As you already know if you’ve been reading my blog this last month, we recently left our church home of ten years. It was the only church my daughter had ever stepped foot in, so her response to visiting new churches has at times been interesting (it has also involved a lot of squirming and jumping on pews in the churches without children’s church programs). Last week we were visiting a particular church for the second time, and as we rode in the car on the way she said from the back seat, “Why don’t we go to our other church anymore?”
Lyndie and I just stared out the windshield, each hoping the other would field that one. After a few seconds of preschool eyes drilling into the back of my head I completely evaded the question with, “We’re just visiting some other churches, honey.” Thanks, Dad, that wasn’t an answer. Fortunately it was enough for her at the time, even though it was knowledge she already had or she wouldn’t have needed to ask in the first place.
We’ve been unsure how to explain this transition to Yosi. Certainly our situation is easier than it could be, because we aren’t leaving due to any problems in our church. There are no awkward, grown-up controversies to try to translate for her young mind. We’re still friends with people at Grace, and Yosi still gets to see her friends from there. Still, it’s the only church she’s ever known, and part of our delay in deciding to leave was our reluctance to pull her away from a secure, loving environment when, you know, that kind of already happened once in her life.
She’s young; she’ll adapt. Kids are resilient. And like I said, we’re not having to explain some horrible conflict. But when she asked us in the car I felt for a moment like we were trying to explain an amicable divorce to our kid, even though it obviously isn’t that drastic.
If you’ve left a church and have kids, how did you explain it to them? Even if you haven’t had to do that, have you ever considered how you would?