Not Our Own

boy-child-country-551576.jpg

 As parents, one of the hardest battles we face is in our own minds. Our own struggle as parents to make the best decisions for our kids. To lead them and guide them in the right direction. We wrestle with the thought: Did my decisions, the choices I made for my child … did they help him … or did they hurt him? Have I enriched his life by my decisions, or have I scarred him? Is he better for it? Or worse off?

When we left for Mexico thirteen years ago, we took our five children out of the comforts of life in the states. The stability of dear friends, family close by, strong community of faith. At first, we thought, “This is great. Our kids will have the opportunity to grow up in another culture. To learn a new way. Another language. They’ll live in simplicity, without the bombardment of materialism.” They were young. And, of course, they had no choice but to follow. And it was great. And we were changed—all of us— from the inside out.

 But when they became teenagers, they struggled a bit. Each one in their own way. And some harder than others. They felt manipulated, forced to give up their friends and family and life back home. Their relationships were fleeting because people always came and went on the mission field. They learned to say good-bye easier than hello because no one stayed long enough to go deep with. Our homeschool was touch and go because of the demands from the ministry and I often wondered if I had failed them in their academics and stunted their future. Our lives were chaotic and rarely at rest.  

 For the last couple of years since we’ve been back and our kids have re-entered life in the states and tried to find their way, I’ve battled with the question of our decisions. Did we do the right thing? Are our kids going to be okay? Did they miss out on years of friendships and learning and stability. My mind is never quite free from the doubts.

 This morning as I sat here at my desk, I happened upon an Instagram post my middle child wrote last night. The tears still stream down my face as my mommy-heart encounters healing.

 My son was responding to a picture someone posted of our ranch in the middle of the desert. The one he forfeited ten years to— according to my doubt. In response to the picture, and to the person who posted it, my son said this:

 “I see the rainbow, and I remember that place.”

 I see the rainbow and I remember that place. How profound and beautiful.

 And here is where the healing begins …  our children are not our own. Our precious ones belong to the Lord. To the Maker of heaven and earth. He gave them breath and has a plan for their lives. We might fail them. And we often do. But every day … every single day, He is molding them and making them into His own image. His fingerprint is on their lives.

 And here is the greatest thing … He is using moments—many we don’t even recognize— to impress His rainbow on their hearts.

 


I would love to hear from you … What ways have you seen God’s hand in your own children’s life? Where has he taken you in understanding Him?

Name *
Name

 

Through the Eyes of a Child

Slow my heartbeat, Lord, today… until I have seen You with child eyes.

Slow my heartbeat, Lord, today… until I have seen You with child eyes.

Three times in my life I have had a vision of heaven. All three times, my eyes took in the scene around me as if I were a child. A child with unrestrained, abandoned faith. Nothing between me and Jesus. No agenda. No shame or guilt. No need to prove myself or be anything but me.  

On one occasion, I was in a meadow of tall grass. The warm breeze bent the blades and the bright sun bathed me in shifting light through the leaves of a sprawling oak. I lay on my back, gazing upward. Though I did not see the Lord’s face, I felt His presence. He was there. Close. An uncontained joy bubbled up in my heart like the giddiness of a child. So full, I nearly burst with it. As a little girl would in a field of grass, I encircled my arms about me and kicked my legs in complete abandon.

Then, enraptured with that joy, I asked Him, “What can I do for you now?”

I do not remember an answer… because the moment was not for the question. But for the joy of being with Him.

Ahh, but to live, not just through a glimpse, but my everyday through the eyes of that child. The one that is in me still, in all of us, hungry for more of Him. To throw off the burdens, the temptations, the things that wear us down and pause in our pressured pursuit of naught. To see life… to see Him… with reckless abandon.

I recently came across a quote from G.K. Chesterton that resonated with my heart. He was speaking on the joy of a child and the joy of our God…

Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never gone tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.

My prayer today is that I would see the treasures around me… those that are new, and those that have grown too common for me to care. That I would see them, not as a sinner grown old, but with the appetite, the devotion, the reckless abandon of a child. To ask-- not with another task to check off or rung to climb-- but with the pure delight of being with Him. “Oh Lord, what can I do for you now?”

Slow my heartbeat, Lord, today… until I have seen You with child eyes.

“…Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.” Luke 10:21