I have always had a LOVE / HATE relationship with VBS.
When my girls were little, we lived in Atlanta (Gwinnett County) and attended a pretty small church. I was heavily involved in the children's program there. I co-lead our Vacation Bible School along with several other ladies for many years. Each of us had a "part" and together, we made VBS happen. On VBS week, we probably had about 150 kids each summer that I was there. It was a LOT of work, but it was so much fun and I loved every minute of it!! Of course.... I was much younger and I had young kids of my own!
When we moved to the Columbus, GA area... it was in the Spring of 1998. We were visiting a certain church in the area and I figured that one way to get "plugged in" would be to volunteer to help with their VBS. --- At my old church, we started recruiting volunteers in January for our Summer VBS! --- Well, when I went and talked to the Children's director at this new church... she said that they had not even BEGUN to plan their VBS!! I told her of my experience in "leading" it at my old church and I even VOLUNTEERED to head it up at this church! But... she wasn't intersted in my help. --- This (among a few other things) was the reason that we did not continue attending that church! Who would turn down someone VOLUNTEERING TO HELP???? I know that my current church wouldn't have!!
Anyway... we DID find a church by May of that year and I was able to help with VBS with no problem. This is the same church that we are members of now. It is our 2nd home and we love it!
Once again... for many years, I was either helping to direct VBS or I was involved with helping in some way.
As I have gotten.... ahem..... "older"... tho, and our church has grown so big!!!.... for the past few years, I have found myself reluctantly signing up to help with VBS. Our church starts asking for volunteers in January, and I have found myself waiting longer and longer to sign up to help. I just don't have the patience that I used to have and anxiety fills my body, unlike when I was... ahem.... "younger".
This year, I did NOT sign up to help. I figured that our church is now SO BIG and there are PLENTY of new, young moms out there who I knew were just DYING to help with VBS!
Well.... 2 weeks ago... I got an email from GOD..... I mean, my pastor.... (It might as well have been God, himself!)... asking me if I would PLEEEEASE help. They still needed more volunteers to lead "crews" of kids to the various "stations" -- Crafts, Movie, Games, Snacks, Bible Story. Who can say "no" to God???? I HAD to say, "yes".
The feeling of "dread" overcame my body as VBS week got closer and closer. Monday came and I dragged myself to the church, wondering how many kids I would have in my crew and what kind of "behavior" they would have! (It could go either way!) When I got there, I had 9 kids on my list!! WOW!! That was a lot! Thankfully, I had a teen-age helper!
The first day went very well. I had a couple of boys that were a little reluctant to stay... but, they did and they had a great time! By the end of the day, I was glad that "God" had asked me to help. I had the perfect little group of kids!
Tuesday came and a new little girl was now part of my group. This little girl did NOT want to be there and was NOT willing to participate in anything that we were doing! My perfect little group was no longer, and I was back to having that feeling of "dread" each day!
As the week has gone by, I have come to love each one of "my kids"..... even the little girl that does not want to be there. No, she has not cooperated very well. And no, she still does not want to be there. But, I have been praying for this little girl and she has stolen my heart in a way that I did not expect.
It brings me to tears to just think about how her reluctance to be there was a lot like MY reluctance to be there!! I did not want to be there, but now I know that I was MEANT TO BE THERE!
I pray that she will be there today so that she God can change her heart, like He changed mine!
~~ Thank you God, for not giving up on me and for sending me a message through my pastor and these beautiful children!! I LOVE YOU, LORD!!