Over the past year our kids have asked some pretty hard questions:
- How come dad was in the hospital?
- Why did great grandma have to die?
- When are we going to go back to our old church?
- Is there any way dad can unfire himself?
Some of those questions I don’t even have the answers to myself much less trying to explain things to a child.
We try to be as transparent with our kids as we can while at the same time being mindful that they are just kids. I feel that as parents it’s our responsibility to guard our kid’s hearts from things as much as we can. But some things are beyond our control. Life still happens. Pain and suffering still happen. As much as I’d like to shelter my kids from every heartache and hardship, I know it’s much better for me to instead equip my kids with the tools they will need to endure trials.
My kids have seen me cry…a lot. They know the difference between sad and happy tears. I’m not bawling in front of them all the time, but they see how even mommies cry when they are hurt. They’ve seen me break down in tears because of God’s overwhelming goodness and grace
I try to be honest without being bitter. It’s not easy. We talk about sin and how it hurts people and those around them. We talk about the brevity of life and how the only assurance we can have is in Christ.
I don’t know how much their little minds actually absorb because sometimes I’m still mid-sentence philosophizing about life and they run off and play. But I think they grasp so much more than I give them credit for.
As a mom who used to work for a church ministry and whose husband is currently in seminary, my fear is often that the hurts and heartaches we experience while ministering to others in the name of Christ will negatively affect how our children will view God or the church.
Recently, ministry has not been too kind to us. People have hurt us. We have seen people get hurt. We have faced rejection and felt abandoned by people who were our “brothers” and “sisters” in Christ.
A few weeks ago I found out that a former seminary neighbor’s husband, a pastor, had taken his own life. He leaves behind a widow and two small children. It was a harsh reminder that those of us in ministry are not immune from the fallenness of this world. After what happened to Shelby a couple of months ago, the thought of losing someone is very real to me.
And yet, I’m also reminded that while I can’t shield my family from all that life can try to throw at us, I can do my best to continually point us back to the cross. I don’t have all the answers, but God does. I don’t know what the future holds, but God knows.
When our world started to crash down around us, a sweet friend grabbed me by the shoulders, looked me in the eye and said, “Trust God…people, not so much. Hebrews 13:6 says, “So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’”
People will fail us. They’ll let us down. Even those with the best of intentions will fall short. But God; He always holds up His end of the bargain. He’s the only one who is completely worthy of my trust. I can’t even trust my own fallible self that’s been tainted with sin’s ruthless grasp. But I can trust in the One who at the very mention of His name every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord.