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Monday, March 21, 2011

"I'm Going to Miss You"

"I'm going to miss you," were the words my almost-five-year-old daughter said to a good friend who babysat her one evening over the weekend. She was being tucked into bed, they said a prayer together and then she said "I'm going to miss you." Our good friend asked her to clarify, and Faith explained, "When we move to Madagascar, I'm going to miss you."

I am very thankful we were made aware of this because it has been easy to think that our preparations and plans have gone on fairly 'unnoticed' by our young children. My, how mistaken we've been. Faith is far more perceptive and understanding then we give her credit for, and now I am stepping back and thinking about how my other two "babies" might be affected by this ongoing transition stage. I have liked to believe it is just their normal. How would they know any different? But children pick up on stresses and anxious feelings parents and adults are feeling. They know something is 'up.' And for my 5 year old, she understands in very plain language that Grandma and Grandpa and Oma and her aunties and uncles and friends from church and neighbors will not be nearby when we move. She understands that Skype is a way people who live far away from each other communicate.

Because of this, my sensitivity level toward them is increasing. As we move through this adjustment period (which will likely last a couple of years), please pray for wisdom for us as parents. To know how to help prepare them, to know how to comfort them, to know how to help them be excited to learn new things, to know new people. Please pray for grace for us toward them, as our children likely act out their own anxiety with extra disobedience and frustration. Not that we would condone bad behavior, or make excuses for it, but that we would know how to effectively train them up in the knowledge of God and the strength He promises to give us as we take on new challenges in each season of life.