet girls. All we have to do is ask like the disciples on that boat in their storm. He has already overcome fear, He has overcome loneliness, He has overcome our girls’ worries, and He has overcome our girls’ mess ups.
He even gives us a promise in His Word in John 16:33,”I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
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Dear Father, thank you that you have overcome our girls struggles in the world. I pray that when she has fear, or is lonely, or worries, or has failures, that she will know this promise that you have given her so that these struggles in her life will not dim her light. I pray that the world will see my girl’s trust in you during her struggles, so that her light would shine so that it would glory her Father that is in heaven. In your precious Son’s name I pray, Amen.
Did this post encourage or inspire you? Do you know another girl mom who might find it helpful? We’ve created a printable you can use to start this conversation with your girl. And you can share this image on social media and invite your friends to join the Prayers for Girls community.