|Photo credit to David Guyler and Flickr Creative Commons|
That was the question I got asked all. the. time. as a young teen. I think it's because I was seen as being 'good with kids.' - after all, I do have 4 siblings. However, despite being 'good with kids,' I would always answer that question with a "NO!" (OK, I put it more gently than that, but that's what I felt like saying.) I'm not exactly sure why this was - maybe having 4 siblings already made me avoid any more kids than I had to be around (no offence to my siblings, you're all awesome). But whatever caused it, I did not enjoy child-minding or anything else that involved interacting heavily with kidos. Put it this way - for multiple years, I chose to work in the kitchen with all the old ladies during out Kids Holiday Club, rather than lead a kids group.
Now, however, if you asked me the same question, I would nod and say "Yeh, I do!" I babysit sometimes for an family in our suburb, I lead Kid's Church for a term last year, I've spent a week child-minding at a conference, there are two little girls at church I absolutely adore and who come and give me hug every week, etc etc.
So what changed? I hated working with kids; now I enjoy it. What happened to change my attitude? The answer is simple.
A few years ago, we had 5 young kids stay at our place for about a week while their mum had cancer treatment. Now, we've known these kids for quite a while, and they were definitely included in my 'I don't like kids' attitude. So when I heard they would be constantly with us for a week, I knew something had to be done. I couldn't spend a week loathing them. That would not be helpful to anyone.
So, I came to God, and prayed. "God, you know I don't really like kids. But this week, I kinda have to. Lord, please help me love these kids like You love them. I can't muster up the love or kindness. Only You can change my attitude."
That week, I saw one of the more dramatic answers to prayer I've seen. My attitude was completely changed. I switched from resenting the kids to truly loving them. Even Mum noticed.
And as I said before, it wasn't me. It couldn't have been. Only God could have worked that kind of change. The only thing I did was send a request - a prayer. And boom. God worked heart-change.
I think this change illustrates what can happen when we stop complaining about something, or assuming a certain attitude is 'OK,' and decide to do something about it - to pray. For me in the circumstance, it was a single prayer. Other times, both for me and others, it might take months of continual prayer. One of my best friends can tell many stories about this. She is one of the best people I know for praying about something, or for someone, until it/they change. Every time I talk to her, I come away challenged again to pray about stuff, and, if necessary, to keep praying faithfully until I see change.
What could be changed in your life if you chose to pray about it?