I cried in class again yesterday. Two minutes into class, actually. With the teacher I only have every couple months and hadn’t seen in a long time.
Cambria told me the other night that she doesn’t want to live in Japan. She’s told me this before, but the way she continued her thought that night really, really struck me.
“I didn’t want to come to Japan. I wanted to stay in Florida and New Hampshire.”
The change in perspective is what did me in. When she says she doesn’t want to live in Japan, I think, life is about being places we don’t want to be sometimes. When transferred her voice to the past, I hear, “You made a life-changing decision for me that I didn’t want.”
To be fair, she was three when we moved here (the second time), lacking much comprehension of the implications of the move and capacity to express her opinion. I don’t want to make a mountain out of a molehill. I’m certain this won’t be the last time that we, as parents, make a decision in the best interest of the family that isn’t unanimously accepted.
But even more so, I don’t want to ever cause Cambria to feel that her feelings mean nothing. I’m not necessarily saying that we ought to move back to the States. I am necessarily saying that our kids need their voices to be heard and considered with respect and weight. I am necessarily saying that we need to be willing to sacrifice other things in order to not sacrifice our children, if our listening to and respectfully considering their voices tells us that sacrificing them is what will happen otherwise.
I know (secondhand and personally) too many missionaries’/preachers’/ministers’ children who were sacrificed for The Cause. I can’t imagine the heartbreak on all sides of that regret. I am so blessed by the families who have shared their personal pains with me in encouragement for our generation to change this epidemic. I’m blessed to have a teacher who radiates love for his family in such a way that you can’t help but realize what an invested father he is (rare in America, unheard of in Japan), whose four children exemplify his success in such.
What are your priorities? What do you need to give up to achieve success in them?