Blinding Our Kids from the Light
My son held close to his body a limp and bleeding black Cayuga duck with regretful panic in his eyes. My sensitive and dear daughter trailing behind him, fighting back big tears. We had just gotten two new-to-us Livestock Guardian Dogs, two amazing and sweet Great Pyrenees. One of them, freshly let into the pasture without proper introductions, grabbed a duck by the neck out of excitement and punctured through his skin. Promptly, my son scooped him up and rushed to the mudroom sink.
We had just bought this place after spending our whole lives in suburbia. We are actively starting a farm but it’s not in our past or upbringing. With any new thing, and I love new things, there is always a wrestle in my heart about making the right decisions. I tend to go for it, and reflect when I am in it. "How are we to know until we try?” is my personality forte but in this moment of our 5th animal loss this week and big sobs from my impressionable kids, I questioned our decision. I felt in my heart a desire to protect them from these losses and tears.
But is it my job as a mama to keep them from all the hard or to walk with them within it?
It's not my job to save them but to be there in the shaping.
In this transition from babyhood to teenhood (grandma was right, it goes by quick!) it no longer is about making sure they are careful on the playground equipment. Or cutting food small enough. Or making sure I have enough playdates set up for them to socialize (and me!). It’s now about speaking the Gospel when the sin, when they feel shame, hurt, and when they get angry at you. My playdate and social life is replaced with hour-long conversations about their lives when I catch them awake at 10:30pm to polish off that bag of grapes.
And it’s so good. But it’s hard.
My heavenly Father doesn’t spare me from the hard because He loves me enough to know what is best for His kids. He is with me. He walks with me. He comforts me. It shapes me. Molds me. Makes me who I am being perfected to be. It isn’t about a question why a loving God would allow sin to be here, but how is this showing me the love of God and His purpose for us all? How can I better learn and see the power of His Gospel? Without brokenness, imperfect and hard circumstance, we won’t be able to see His love, wholeness, perfection, and good through His power. God is not bound by time and He has already defeated all these things. We just aren’t there yet. We are still in the present time calling others to Him and sharing this good news of His Salvation through grace.
He is for me. And you, too.
If I am to reflect Christ in my motherhood, to keep my mind set on the eternal and heavenly promise, I must resist feeling like I must save them right now, control their circumstances, and protect them from physical and emotional pain all of their lives. On the same side, I must resist making fear-based decisions, decisions without prayer and discernment, and resist reversing truly God-influenced decisions just because something negative arises.
It is through the pain we see the Pain-Taker.
It is through the tears we see the Tear-Wiper.
It is through our failures we see the Grace-Giver.
It is through the shipwreck and the stoning we see a purpose and a Gospel worth the battle.
It is through the sin and shame that we see a Savior from it, once and for all.
Don’t throw your kids into the fire, no. But when the darkness comes out of nowhere, do we want to blind them from seeing the Light of the World that will overpower the darkness?
We walk with them. We point to Him. We pray over and over again. We strive to reflect Christ to our kids in how He comforts, loves, weeps with, cares for, feeds, prays over, teaches, disciples, and is gracious. We pause and discern. We rest before the journey. We learn from our Father first and seek His kingdom which will shape us even more.
As we are shaped and deepen our relationship with Christ, and our lives also continue forward and look different, our kids are invited into that. When the feeling to change course out of fear arises, continue in what God has called us to do even when the waters rise and the mountains tremble. Don’t run away, keep running into Him.
Scripture to look up:
2 Corinthians 4:18
1 Samual 30:1-6
2 Corinthians 11-12 (12:9-10)