In The Unexpected

By Nikki Bridgeford | April 4, 2020

Dearest Fullerton Free Family,

I have a question for you. How do you feel about the unexpected? If I am being honest, I am not usually a fan of the unexpected because I am a person who likes to be in control as much as possible. Now control is not a bad thing, but as I have gotten older God has had a profound hand in slowly changing my perspective on the unexpected. Now of course there are still those unwelcome “unexpecteds” in life, can you say “self-quarantine?” However, I am learning that there are so many unexpected moments in our lives that God uses to wind this beautiful tapestry that is a reminder of His beauty and fingerprints all around us.

One of the most significant ways God has shown me His hand in the unexpected is in our ministry with the precious kids and families here at Fullerton Free. On any given Sunday, you will find my husband Matt and I driving after a Sunday morning, sharing all the moments with the precious kids that we would have never seen coming, most of them make us giggle, but there are always those that serve to touch our hearts and open our perspective to see how God is speaking to these kids in deep and meaningful ways.

This season of “at home” church has been no different. At first, we had no idea of not only how to do relational ministry at a distance, we were also contending with the fact that most of the kids we work with don’t have smartphones or computers of their own. Nevertheless our team put our heads together and trusted God to lead the technological way.

The result has been, you guessed it, unexpected and brilliant in so many ways! We have been able to send videos of our team home on Sundays and Wednesdays talking about Bible stories, giving them family activities to do, demonstrating games and challenging them to look around and see what God is doing that is wonderful in the world around them and share those stories with all of us. One of the highlights for all of us has been the addition of grade level Zoom meetings. Last week we set up times to meet with each grade level from 1st-4th. You want to talk about the unexpected, play a game with the kids where they have to run around their house and see who can find the items on a list first! Some of our favorites included Shake and Bake, a nerf gun the size of the first grader holding it and the owner’s manual of a car because that particular student was on the zoom call from the car and had to improvise.

We laughed, we waved, we shared and we were just together. In the unexpected and unwelcome moments of not being able to be together, we found a way to draw in and relish this new way of being together as a family. I was not prepared for how all of this would touch my heart. In a season where I am in control of so little, God has taught me to loosen my grip and lean in to the beauty of the unexpected.

We love being able to connect with our kids and families and are excited to see what God has in store for us. If you would like to be part of what we are doing for kids during this time, just email Nikki Bridgeford or Alex Flora. We would love to hear from you.

We love you and we are praying for all of you.

Nikki Bridgeford