Oh, I’ve had my doubts.
Not just moments of “I wonder if…” kind of doubts, but the wrestling-with-God “what am I doing to my children” kind of doubts.
In our first year in this country, a teammate quoted Lottie Moon, “If I had a thousand lives, I’d give them all for China.” I wanted to wholeheartedly echo an amen. But that night, lying in bed, I didn’t know if I could offer up and give those three little lives sleeping in the next room. I thought of all they would be missing. Of how different their childhood would be than mine. Of how much their identity would be wrapped up in being a “foreigner”.
Did the Father settle that struggle immediately? Nope. It was months later, after many restless nights of counting the cost, He convinced me that anywhere else in the world – with all its “advantages and opportunities”- could only be second best for my kids. Because here is where He called us. All of us.
Fast forward 8 years. I again struggled to surrender my perceptions of what constituted “best” for our three children. Ironically, this time pleading for God to let us stay in this foreign place where our children had grown tall and strong with deep roots. This had become home for them. Back to my knees, I confessed my lack of trust in His goodness. This time, His response was immediate, “You can trust Me. My Father heart is so much bigger than your mother heart.”
That truth settled deep. Highlighting the provisions. Enriching the adventures. Comforting the heartaches. Silencing the doubts.
I know there are times you are weary and unconvinced of the validity of raising your family in a cross-cultural context. It can seem easier to be there than here. No doubt your situation is not ideal by any commonly held “standards”. The grass looks – and maybe is – greener on the other side of the world.
But if God has called you here, He’s called your children as well for this season of their lives. He’s chosen the sorrows, as well as the joys, of this lifestyle for your children. Rest in knowing He has assigned your child’s portion and cup. The boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places. Surely your children have a delightful inheritance. (Psalm 16:5-6).
We have only glimpses of what God is doing in our children – how this place specifically chosen for them is shaping their interests, gifts, and passions. You, mom, are providing a rich inheritance for your children. How they spend that inheritance is up to them, squandering it on pursuits the treasure was never intended for or living out a Kingdom destiny carved out for them by your obedience. The value of the treasure of the inheritance remains the same.
Be blessed, my sister, in your irreplaceable service to your family – and through them, to the nations and future generations.
I’ll be hanging out here today, and I’d love to hear where you are at in this journey of trust.
P.S. I’m excited — tomorrow my daughter will share with us!