The thought entered my mind as soon as I clicked “publish” on the event.
“What if no one comes?”
I had just received the official email confirmation for our big event; The Joy Initiative: A Day Without Child Care.
It was really happening. Or was it?
Like that little green character on “Inside Out”, the panic portion of my brain started feeding Elaine, my inner voice (no, I’ve not lost it, I explain Elaine here… but fair warning, she’s a real “B”).
I have anxiety. And part of my attempt to tame it, was to give that voice inside my head a name <Enter Elaine>. My inner voice and I have many struggles. I often picture Elaine sitting poolside, sipping a margarita, with a sleek black swimsuit on and a straw hat; her eyes shaded by sunglasses larger than even Sophia Loren would wear; calming spewing forth her “words of wisdom”.
Sssscccccchhhhhlllluuuuuuurrrrrrrppppppp. Elaine takes a long drink out of her margarita and gets right down to business.
“You are going to look like a complete idiot. No one is going to walk out with you. How embarrassing,” she coolly says.
“Shut-up Elaine,” I say back to her. Suppressing nervous giggles.
“I mean come on. You can’t actually believe this going to happen. You can’t actually believe YOU are going to be able to pull this off. That other Child Care Providers across the state will walk out with you, even if it is only for an afternoon,” She says snarkily.
And then it hits me.
“Good try,” I say to her, as I grab her margarita out of her hand. “But this isn’t about me. This is about Him.”
“Oh, come on,” Elaine responds. “You can’t actually believe that He cares about you and this little problem of yours. How selfish can you be?” she yells, as she grabs her margarita back.
And for a few moments. I believe her. I believe those words that the little voice, tells me.
For a few moments, I believe that it falls on me. That it is my responsibility to figure out how to get people to show up. I begin to plan, think about how I can get the words out. How am I going to let people know how important this is.
I mistakenly believe, that it is me who has to pull this off.
In a moment of weakness, my sinful human nature takes over, and I believe that I must take this on. That I must somehow convince others, across the entire state, to join together for an afternoon without childcare.
But it’s not true.
This isn’t about my story; This is about His glory.
Since our stand at Here We Grow in October, I’ve seen God working. But more so, when I really think about it and look back, we’ve overcome a lot of obstacles at Here We Grow. And each one seemed daunting at the time but worked out how God intended in the end. Why should this time, this season, be any different?
This whole time, I have been amazed by how God has worked through elected officials, other providers, and even people and organizations that I had not even thought of contacting. Each day when I open my email or log-in to social media, something that demonstrates His power, awaits. From invitations to meet with a US Senator, to requests to call experts in the field that have wide ranging influence; His mercies are new every morning.
It is God who is orchestrating this entire thing.
And how could He not; children are important to Him. We as teachers, are important to Him. Families are important to Him.
He says, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14
He also promises that these earthly sufferings are not in vain.
Romans 5:3-5 “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
Does this mean that I know for certain that I won’t be standing at the Capitol alone? No. God doesn’t promise to give us everything we pray for. But it doesn’t mean that miracles don’t happen. So we should continue to pray without ceasing.
1 Thessalonians 5:16 16Rejoice always, 17pray continually, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
No matter what happens, God is using this story for His Glory.
And that means, He also has the power to silence Elaine.
How silly of me to think for one second that I had to “build it so they would come”; when the whole time, God already had the Stadium built and prepared.
Our story, for His glory.
We ask you to join us in prayer; that God continues to bless the efforts of child care providers, families, and advocates for change, as we continue to work together to break the silence and end the child care crisis.