Scene: I’m washing dishes after dinner, and a little body is immovable by my side.
“Nathan, go upstairs and get in bed.”
“But, wherever you go, I’m gonna go, mama. I love you.”
“I know you love me. And I love you. But it’s time for bed.”
(Leans head into my leg. Kisses my leg.)
“I’m not going, mama. Wherever YOU go, I’LL go.”
“Ok, fine. I’ll walk you upstairs.”
Our family has endured our share of moves. My oldest child has lived in 3 different states, and he hasn’t even lived-out a full decade! Two of my children were born in a tropical town I’d only seen on a map as a child myself. And our shoe collection now ranges from flip flops to snow boots.
My husband and I did not move a lot as children, in fact, college was the first big “move” for both of us. Since frequent relocation wasn’t our norm, we both assumed we’d give the same life to our children. Our ideal was that they be raised in one place to “put down roots.”
Funny how our ideal doesn’t always match up with God’s ideal. But that’s God for you, always redefining our limited, temporal plans and transforming our perspective to reflect his eternal plans. Even if He has to use a young child.
Later that night, I thought deeply about what Nathan said, “Wherever you go, I’m gonna go, mama.” He finds perfect peace and contentment regardless of his zip code.
He can rejoice in the new adventures each move brings, because the people he wants to share these adventures with had come along. I long to embrace his sweet, content attitude more and more.
I get so caught up in eventually settling down somewhere, I miss the settling down happening right in front of me. My children are “putting down roots,” because God has given them the ultimate root: His love.
Right now for my young children, this love is displayed in the form of a loving family, whom they’d follow anywhere. But as they grow and mature, I pray they’ll realize that it was God’s love all along fulfilling the needs of their little hearts.
Ephesians 3:17 is such a beautiful picture of the type of roots I pray my children will establish. It reads, “Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.”
There is something to be said for residing in one place for a long period of time. I can’t deny I still long to live closer to immediate family and experience daily life with them. But I can’t let physical location trump what God says about true roots.
Roots that are established and grounded in His love–these are the best and finest roots I could ever hope for my children to put down. Then, no matter where they roam, no matter where we move, God’s love will be firmly established in their lives. And one day they’ll be able to respond, “Wherever you go God, I’ll go. I love you.”