In our 24 years of marriage, my husband and I have had to make a lot of difficult decisions. The weight of those decisions have always been much greater when they affect our children. A recent one easily qualifies as a Top Five for us. But it wasn’t one made without a lot of thought and prayer.
We made the decision to leave our church and attend another one. I’ll be honest. Even typing those words brings an ache to my heart. The best way I can describe it is that it feels like an artery to the heart has been severed. It’s a connection we’ve had for more than 20 years now. You don’t walk away from a church you’ve attended that long without experiencing some sadness.
It’s the place that saved my soul, my marriage and my family. It’s a place of familiarity for my children…where they met their first best friends…where they grew spiritually and were received with grace when their relationship with the Lord was rocky. It’s a place I envisioned being at for the rest of my life, with the hope that my children and their children would also attend (not that I am discounting that possibility).
Our reasons for leaving are personal. But I definitely don’t want to leave the impression there is something wrong with the church. Our children understand that if they were to decide on their own to continue attending, we’d be more than happy about it. We’re not looking to pull them away. It’s just that for my husband and me, it’s the right decision.
Still…it affects them. I’ve heard the protests, questions and even slight anger over this decision. But when it comes down to it, we have to do what’s right for us as a couple. As much as I love my children, I’m closer to the time where it will be just my husband and I…which means I can’t allow their disappointment to cloud what’s best for us.
One of the reasons I know this was the right decision is that it wasn’t made hastily. It was with a great deal of contemplation and prayer. I can only hope that my children truly believe this.
Sometimes parents have to make difficult decisions. If we’re not 100% confident it’s the right one, this can result in guilt and fear. Guilt that we’ve got it all wrong and fear that our decision will cause negative consequences. But when our trust is in God—rather than our decision—there is no need to feel guilt or fear. We can know that it’s all under control. HIS control.
When facing a huge decision…such as how to educate a child, whether or not to move or choosing between working outside the home versus staying at home…seek God. Keeping seeking until you feel at peace with His answer. When faced with any decisions, big or small, know that you can find assurance in the outcome if God is part of the process.
© 2015, Stephanie Romero