It is one thing to have faith to leave family, friends, church, a support system, etc. It requires a whole other level of faith to do this to your children. Not many things grieve me like the idea of my children growing up without the everyday influence of their grandparents (including a godly great granny), aunts, and uncles. Taking my kids away from their beloved cousins, friends, and the only church they’ve ever known was not something we took lightly in making a decision to come to Ohio. You might be thinking, “hey, Ohio is only 6 1/2 hours away” but to us this feels like the other side of the earth compared to what we have enjoyed with extended family. Every family member not only lived within a five mile radius, but also attended our church. We did life, the dailies of life, with our family.
So why in the world would we take our kids away from such a good thing? We believe God called us to do it, and they won’t suffer because of His faithfulness to His Word. Jesus said in Mark 10: 29 Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.
I recall having a conversation with my mother in law where I was expressing anxiety over taking my children away from all that was familiar, and I’ll never forget her unwavering faith for them. She, a grieving grandmother, was able to say without blinking an eye, “your children are going to be fine.” Debbie had relocated many times – not for church planting, but still in obedience to God’s will for their lives – and was able to say from past experience of God’s faithfulness to her own children that not only would they be fine, they would thrive.
Now, with almost a year under our belts I can tell you that my children are doing fine. In fact, they have made this transition much more easily than I have. They are loving our church. They have made many friends. They are well-loved by so many people here. And most importantly, they are experiencing in a unique way what it means to really give ourselves to the furtherance of the gospel.
I want to post a couple of more practical thoughts on relocating with kids. But let me just end with saying that if you considering relocating with little ones, put your faith in God that they will not just get through it, they grow and flourish through it.