I’m not a worrier, but preparing to bring my oldest daughter back to India was worrisome for me. I had made the trip many times when she was a baby and young toddler and I wasn’t bothered about bringing my younger daughter for her first time to India, but bringing my now “big girl” at 3.5 years of age concerned me. She is old enough to notice all of the extreme differences, but too young for me to prepare her for it. I knew all that she was leaving behind and all of the extreme differences and dangers she would face.
I moved forward and was determined that though it wouldn’t be easy she would be fine, but I didn’t really have peace about it until…
I went on a one day retreat a week before we left for India. As music was playing and I was worshipping & praying, I realized I could trust the Lord’s love not only for myself but for my daughter too. I walked away with this reassurance:
She’s not too little to experience God’s love for her.
She’s not too little to learn from challenging circumstances.
She’s not too little to develop her own personal relationship with Jesus.
This move is challenging, but I can trust God to be with her just as He is with me.
God gave her to us knowing that we move to and from India: she is uniquely designed for this.
Wow. Then I knew that peace that passes understanding in this situation too. I thought about the quote “God doesn’t have any grandchildren” (E. Stanley Jones). Until that point in my life I had only applied this to myself that I couldn’t depend on my parents’ faith, but had to develop my own personal relationship with God. Now I viewed that phrase with a whole new perspective that my daughters had to develop a personal faith of their own and that the Lord already desired that relationship with them.
I love my daughters and will mother them to the best of my ability by God’s grace, but I understand that I only have them for a time. Lord willing, their lives and impact will extend beyond my own. It is not my job to shelter them from challenges, but rather love them in whatever they face and point them toward our Heavenly Father. They are His. I’ve entrusted myself to Him long ago and I entrust my daughters to Him too.
Though these last few months in India have brought challenges they have also brought so much joy! My daughters love all of their “big brothers and sisters” at the children’s home. They love the wildlife that we see everyday from lizards to water buffaloes. They even have both developed a palate for spicy food and enjoy riding in auto rickshaws. I see a real empathy growing in my oldest daughter’s heart as she asks about all of the needs she sees around her. She also reminds me to pray for people and asks for prayer for herself when doesn’t feel well. For all of this and for so much more, I give thanks and praise the Lord for working in my life and in my daughters’ lives.