By Kate Beless

I am the parent of a two-and-a-half-year-old. 

The world is so new to him and it has been so interesting to watch him learn, especially what is appropriate socially. My two-year-old, probably not unlike most two-year-olds, has a hard time sharing, waiting, not screaming, and taking turns. Most of our play dates consist of me refereeing and trying to stay patient when I explain to him for the umpteenth time why he needs to share. 

To help him wait more patiently, we have taught him to count to ten (sometimes it takes a few times counting to ten…), and most of the time our conversations end with me explaining to him that even though he doesn’t like what I am asking, I never ask him to do something that is not for his benefit. I tell him that we have to think about other people, not just ourselves (in the best language you can explain that to a toddler with).  

The day I am writing this is December 17th. According to the plans that were set before us before we came over to Africa, we were supposed to have our feet on the ground in South Sudan on December 15th

Instead, the kids and I are still in Kampala and Brad is in South Sudan wrapping up construction on our houses. I don’t know why God has delayed our start in South Sudan, and I wrestle with why He brought us thousands of miles away from our families, especially during the holidays, just to wait in Kampala and be separated from each other. 

“How does this benefit your Kingdom, Lord? How are we going to reach the South Sudanese from Kampala? I am tired of waiting.”   

These are the questions I have asked Him, not in anger, just in confusion. 

That is when He gently reminded me of the same thing I tell Asher--that He never asks me to do something that is not for my benefit, and that essentially the world is not all about me. To agree to live in the will of God is scary, but freeing.

It is scary because I am completely surrendering my plans, my wants, my goals, and saying that I know God’s are better, even if they don’t feel that way in the moment. It is freeing, though, because it helps me to understand more and more that this world is not my home, that I am living for something more eternal, and that I know that God’s kingdom being glorified is more important than myself. 

Isn’t it cool how God uses our own parenting tactics to teach us as well? Maybe I will go count to ten now.