Last week, the kiddos had their first long visit with their mom and this week they will have their first overnight visit. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have some anxiety about it. We have them both on a schedule and I like life that way. But I know I need to be flexible and their mom needs to do the parenting during these visits so I have to let it go.
I find myself thinking about how to handle these visits as they get longer and what it will be like when they eventually return to their mom in the fall. How will we handle it? How do I want to react? One thing I know for sure, we will be sad. That is just part of this journey we are on. I’m not sure there is much we can do to prepare ourselves for this loss and I’m expecting it to hit us like a wave and knock the wind out of us for a bit before we find our new normal again.
Loss can do a lot of things to a person. It can turn a person to melancholy, anger, bitterness and cynicism, all of which, to be honest, I’m personally inclined. I know to counter-act my human tendency toward these pitfalls, I need to cling to the promises of my Savior.
When I was in college, I listened to a series by Louie Giglio on dating. There is something he said in one of the sermons that has stuck with me to this day. His advice was applied to dating and he advised singles to approach first dates with this attitude: “It is great if you end up liking me but it really does not matter because I’m loved by the Creator of the Universe.” Simple, right? It speaks to how we define our importance and ourselves. I’m a child of God. All my other roles in this world are just extras.
I’m not defined by my role as a mother. My identity is in Christ. Being a wife and a mother is important to me but it is not who I am. These are roles that I value and cherish and desire but they are not me. I can easily (and sometimes do) turn these roles into idols and that will always end in disappointment. I know we will experience pain when kids leave our home but I find a lot of comfort in knowing God has a plan better than mine.