Full Circle

by Crystal Johnson

On Sunday, January 22, 2023, I sat in the sanctuary and watched as my son became a member of Christ’s American Baptist Church. This is something he did fully on his own, without any encouragement from me or his father. Yes, we were very happy that Gage decided to take this big step and so extremely proud of him. However, the decision was his and his alone. Becoming a member of the church was not something I was going to “push” him into.

As I was sitting there in the sanctuary taking it all in as Pastor Josh spoke about how Gage literally grew up here at CABC and has been a part of things since he was a toddler, a thought popped into my head, “huh, we’ve come full circle”. The verse from Proverbs 22:6 immediately came to mind. This verse is special to me for several reasons! It is the verse that CABC Preschool identifies with, and strives for above all other teaching. Training a child to go in the way they should go… listening to God’s words, knowing of Christ’s love for them, serving their Lord and Savior. This is my main goal for the children that go through CABC Preschool each year. “When they are old, they will not depart from it.” It is our prayer that even after these kiddos leave CABC Preschool, a piece of this knowledge, love and servant heart will go with them, so that when they are older, teenagers, adults, they will still have that knowledge, or have expanded on it over the years.

As a young mom I was careful and adamant about raising Gage and later his younger sister in the way they should go. I grew up knowing about Jesus and believing Him and His Heavenly Father. I knew Christmas was because of Christ’s birth and Easter was because of His crucifixion and resurrection. I knew Christ was the Savior of the world and the only way to get to Heaven was through Him. However, when I was older, in my teens and early adulthood (particularly after Gage was born and my Grandfather passed away) I really struggled. Not so much with faith, just lack of proof, lack of evidence of God in my life, lack of knowledge. I vowed that my children would not feel that way. And so, we went to church.

Gage was dedicated to the Lord (at CABC), he attended Sunday School classes, he attended VBS, we attended Easter Family Fun Days, he was a part of the live Nativities on Christmas Eves, as he got older, he started volunteering for things. Small things at first, like manning a game at the Fall Fest., when he started playing guitar he started to play on Wednesday evenings for the Pulse Worship. He started helping at VBS when he was too old to participate. I could keep going, but my point is, Gage grew up at CABC and NOW he is a member of CABC as an adult.

God has brought Gage around full circle in his life here at CABC. Psalms 138:8 says “The Lord will bring to an end or to completion that which is about me.” Gage did not depart from the way he was brought up when he became a young adult, even though it is so easy for young adults to lose their way or fall away from their upbringings, especially spiritually, for however long it may be. I could almost feel God’s hand patting me on the back, saying, “Well done, Mom! You started him on the way he should go.” This was not about me, all I can say is, “Thank you, Lord. All glory and honor and praise are yours! Gage is yours.”

I don’t what other “circles” God has in mind for Gage, I’m sure there are many! What I do know is that He will complete the works He starts. Full circle.

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