When we first moved overseas our oldest daughter really missed home. She longed for the normal she’d known and the permanence that had grounded her. She wanted nothing more than to return. But we had no plans of going back to the States (in fact we knew more moves lay ahead as part of our journey). My heart ached for her. I wanted her to find comfort & hope. This desire turned into what has become one of my most important ministries these last 6 years: teaching my kids -and celebrating with them- the truth that home is not just a place but a person.
The longer I am a mom, though, I realize that this ministry is not limited to the parent who lives overseas. In some way or another we are all longing for home, even if we have never moved.
Our kids are, like us, irreversibly and deeply human. And humans are made for home. We are always craving the stability, comfort, rest, protection and nourishment that home provides. And while we would want childhood to be a season of life where loss and grief stay mostly at bay…that is not often the case.
Real life happens. Our kids encounter loss. Death. Grief. A sibling with chronic pain or disability. Persistent health issues. Multiple moves. Marriage problems between parents. We protect them as much as we can but we can’t shield them from the hurt. They struggle with fear, anxiety, depression, anger & doubt.
Behind many of our kids’ behaviors and attitudes there are profound needs rooted in their design for being & feeling at home. What if we recognized that the ways our kids cope with a broken world is them looking for their true home? What if, aware of this, we realize that the entry gate to reach their hearts is their suffering, not just their sin? What if compassion fueled more how we parent them? What if we intentionally connected them to the Person – the Home – who alone is able to give them all the comfort, nurture and rest they crave?
Over the month of October I will be hosting a series here about teaching our kids to abide in love & to know their lasting home even as we are in motion here on Earth.
Would you join me as we explore together how we can recognize our kids’ deeper needs and the ways that celebrating together our at home-ness in God through Christ soothes and gives new life to their hearts?