It’s that time again.
Lunches are packed, carpools have begun and it’s the beginning of the year where we mark that next step of growth in our child’s life.
(Some of us have a marked up wall in our home to prove it).
Whether we’re involved in potty training, packing for college, or any of the multiple rites of passage in between, I believe most of us can say without hesitation that our greatest desire is to see our children grow.
So what will that mean for us?
More than likely it means we’ll have to say a few no’s.
Maybe even a tiny bit more than a few.
Like the first time they want to run into the street. Or play video games that involve stealing cars and shooting people.
When they get invited to their first keg party with no parents. Or get asked out by a guy (or girl) who is five years older, sports several tattoos and owns a car.
Some no’s are easy.
Others are more painful.
When it’s time to wean your child, and your little one begs for your milk.
You withhold it because you want your child to grow. But you carry your child’s ache.
Because I have never witnessed an adult breast feeding, (thank you Jesus), I conclude that at one time or another we’ve all been withheld from something we wanted from someone who loves us.
Perhaps that’s one way to understand how it works with God.
When we feel God withholding, pulling back, or staying silent, we are tempted to cry out “You don’t love me!” In fact, just the opposite may be true.
Your kids will learn that in your parenting.
You and your kids will learn that with God.
In Psalm 131, the psalmist describes his soul as a ‘weaned child’ as he learns to trust God in difficult times, and live in hope that there is a bigger plan going on than he can see.
“A weaned soul” is a great description for a grown up faith.
The longer we walk with Christ, the more we realize that God allows our discomfort, and orchestrates life in a way that is often different from what we wanted or planned.
Yet when we look back, we see that the “God of the rear view mirror” somehow weaves it all together for our good.
Some sufferings are forgotten, as time transforms them into blessings. Other sufferings are never forgotten, but their purpose is to transform us.
As your kids grow, they will experience many no’s in life- and not just from you.
They will encounter unanswered questions. Disappointments. Doubts.
And they may turn to you.
Perhaps now is a good time for you to assess where you are in your faith journey before this happens.
In my new book, I use these words to describe growth:
Hope you’ll stay tuned over the next three weeks as we explore some of the themes of Faith in the Dark, and how to walk with our kids through difficulty, confusion and doubt.
And most importantly, walk them toward hope.
ENTER TO WIN a copy of Laurie’s new book Finding Faith in the Dark: When the Story of Your Life Takes a Turn You Didn’t Plan!
Read Part 2 of Laurie’s Series
Read Part 3 of Laurie’s Series