“When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for 3 months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile.”
– Exodus 2:2b-3 NIV
As 2011 transitioned into 2012, I was inspired to share this story of a parent being separated from its child to begin to teach my children about faith and how to cope with the challenges they faced mentally/emotionally in not being able to see me as often and frequently as they had been accustomed to. When the transition initially began, my children’s routine and schedule with seeing me did not change. They would see me 2-3 times a week after school and every other weekend. This went on for a number of years from the initial separation in 2005. Unexpectedly, we began to encounter a new transition within the transition. Rising debt, limited income to lower debt due to child support and having my car repossessed put my children and I in an unfamiliar place not being able to see each other until the weekend they were scheduled to visit me. When we saw each other I would take moments to talk with them to find out how they were feeling. It was important to me they learned to articulate and express how the transition was impacting them because of the work I do and the challenges I faced growing up as a child who experienced the transition of separation and divorce.
I explained to them the necessity of visiting their school counselor should they encounter feelings that would impact them due to the long periods of separation. explaining to them how I experienced what they were facing too, I reminded them I never saw my father again after age 4, but choosing to allow that to disable them from being productive and successful in school is not acceptable. It was important to me to express to them the expectation of resiliency and learning to cope responsibly with unexpected moments and feelings of hurt and disappointment. One time when I was unable to pick up my children to see them, shortly after that while walking in the grocery store my son (now 9) explained he was disappointed that he did not get to see me. I expressed to him my understanding and told him how proud I was to hear him express to me how he felt appreciating his courage to talk about how he felt. He also mentioned, within the last month, going to see his counselor at school for a visit to talk about the sadness he was feeling. Another unexpected moment occurred, when I had to finally relinquish the apartment due to the debt and inability to remain current with rent. This happened in November 2011. It was within this time frame we discussed the story of Moses and his mother.
Moses’ mother had to make a difficult decision in separating herself from her son. Though the circumstances are not surrounding separation and divorce, the reality of being separated from their parent is how I learned to use this story to convey the message of hope to my children that God would help us see each other though not as frequently. At the end of February, with their new bibles, my children and I and my mother reviewed this story again as a way to revisit the reality of being separated from their parent. We read together what the bible says about Moses and his mother and also read how they were reunited, because Pharaoh’s daughter asked Miriam, Moses’ sister, to go and find someone who would help raise the child, an idea suggested by Miriam who followed the basket placed in the water by Moses’ mother. Miriam went and brought Moses’ mother back to Pharaoh’s daughter to raise Moses and Pharaoh’s daughter agreed to pay Moses’ mother to raise him. Her willingness to let go, and trust God by faith, brought an unexpected blessing despite the unexpected difficult moment of the separation from her child.
May God grant you peace and strength to bless you and help you let go of what will inhibit progress during your transition so you can receive the unexpected blessings and favor He’ll give in return because you’re trusting Him by faith.