A 5-Year Old, A Teddy Bear, And A Prayer

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One November day, back when we lived in Missouri, Mom decided to load us all into the car, and go Christmas shopping. This was no easy task. I was five, Heather was three, and Titus was somewhere around one. Mom had her hands full.

What an exciting time for a young child – so many Christmas gift possibilities! It didn’t take me long to find the perfect teddy bear that wanted to go home with me. It was perfect in every way. I couldn’t tell you today what made that bear so special, but to the 5-year old Holly, it was quite obvious. The only thing left to do was to make sure mom knew, in the myriad of fluffy, cuddly, and huggable stuffed animals, which one she needed to buy.

I asked mom to come down the store aisle so I could show her the teddy bear I wanted. While I continued to plead for mom’s immediate attention, Heather kept asking me to show her the stuffed animal I wanted. I ignored her. I was too busy dealing with the only person that mattered: the one who purchased, wrapped, and placed all the gifts under the Christmas tree.

Mom was, understandably, preoccupied with Titus, trying to fasten him into the store cart. She told me to show Heather, and she’d come see it as soon as she got Titus fastened in. Naturally, I said, “no.” {What would I get out of that?!} Heather continued to try and convince me to show her; I continued to ignore her; and mom was stuck with a crowd of unhappy children.

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Mom very wisely said, “Show your sister, or I won’t go look at it.” “I don’t want to show her.” “Okay. Then I won’t see it either.” “What?!? But mom! How will you know what I want?” “Well, then you’d better pray and ask Jesus for it, because I’m not even going to look at it since you wouldn’t help lift your sister up to even see your precious teddy bear”! (Heather was too short to see the teddy bear.)

A smart, selfish child would have grabbed the sister’s arm, stomped down the aisle, lifted her up, and said, “There! Are you happy now?! Now I can show mom.” Not me. {sigh} I was a very stubborn, bull-headed, selfish child.

We left the store …

Proverbs 22:15
Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;
The rod of correction will drive it far from him.

Six(?) weeks went by before we made the drive to Indiana to share Christmas with grandparents. As gifts were passed around the room, it became my turn to open gifts. I opened the gift from my grandparents – a teddy bear. I gasped, looked at mom, and told her in absolute amazement, “It’s the teddy bear.” Mom did not realize the specifics of what I was trying to convey to her. She simply replied, “Yes, I see it. It’s a very cute teddy bear.” “No, mom. It’s THE teddy bear!!!” It was the exact teddy bear I had seen 500 miles away, six weeks earlier.

As you know, teddy bears come in many sizes, colors, and personalities. No one except me and the triune God knew which teddy bear I wanted.

Mom says she thinks, at some point, I probably had a change of heart. I probably told Jesus I was sorry for being mean and selfish to my sister, and God honored my repented heart. While I remember a little of what happened, I don’t remember such granular detail of a changed heart. It could have happened exactly like that, but when I think about the story, I think of it differently. Wow! Despite my rotten heart, God still loved me and gave me a gift I clearly did not deserve. He also knew that as an adult I would ponder the events that took place, and marvel that God heard the prayer of a 5-year old for a teddy bear.

Romans 5:8
But God demonstrates His own love toward us,
in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Do you have a story to share of God’s amazing goodness in your life?

What special answered prayer comes to your mind?

This was shared on the following blog hops or link-ups:
Artful Tuesdays Link-Up
Encourage One Another Link-Up
Homestead Barn Hop
Simple Lives Thursday
Simple Living Wednesdays Link-Up

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2 comments to A 5-Year Old, A Teddy Bear, And A Prayer

  • Hpuletz

    I love that story, and you wrote it beautifully. I love how you once put it that although we might think that God shouldn’t have rewarded your bad behavior, He knew that the more important lesson for you at that time was a lesson of faith and the importance of prayer. I always thought it was your patches bear. I didn’t know it was that one.

    • Holly

      Thanks, Heather.

      I have two teddy bears that were dear to me: Patches and this one. I was pretty sure it was this one, and mom thought so, too. Neither one of us are 100% confident on our choice though.

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