Recently another child at school did something unkind to my son. Unexpectedly, he responded without malice and instead did exactly what he was supposed to do!

After calling my spouse to relay this incredible story, I rushed home to e-mail my son’s SGL at church. I fully believe that she has played an integral part in helping him go from being “the bad kid” to learning to be a good kid.

I never realized that anyone else could influence my child’s life until this year. My son’s SGL has graciously loved and endured my challenging child. And both he and we are changed because of her.

Here’s an excerpt from that e-mail:

You have played a HUGE role in fighting for Tommy’s heart this past year. Thank you for loving him unconditionally. For acting like Jesus wants us to act towards those that haven’t asked Him into their hearts yet and aren’t led by the Holy Spirit. For being the aroma of Christ in his life. For inviting him into your classroom and into your heart each Sunday. For showing and telling him that he belongs—he’s wanted—he’s special and loved. You are a true answer to prayer. And I know there have probably been moments, hours, weeks that it’s been hard, that Tommy has challenged you and stretched you, but thank you for continuing to love. For gently tugging him into the classroom and firmly closing the gate. For crawling underneath the tables. For laughing and singing “blah, blah, blah”.

I’m amazed at the little boy I am beginning to see, and the little cracks that are beginning to fissure in the walls around his heart. For the hope God keeps giving me that this little boy has a big purpose and will be great in God’s kingdom.

I just needed you to know this story that gave me such great hope, and how you would be encouraged knowing that you being in his life is changing him for the better and pointing him toward God. And I’m so, so thankful for your influence in his life. Believe you me, the day he asks Jesus into his heart you are on the short list of people I will be notifying. Even if it’s 10 years from now, because I know you’ll never forget him 😉

This letter is to you, too, dear SGL. If you find yourself gritting your teeth on the way to church or feel like you’re “hanging in there” with a challenging child, please keep doing it. Keep fighting for the hearts of your kids for the sake of moms like me with kids like my son. The difference one small group leader can make in one little life is immeasurable.

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