Today 2 of our kids went off skiing with a friend and her friend’s dad. Two more kids went to a friend’s house. I am so thankful for trusted friends who are an extension of Tara and I to our children. That’s how it’s been over the last 40 days. We haven’t been able to personally give our kids the same attention and opportunities as we did before. Others have helped.
What will our children remember of this time in their lives? Will they feel that we pushed them aside for something more important? Will they resent the fact that we could not do as many things with them of for them?
I asked Micalyn yesterday, “What is your favorite thing to do?” “Friends” she quickly stated. It wan’t what, it was who. I didn’t know how to feel about her answer. Maybe I was hoping to still hear, “Cuddle with you, Daddy.” I wish. And while I am thankful for her friends, I want Mic to value friendships with her siblings. I realize the days of being her hero are over. That is okay, but in context of what is happening in our lives, I have concern. I want Tara and I to continue to give all 5 of our children love, affection, spiritual guidance, life opportunity and stability.
The first 3 on that list will always be our key responsibilities. The fourth is one that we can facilitate and delegate to trusted friends and family. But the fifth, WOW! Whether Tara got cancer or not, we had to come to grips with the fact that we cannot be our children’s stability forever. We have given lip service to it since the day they were born. We have prepared them by pointing them to Jesus; praying that they encounter him personally. Psalm 40:3 is true for them as much as for Tara and I. “He set their feet upon a rock, giving them a firm place to stand.” This has forced us to let go a bit more.
Since January 30, we have prayed that this experience will be pivotal in our kids’ faith journey. The toll will accumulate and eventually they will have to ask themselves the hard questions. I pray fervently that each of them will have a firm place to stand when those questions come. That their feet will not be set on shifting sand. That they will seek sound, solid answers to their hard questions.