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Showing Up … Even When You Don't Feel Like It!

I didn’t want to show up this last Sunday morning. We’d had a late night (getting to bed at 11 is late, right?). I almost texted my director that I wouldn’t make it, but I didn’t. Then I woke up in the morning and repeatedly hit the snooze alarm. I almost texted my director that I wouldn’t make it, but again I didn’t. 

I drug myself out of bed finally, threw on clothes and swung by Starbucks. The line was long, but I didn’t care. It’d be OK if I was a little late. And I was.

There were two teachers in the room already, surrounded by happy 2-year-olds. They probably really didn’t need me this morning, I complained inside. Then Carson ran up to me with a toy and his cowboy boots that lit up. A hug from this sweet little boy reminded me why I was there.

Against the window, Martha sat with a little guy sobbing in her lap. He’d been in our class two weeks ago and cried the entire time. I figured we were in for the same again. But he saw me and toddled over with a pacifier planted in his mouth and tears streaming down his face. He plopped down in my lap. I wrapped my arms around him and could feel his little heart beating out of his chest. 

Either this stopped or we’d call his mom soon. So I took him out of the room (where we have floaters in the hallway). He wanted his mom and pointed to the parking lot because he thought she was out there. I walked him to the sanctuary to show him where his mom was. He calmed down … until we came back and he realized I wasn’t taking him to her.

We sat on a bench outside our room because when we went in, his heart pounded and he sobbed. Our director said it was OK to stay out because of our hallway floaters. One of them got us a few books, so we read on the bench. And he continued to ask for his mom—but no more crying. 

Soon a 3-year-old joined us on the bench. He wanted his mom, too. So I read to him. 

Our sweet floater got coloring pages, crayons and toys. So we set up a little classroom in the hallway. We read, played, colored, fretted, walked and finally sang “Jesus Loves Me.”

When the two moms came to pick up their sweet children, the boys were elated to leave. The older one happily showed his mom the page he’d colored, and my little one just clung to his mom.

I told her how we’d spent the hour (not mentioning I’d checked the clock every five minutes!). I explained he was making progress and we’d keep working on it. She was grateful and relieved.

Who knows what God wanted to do in these two moms’ lives and hearts while we spent the morning in the hallway. Who knows what might not have happened if I’d given into my feelings and just stayed home that morning.

I’m so grateful I showed up to volunteer in our children’s ministry that morning—for those two little boys and for their moms. God helped me see my little acts of service really do matter, and I need to keep showing up even when I don’t feel like it. 

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Christine Yount Jones is Content Director for Outreach Media Group. She has published several books and hundreds of articles about ministry in the last three decades. Before his death in 2003, Michael Yount and Christine had three children. Now, she and her husband, Ray Jones, together have five grown kids.