I have always firmly believed that when our Father calls a family He has a plan for the entire family in that call. Nevertheless, I still do not like to watch my children struggle. One morning recently I woke up groggy after not sleeping well. I had been thinking about my son’s struggle in his school situation, one for which there just does not 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 do think there are many positives 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 sacrifice a lot to do what we do—and I already have, but I will NOT sacrifice my children. Doing what is best for them is a priority. After all, they have been given to us to raise. I will NOT sacrifice them. It would not be right!
I have 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 had been punched in the gut, and I wept into the dishwater.
At bedtime the night before, our seven-year-old had read to 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 was saying I would not 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 drives home the point of how “anti” my Father they are, and what a bondage they are to those who pay homage to them. I do not want idols in my life.
Am I making idols of my children? The thought had not 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, whom I am not quite ready to let go, leave and learn to fly. While I am not glorifying sacrifice for sacrifice’s sake, when He calls I will put Him first. I will do what He asks and trust that He will “provide the ram” in their lives.