I have always firmly believed that when our Father calls a family He has a plan for the entire family in it. But I still don’t like to watch my children struggle. One morning recently I woke up groggy after not sleeping well. I’d been thinking about how one of my sons has been really struggling in his school situation, but there just doesn’t seem to be a good alternative right now. The fact that my oldest daughter will be leaving and going far away to university in less than a year was sinking in as well. While I think there is an awful lot of positive in the life of a Third Culture Kid, I was grieving about some of the ways our lifestyle was impacting our kids as well.
I boiled the electric kettle for hot water to do the morning dishes while a monologue ran inside my head. “I am willing to and I have already sacrificed a lot to do what we do, but I will NOT sacrifice my children. Doing what is best for them is a priority. After all they’ve been given to us to raise. I will NOT sacrifice them. It wouldn’t be right.”
I’ve had variations of this conversation with myself many times before, but this time a Still Small Voice firmly interrupted my thoughts, “………………….But what if I asked you to?” I felt like I’d been punched in the gut and I wept into the dishwater.
The night before at bedtime our 7 year-old had read me the story of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac. In that moment at my kitchen sink I remembered that my Father had tested Abraham’s willingness to do the very thing I said I wouldn’t do.
I live in a city surrounded by literal, physical idols. While I know that there are idols of a different sort in my passport culture as well, seeing them where I live nails the point home of how ‘anti’ my Father they are and what a bondage they are to those who pay homage to them. I don’t want idols in my life.
But what if I’m making idols of my children? The thought hadn’t occurred to me before!
After a while I wiped my face with a sudsy hand and sorted my heart out with my Father.
I may have to keep watching my son flounder in his school situation for now. I will have to see my daughter who I’m not quite ready to let go leave and learn to fly. But while I'm not glorifying sacrifice for sacrifice's sake, when He calls I will put Him first, do what He asks, and trust that He will ‘provide the ram’ in their lives.