As a kid, I loved reading and re-reading Choose Your Own Adventure books to find the best possible outcome. Eaten by a shark? No problem. Return to page 65 and make a better choice. But there are no take-backs in real life. We are who we are in part because of the choices we made.
Taking my kids around places I grew up reminds me of how my choices intersected with God’s sovereignty to give me the life I am so grateful for today. What if I had chosen a different school? Another major? What if I had dated other people or hadn’t dated the people I did? We make thousands of decisions every day, and some seemingly inconsequential choices can have rippling effects.
I don’t often wonder about whether our kids should be growing up overseas. Someone once told us God’s will for us is God’s will for our young children, and that makes sense. But every so often I do find myself thinking about what their lives would look like on this side of the ocean.
Like when we visit my primary school, surrounded by cornfields, and they never looked so happy running through green grass and breathing clean air. Or when my daughter catches sight of the little waterfall flowing through the village of Williamsville, where during college I devised an elaborate plan to own a stately house, and whispers, “Mommy! It’s so beautiful!”
Choose Your Own Adventure: Second Generation. How are my choices impacting my children’s future lives? We could live in a great school district, surrounded by family who adore them. Some people would say that we should. But I am less interested in their surroundings than in their character, which is refined in submission to a greater plan than mine. Ultimately, I want them to learn to hear and obey God’s will for their lives: overseas, or wherever He leads them.
As my grandpa used to say, we only go this way once. We make choices for keeps, and there’s no opportunity to skip around to an alternate ending. This shouldn’t discourage us. The Author and Finisher of our faith is writing a brilliant story with the intersection of billions of choices every day. We don’t know the outcomes, but we can trust the One who does.