Linked closely to the understanding of God's love for us is that of our trust for Him. We must show our children that God is trustworthy regardless of how things may appear at the moment. Sharing from our own life as well as stories from the Bible helps us to understand that God knows what He is doing even when we don't. That there is more to the picture than what we see, and that our role is to trust. Pray daily for your children to know and experience God's love for them on a deep and personal level.

In my 30's I experienced another time of great loss and pain. Again, I questioned God. I felt hurt, alone, and even betrayed. This time, however, instead of running from God, I ran to Him. I took Him my questions and anger and pain. It still took a great deal of time to heal, but my wrestling with God brought me closer to Him in the end. That is what I want for my children. That they would be secure enough in God's love and trust Him enough that they will turn to Him rather than from Him in their inevitable times of confusion and sorrow.

I've also learned, and want my children to know, that God will give us the grace and peace necessary to deal with life's difficulties if we ask. Our role is to accept that gift. That can sound much easier than it is. So often, we focus on the injustice or our "right" to be hurt, angry, etc. As long as we stay there, we are rejecting God's gift of grace. If He enables us to forgive or accept or experience peace, then we need to accept that and not let our mind take control, convincing us of how we "should" feel or have the "right" to react.

Now, in my 40's, life is still not pain-free. There are great joys, to be certain, but the sorrows and struggles are ever-evident. I think, though, that I am finally beginning to accept them as a necessary and even positive part of my growth and relationship with Christ. Years ago, I read a quote that I've been unable to find since. At the time, I didn't understand how it could be possible. It went something like, "We will experience peace when we welcome sorrow with our arms open as wide as when we welcome joy."

I'm finally beginning to understand that. It comes from a deep trust in God's love for me; an understanding that He is with me. He WILL give me the grace to accept a situation and move forward. It is up to me whether to accept or reject that grace. In seeking comfort from Him, I can share in His pain and grow to know Him more intimately.

This is a far cry from the teenager who rejected God because He was "unfair" and felt she could never measure up or earn His love. It has been a long and painful journey and I know there is still a good way to go. I just hope that by sharing my mistakes and struggles, showing my children a different way of responding, and firmly rooting them in the knowledge of God's love for them, they will be able to skip some of the more painful steps in their own walk.

As I write this article, we are preparing for the funeral of my husband's 97 year old grandmother. She was a godly woman and a true treasure. It would be impossible to count the many lives she has touched. Even while living each day fully and with abundant love, she's talked, the last several years, of being ready to go and be with her Father. So her passing, though sad, is filled with joy as well. I pray that my children experience the same trust and love for their Father that their great-grandmother knew.

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Dena Wood is a homeschooling mom of five in Eastern Washington State. She is co-owner of www.TriggerMemorySystem.com, producers and marketers of non-traditional learning materials and creators of www.TimesTales, a multiplication memorization system. She and her partners also operate www.CreativeHomeschooling.com, which offers creative learning tips and ideas. Dena can be contacted at triggermemory@charter.net

This article was originally published in the Mar/Apr '07 issue of Home School Enrichment Magazine. For more information, visit http://HomeSchoolEnrichment.com