I like to have a plan.  Ask anyone who knows me and has shared life with me.  I don’t do spontaneous or “go with the flow”.  I do elaborate spreadsheets and detailed outlines for projects, events, even vacations (I know what you’re thinking – I sound like a super fun person to be around!).  When something unexpected is proposed, I’m the one with a ton of questions, wanting to rehearse every outcome, account for every variable.  I want to know what’s going to happen when it happens.  Yup, that’s me.  So it’s a bit ironic that I work with kids who are anything but predictable.  Go figure.  But God knows me, He loves me and knows what I need.  He pursues my heart as I wrestle with my idols of control.  He is refining me and leading me to submit and surrender to His good and better plans.  Like everyone else, I’m a work in progress.

Then March 2020 happened.  Oh, dear Father in Heaven, what is happening in the world right now?  Our lives were turned upside down.  We were blindsided and unprepared for life during a global pandemic.  But God knew.  None of this was a surprise to Him.

In those first couple months of quarantine and pandemonium, I was gripped with fear and anxiety, and I grieved over many things, including our children at GRC.  I missed their sweet faces, and I wondered how we could possibly do ministry when we couldn’t be face-to-face with the people God called us to shepherd?  How God?  The task seemed insurmountable and impossible.

But that’s because I was looking at it from the perspective of feeble, human strength and ability.  “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26).  With a deeper understanding and humility that this circumstance was out of our hands but not out of God’s, we leaned on Him as ministry leaders and asked for wisdom, discernment, guidance, and trust in the midst of great uncertainty.

Our year-long plans for Children’s Ministry went out the door and we had to start from ground zero.  It wasn’t easy.  There were many days of feeling flustered from all the possible scenarios, options, implications, revisions.  There was no spreadsheet elaborate enough that could make sense of this!  But it wasn’t a spreadsheet I needed to turn to – it was God and to scripture, His character, and His promises.  I needed to remember who God is, what He’s done, and what He will do.  He is in control of all things.

And God has been so faithful!  I’ve been amazed and in awe of how He has provided this past year.  He provided volunteers who were willing to be used by Him, even if it meant stepping out of their comfort zones and using technology in a way they never had before.  He provided kids eager to learn, engage, and interact over Zoom Sunday school calls and even virtual VBS and Christmas events.  His Word still goes forth and is being planted in the hearts of His precious children.  Nothing can thwart God’s plans (Job 42:2)! 

As we look to the year ahead, with more in-person classes resuming with our children, it is with great resolve and trust in God’s faithfulness, His provisions, and His good plans that we move forward.  We know He will work out the details and provide all we need to press ahead as we continue sharing the love of Christ with our children.

If you would like to know how you can be involved with Children’s Ministry and explore ways God can use your unique gifts and talents this upcoming year (maybe you love spreadsheets like I do or love to act in skits or tell Bible stories and do fun experiments), we’d love to hear from you!  Please email me and Karen Jacobsen at children@graceredeemer.com and we’ll help you get plugged in.

Rachel Sang is the Assistant Director of Children’s Ministry.

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