Last night we arrived home from a perfectly amazing vacation in Georgia, but we ended the evening in tears. The place where Ruby Mae’s cage stood for six years was empty.
And it hurt.
prepared for bed, still hearing sniffles in the room down the hall, and I
started thinking about all that my daughters have endured this past
year. They felt the heartbreak of saying ‘good-bye’ to our foster
daughter, only to have their world rocked just weeks later when I took a
pregnancy test. Soon after, they were present when we were notified of
our unborn baby’s diagnosis, and lived through the appointments
following which documented her many health issues. They witnessed their
mama completely shatter and were helpless to fix me in my brokenness
and despair. In December, they dealt with the death of a friend, and in
February, their world was turned upside down with the addition of a
newborn into our home. Shortly following Emmy’s birth, they grieved the
loss of their beloved Paw Paw, and this summer they discovered that
people can turn and be unkind and mean. Then last week, they buried
their favorite, priceless pet.
And it hurts.
want to protect our children from the heartache that living this life
brings. It’s our job, it’s our entire life’s goal. We want to help
them take cover during a divorce, and be picked first for the team. We
want them to be popular and loved, first in their class, and always
healthy. We want pets and loved ones to live forever, skinned knees to
never be. We want our children to be forever content, forever happy.
But at some point, we’re faced with the reality that it’s an impossible
And it hurts.
But then I started thinking about who I
want my girls to be when they’re grown. Do I want them to be striving
for popularity or helping the orphaned and the needy? Do I want them to
be yearning to be the best or do I want them to give their best to
another? Do I want them to always expect something from others, or do I
want them to show others grace because of their love for Christ? Do I
want them to shy away from caring out of fear of loss, or do I want them
to love without condition. Just like Jesus.
As I held my little
girls last night in their tears, I realized that I’m not raising my
children to be just another adult in the human race. I’m raising
warriors. Strong, fierce, mighty, beautiful warriors. They have seen
God’s wisdom when our foster daughter went to her forever family, they
saw God’s faithfulness when we found out we were pregnant. They saw
God’s miraculous healing power when all of Emmy’s health issues
disappeared before our eyes, and they felt God’s comfort when they read
of their friend’s love for Jesus and knew they’d meet again. They felt
God’s joy when they held their baby sister for the first time, and they
felt God’s peace when they said their good-byes to their Paw Paw. They
knew of God’s confidence when working through issues with other
children, and now they are feeling His arms surround them in their pain
of losing Ruby.
Yes, it still hurts. But war usually does.
The fact is that in order to raise warriors for Jesus, they will have to
face the battlefield. The same battlefield we’ve worked their entire
lives to avoid.
I’ll always cry when they cry, I’ll always hurt
when they’re in pain, but now I’ll choose to see them dressed in the
armor of God, positioned to take up their cross. I will see them
continuously readying for the fight.
And I will know that with their God before them, behind them, and beside them, they will be unbeatable.