Being the youngest of six children made my life tough. Sometimes my older siblings didn’t want to play with me. Though it was hard for me to understand this, having no one to play with opened up a wonderful imaginary world. At age 3 or 4 there were purely imaginary friends. They were great and lots of fun. Then my stuffed animals began to take on life. These were the best, because I could see them and make them do all kinds of things.
As my stuffed animal collection grew, so did their voices and personalities. It was amazing how many characters I created. I kept the stuffed community around as I grew up. But my interest in them waned until I had my children. Now all the fun of my childhood came rushing back into my mind as I sat and shared new wonderfully imaginary tales. I broke out the stuffed animals old and new and let my imagination go wild.
My children enjoyed the stories and even made of some of their own. I had passed this trait on to another generation. Life seemed good and then it changed. A profound spiritual encounter changed me from the inside out. I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. The wonders of the possibilities in my life opened up like never before. I realized what it is like to be a new creature in Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come (NASB)
I was now reading the Word of God for the first time. The amazing accounts from the Bible let me see that there was more to life than I had experienced. Now I wasn’t just imagining things, I was experiencing them.
Experiencing children’s ministry just months after my salvation challenged my imagination. I watched as God took that amazing imagination that He had cultivated in my childhood and began to use it to reach children with the Gospel.
After soaking in the teaching in a 5 to 12 yr old class for a few weeks, the teacher encouraged me to share something. My imagination went wild. I created a character and did a commercial for God’s love. My character, “Frieda on Fire” had many subsequent appearances in children’s church. I went on from there to working with puppets, which really reminded me of my stuffed animals. Over the years I have written many skits and plays to share the Gospel with children.
I learned that even though tough things happened to me as a child, I can look back and find the good in them. I spent years upset that my childhood wasn’t wonderful. But I have come to realize that good has come out of every hard thing I have gone through. I have decided to no longer be a victim. I am going to look back at every hard thing until I see the victory that came out of it.
Enjoy your week. I’ll be back next week with more.