Guest post by Ruth from Just Dabblin‘
High winds will definitely change our course in life, but the choices we make during these times of darkness are the pivotal points that determine where we will finally dock.
As parents we have a responsibility to guide children through times of trouble and to catch them when they fall. They don’t understand how to grieve any more than we do, and so they look to us for those cues that will lead them through pain toward peace.
These words from Darlene Schacht in her guest post at Amy Bayliss’ blog reminded me of a time a number of years ago when my oldest son was about 4. We had been expecting our third child and, just at the beginning of the second trimester, a scan revealed that our baby had died. I remember coming home and taking my son and daughter upstairs for their afternoon sleep. Peter was not home but I wanted to tell the children before their grandmother arrived and we left to see the doctor. Hannah (2 ½) took it in her stride but Jonathan was quite upset. We had a special discussion that afternoon and covered some pretty essential theological concepts in a very 4 year old way. The thing that really sticks in my mind though, was the final question Jonathan asked.
“If God gives us another baby, will He take that baby away too?” Wow, and I thought, “Will my guinea pig go to heaven?” was hard! I believe God gave me the answer for Jonathan that day, and it is an answer I have held onto myself many times over the last 6 years.
“I don’t know Jonathan, but I do know that if He does I will be sad, but I also know that we can trust Him and that He will do the very best thing for us and for the baby.” How very, very thankful I was 6 months later, that that had been my answer. We sat again, facing the death of another child at 12 weeks gestation. I was thankful that I had given my son a true hope, which I KNEW would never be disappointed. I could have reasoned that a four year old needed to hear that God was good and kind and wouldn’t do that again. But that kind of false hope and comfort only brings disappointment and disillusionment.
Many people questioned the wisdom of actually telling the children of our pregnancies, especially after the first miscarriage. But we chose to allow the uncertainty of my pregnancies to be a training ground for them in trusting God. Not only trusting Him that He would allow our babies to be born into our family (as He has for our two younger living sons) but also trusting Him that His plans for these babies may not be ours (as has been the case for three babies). That was our decision and we are aware that God may lead others to different ways of walking this path.
Allowing our children to share our pain, with some discretion, and sharing the same hope that we hold onto is, to me, one of the vital ways I point my children to Christ and to a living faith. God tells us that there will be some things we won’t understand, some things are His to know. But there are things He has revealed about Himself, His character and His promises, which He has given us to hold onto and to share with our children. These are the things which will help us to walk through life before Him. (Deut 29:29) I know that their understanding of God and His character and His ways have been shaped by our pointing them to a mighty, loving, and sovereign God through these difficult times. I pray that God will use that in their hearts as He weaves together many threads and draws them to Himself.
I know that Amy and Ryan will be pointing the boys to that same God, and that the hope and faith they have in Him will never disappoint or fail them. What a wonderful comfort in a situation none of us ever want to face. May God give them answers to those pivotal questions, both for themselves and for the boys.
“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.”
Deuteronomy 29:29 (NIV)