|Hanging out by the cool fountain downtown.|
One of my biggest concerns about church planting was, "How were our kids going to take the big news?" We have been so blessed to be youth pastoring in our current home church for almost 10 years. That is right folks 10 years…that is unheard of for a youth pastor these days. My children are 11, 9 (this month) and 3; so as you can see this is the only town, church, schools they have ever known. All you moms out there now understand how much this broke my heart.
|Playing with all the doors at the HUGE antique mall!|
I was concerned about so many things. Are they going to like Bay City? Are they going to find good Christian friends? Are they going to be mad at us…especially my junior higher? Are they going to be angry, sad, upset? What if they do not want to go? Will leaving their best friends break their hearts? To say the least I was worried.
John and I decided about a year ago to begin to lay the ground work with them about the idea of moving. We figured that if we just waited and “dropped the bomb” on them without any inclinations of moving that it was going to backfire on us. Plans need to be made to make this an easy transition for us and for them. We wanted God to be in every part of this new adventure, even in the hearts of our children.
|Eating our yummy candy from the awesome candy shop.|
|Exploring new places and seeing new friends.|
Secondly, God’s call is really important to us and it is important to our kids as well. If God is calling us to do a different ministry, then He is calling them too. We want our children to hear from God what He would want us to do and where He wants us to go. There is nothing more that I want then for them to have ownership in God’s business. Obedience is just as important as hearing God’s call. Our little ones need to understand that when God asks us to do something, even if it is hard or hurts, we need to do it.
Next, I began to realize that we need to allow them to feel. If they are angry, they need to express it. If they are sad, they may need to cry. If they are hurting, they may need us to give them a break. With all these feelings, we need to help them release them in a good and productive ways. So, we have been very sensitive to allow them feel the things they need to feel about this move.
Lastly, the key to help our children to have a successful transition to a new home is to bath them in prayer. If you do not do anything else, please pray for your kids. We could read all the books, scour the internet for help, or even take them to a counselor; but if we do not get the Lord involved then all our efforts are in vain. God will do so much more than anything I could ever contrive. He will prepare their hearts. He will comfort their sadness. He will love them in the perfect way they need to feel love.
I remember the day before we actually told the kids we were moving. I spent some time at the altar at church. I wept for quite some time. I was so worried about breaking their little hearts. God reminded me of His love for them. In fact, He reminded me that He loved them more than me. I just needed to trust Him. It is so hard for me to imagine that He loves them more…but He does! WOW! He had this in control and I needed to leave my worries at the foot of the cross.
|Taking a walk in the beautiful state park with grandpa & grandma|
When we told the kids, they took the news far better than I could have imagined. Of course they cried; but, they were excited. We have our moments of sadness and we all take some time to feel it. But, I am happy to say that they truly are “all about” doing God’s will. I like to say that is because of my great parenting skills; but, that would be totally wrong. I truly believe my kids responded the way they did; because of God’s faithfulness and our obedience.
God’s not just calling John and I, He is calling even the 11, almost 9 and 3 year old! He has a plan for all of us.
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
We will be obedient, listen, follow and