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lenten interview - part 1

During the season of Lent, we will be posting interviews with fellow Christians about their own personal encounters with Jesus. Here is the first interview with two young ladies in our congregation.

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” (Jesus) called a little child to Him, and placed the child among them. And He said: 

“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” –Matthew 18:1-5

Savannah Hwang

Tell us your name, age, and current background (job, family, school, etc.).
Savannah Hwang, age nine, fourth grade - elementary school

When did Jesus become real to you? Tell us what led to that.
 I was probably about seven or eight when I first started to actually think about questions my teachers asked in church or tried to find Jesus in my day. I was amazed then because I started to understand the stories in the Bible better. After that, I was motivated to learn more.      

How do you experience Him on a day to day basis? 
I think on a daily basis I see Him the most when I'm at school. Sometimes I will lose an important paper and I will look through my folders and usually find the thing I was looking for and after finding it I will thank God in a short and silent prayer.

If I'm not at school, I am usually outside. When I'm outside I will sometimes look around and thank God for making everything.   

Have you ever felt really far from God? What did you experience in that time? How did you move through it? 
Yes! Every so often I will feel very far away from God. I feel frustrated and ashamed. When this does happen, I will pray, ask for forgiveness, and listen. After that, I feel okay again and forgiven.             

When you have doubts, how do you stay focused on Him? 
When I have doubts I feel ashamed, so I will ask for forgiveness or take time out of my day to spend time with Him. After that I feel much better because I know that God has forgiven me.

What is one thing (or a few things) that make you feel close to Jesus? 
I think I feel closest to Jesus when I'm out in nature. I am always amazed when I think that God made everything I see.                      

For Kristen, Savannah’s Mom-
Do you have any comments or thoughts you would like to add?
 
A child's response can seem so simple, but that's the beauty of it. Looking to God even when it's just to help her find a missing paper at school. The simplicity and innocence reminds me that I don't need to make my relationship with God as complicated as I sometimes do.

I love reading that Savannah knows she can come to God and ask for forgiveness when she feels distant and trust that she is forgiven.

   
Shiloh Smith

Tell us your name, age, and current background (job, family, school, etc?)
Shiloh Smith, age nine, I go to school and I’m in fourth grade. I have a mom, dad and brother; we take care of each other and we love each other and we try to pray together at least once each day. 

In my spare time, I like watching TV and doing crafts. I like sleeping. I just started playing piano and I like doing crafts with my friends and family. I like eating pizza.

Does Jesus feel real to you? When did Jesus become real to you? 
Yeah. It’s been a long time, and I’m not sure when it happened.

How do you experience Him on a day to day basis? 
I know He is with me during the day. He sometimes makes me think of my family and my friends and reminds me how awesome I am at school so I keep trying and don’t yell, “I quit” in the middle of class.

Have you ever felt really far from God? What did you experience in that time? 
Sometimes, it felt like He wasn’t there to protect me and help me focus on God and Jesus. 

How do you feel when that happens? 
Scared because I feel like He is not with me and He isn’t happy with me.

Do you think that it is true that He is not with you and is not happy with you? 
No…sometimes… No, because He sometimes doesn’t remind me that I’m safe. 

How do you know God is real when you feel far from Him? 
I think He is with me even if I can’t tell. I believe He is with me because it says in the Bible that He is always with me because He is in my heart.

How do you move through it when you feel far from God?
I try to focus on what I am doing and wait till I forget it. It doesn’t last long though.

What is one thing (or a few things) that make you feel close to Jesus? 
Reading the Bible. Sometimes when I see verses or sayings that make me think. It makes me really happy and I feel like God made me read it to help me.

Sometimes when I am alone and waiting for someone and I get really bored then I think I should read the Bible but then I never do.

When you have doubts, how do you stay focused on Him?
Yes, I have doubts, but not very much. Only when I am scared and stressed out. I try to think about the Bible and what I have read in it.

What could I do as your mom to help you through this?
I don’t know. 

For Randa, Shiloh’s Mom and interviewer:

Do you have any comments or thoughts you would like to add?
I was eager to choose my daughter to interview because sometimes I don’t take enough time for these sorts of conversations with her or my husband and son and this interview gave me that opportunity. 

I absolutely loved hearing my daughter’s heart for Jesus. Her honesty in places I might be tempted to give a “pretty” answer was delightful and refreshing. Hearing her confidence in Him and where she wavers also gave me insight on how I can better guide her has a parent.

Friends, consider discussing these questions with your family over the Lenten season. You won’t be disappointed.

 

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