So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. -Isaiah 41:10
Many lessons have been learned and reinforced for me at Vacation Bible School. I love VBS. There is so much energy and party atmosphere. I feel like that is how the church should be. If you have ever been part of a Vacation Bible School, you may already know that it is usually very loud, energetic , and busy. It can be overwhelming and exhausting at times, especially for kids (and adults) who struggle with too much stimulus. I had one such girl in a class I was teaching. She was a very sweet, smart, and later I would find out profound little kid who had autism. Day 1 she did okay but I could tell it was challenging. Day 2 I saw that the noise and commotion was becoming overwhelming to her. She was about to have a meltdown. I was starting to head her way to comfort her, when I noticed her look down at the palm of her hand, take a deep breath, and then come up with a fresh smile and new determinedness.
I approached her later to ask what had happened and she held up her palm and showed me a red heart drawn on her palm. It helps her to remember she is loved and that she is going to be okay. Her mommy drew that on for her to remind her. Watching her go from “I am about to lose all control,” to a peace and confidence, amazed me. I talked to the mom and she explained that she gave her that cue to help her know that God loves her and her mom loves her and she is going to be okay.
The more I thought about it, the more profound this became to me. Sometimes we need some sort of reminder to help us remember that no matter what is going on around us, that our heavenly father loves us dearly, and holds us in the palm of His hand. We are going to be okay. The trust that little girl had in the words of her mom, still amazes me. Her mom said it, so it was true, and she chose to believe her even though the circumstances around her were very overwhelming and her sensory overload was very real.
Sometimes I make it so complicated and have my eyes all around on everything but the one who can calm and hold my heart. There have been days now where I have been known to draw a heart on my hand or someone else’s hand, to remind us that we are seen and loved. May we choose to have the profound faith of a child and believe it to be true. Peace for the storms.