by Sandi Austin
Congratulations to the Heart of Longmont’s BASIC youth for leading what I heard was a wonderful service Sunday, and to the four graduating seniors among them. The excitement of this time of year is contagious, as we think back to our own children’s special time of accomplishment.
We remember all the cliches that accompanied the well wishes: Go out there and change the world … The future is yours … Reach for the stars … Your mountain is waiting. We send them out the door and into the world, hoping that the lessons we taught them are carried with them. And that includes instilling in them the importance of God in our lives.
As I look back on my husband’s and my years of raising three children, I remember the ups and downs. I also think of the little country church that played a major part in our lives. Our children learned how to persevere and have faith in God through Sunday School and Vacation Bible School.
Having been raised on the family farm in their earlier years, our three were no strangers to falls, cuts, bruises or animal bites – some small, some requiring emergency trips to town. A lot of praying took place on those rides to the hospital, and prayers were answered.
During a three-day blizzard that literally buried our home, we learned to adjust to life without electricity for three weeks. For the girls, it was a fun experience – a real-life “Little House On the Prairie!” When the storm’s aftermath kept us from getting to church, they held their own Sunday School with their Barbie dolls. God was definitely at work in these two little girls’ hearts.
For our son, it was serious business as he helped his dad check for post-blizzard livestock catastrophes. We prayed for the cows that didn’t make it and prayed over orphaned calves that we brought into the house to bottle-feed and nurse back to health. A few didn’t survive our attempts to save them but we saw our prayers at work with the ones that did. It was all a part of God’s plan and our children knew that, despite setbacks, the herd would grow again.
Faith teaches us that there can be triumph after hardship. And it’s through that faith that our children learn to never give up and to believe in themselves and their future. Eventually, all three of ours flew from the nest with confidence and, watching them as successful adults and parents themselves, we take comfort in knowing we did our job … with God’s help.