I have two of the most amazing children in the world! I say “children” but they are actually adults now. They are living their lives, going to college, making new friends, and experiencing exciting “grown up” life stuff! I really have enjoyed experiencing these things with them up close … but that is about to change. The Salvation Army has made the decision to transfer us to Kansas City Kansas. My first action upon hearing the news was to look up how far away from South Bend I was going …. 9 hours! “No”, my heart screamed, “My babies need me!”
As the reality of this move has settled in my heart my confidence in God, and in my kids ability to live grown up lives, has quieted the screaming in my head. My kids played a very big part in pushing me into this new reality. We had a family meeting to discuss the move and we asked them if they were ready for us to move, or if they needed us to stay close. David, who is 23 now, leaned into me and said,”Dad, this isn’t about us needing you, we will be fine. It is really about you needing us, and you letting go, and you will need to figure that one out yourself.” Betsy, who is 20, echoed the same thought! It is a powerful thing when your adult children minister to you in adult ways. It is every Christian parents hope that their kids will develop, exercise, and walk in their own faith … I witnessed our hope fulfilled that afternoon.
As our understanding and knowledge of the place we are going grows we are really beginning to sense God’s hand in this move. We can see how many of our past experiences and lessons learned have shaped us especially for this ministry task. We are excited about what lies ahead and trust that God will continue to lead us. But it really has been the way that our children have ministered to us that has settled our hearts and pointed us in the right direction.
I will still miss the personal proximity of my wonderful kids … the way they look when they laugh, the hand on the shoulder and the kiss on the head at bedtime … the stovetop popcorn and watching a movie. But I know they are going to be okay. Their faith will guide them, their love for the Lord and for others will endear them to people, and their joy in Jesus will be their strength …. and I am only a quick flight away!