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.
When my husband was first diagnosed with a brain tumor 10 years ago, my kids were 12 and 7. I remember one day, talking to The Lord about the effect and toll this would take on our kids. He spoke (almost out loud) and reassured me that his grace comes in child sized packages. Many times, I have reminded myself of this truth. My husband still has cancer and has had 2 craniotomies and has completed 27 months of chemo. I can’t begin to tell you all the amazing ways, God has used this struggle in their lives! Prayers for you and yours!
Hi friends. It is beautiful outdoors today, as long as you don’t have to drive in it. It seems that we are getting a winter’s worth of weather in March. Don’t worry about your kids. You have shown by example as well as speech what faith is. Continue doing what you have been doing. You are wonderful parents. You have marvelous kids. It won’t be long and you will be parenting teenagers and then adult children. Although the seasons of life change, the chance to display God’s wisdom and grace does not. We parent as long as we have breath. We make mistakes because we are human and God honors the desires of our hearts that align with his will. It is certainly his will that our children be saved and bear fruit. I will pray for your children and you can pray for mine. I love you both and count you as my friends. God bless.
Thank you so much for you heart felt reflection on these past 40 days along with how God is working in your lives through this very difficult season. All of your posts and the comments from others have really been an inspiration to us. Your post on the kids faith espeically hit home. Our oldest is just starting to really get her head, and hopefully heart, around what it means to believe and follow Jesus. It’s a prayer we’ve prayed many times, probably not enough, but by God’s grace we hope all our girls are called to Him. I know you have created a Christ centered marriage and home for all the kids to see and it’s evident in how it has sustained you all through this trial.
We pray that God’s healing hand will continue to be on Tara and a peace that passes all understanding to the rest of the family.
Jon, Cindy and Family
I didn’t really believe in the importance of peers for our kids until watching some of our kids go through adolescence. Your kids have God’s acceptance, and your acceptance. Acceptance from God and then from parents is ultimately freeing and powerful. To a lesser degree, but still important, is peer acceptance. Thankfully your children/adolescents have wonderful friends who love and accept them as they are. That is a huge blessing. And don’t worry, you’ll always be their hero, even if they won’t let on for a few years. They may not ask for the hugs and cuddles as teens, but don’t worry they still want them from you!