Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Perseverance Through Seasons of Change

Photo image courtesy of Arnel Manalang via 123rf.com

"Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
    wisdom and power are his. 
He changes times and seasons;
    he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
    and knowledge to the discerning.
He reveals deep and hidden things;
    he knows what lies in darkness,
    and light dwells with him..."
~ Daniel 2:20-22 ~

Have you ever found a really great teacher for your child?  Someone who discerns just how much to push, while still maintaining incredible compassion?  Someone who is so effective that they just bring the best out of your child?  Then the school year comes to an end.  A new one starts, and the current teacher that leads your child is nothing like that one who had your child thriving.

Or have you worked on figuring out a part of your child's treatment, one that's given you trouble?  After years of learning your child's rhythms or physical cues, you finally get it down.  The difficulty is controlled.  Crises are far less frequent.  Life is normalized.  Then suddenly, your child goes through a growth spurt, or puberty, and you are right back to square one, feeling lost, confused, and upset at returning to an unpredictable life.

CHANGE...  It is an inevitability of life.

While there's so much of us that wants change for our children, there's also a huge part that doesn't.  Change signifies growth, increased ability, hope, and newness.  However, change can also bring turmoil, bewilderment, uncertainty, and fear.  Often times the ugly parts of these seasons of transition lead us to the good ones.

That's where life gets icky for parents like us.  Face it, there's an extra measure of exhaustion in parenting children like ours.  Problems are a bit more complex.  We CRAVE for something to be simple... dare I say it, normal...  even if it is our own, revised standard of normal.  The challenges of change upset that apple cart, often robbing us of that elusive desire.

Because parents like us are frequently in this precarious season of change more than once, we are in a unique position to learn God's deep truth in ways typical families are not -- Circumstances may change, but our faithful God remains constant.  

In today's devotional passage, Daniel is at a crossroads.  Taken into captivity to Babylon with Israel's best and brightest, Daniel faces execution along with all of the other wise men of the kingdom, because no one can describe the king's dream to him or interpret it.  Rather than fixing his eyes on the dire circumstances swirling around him, Daniel turns to an unchanging God, who he knows is capable of intervening in this situation.  A confession of praise goes out from his mouth, proclaiming God's faithful reliability, even through the tumult of change.

If the Lord is so clearly reliable in a major situation affecting an entire nation like this, can we not trust him in the changes of our children's lives?  He assures us in James 1:17, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." (NIV; Emphasis mine)  We may have no clue what is going on with our child or how to exactly improve things in the immediate-term, but our Maker does.

When we feel battered about by unwelcome change, God is there not only as our anchor, but also to help us adapt.  No other hope can establish our perseverance like this constancy of our Eternal Father.

PRAY:  LORD, happy are the adaptable!  Thank You for offering the hope of that adaptation in me.  Holy Spirit, remind me when changes and turmoil discourage, that You are there with unshifting reliability.  May Your Name be praised for such faithfulness!

~ Barb Dittrich


  1. AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!! I needed this sooooooo very much! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

    1. So glad it blessed you, Tam! You know I'm sharing the truth with myself as much as anyone else when I write these things.

  2. Thank you for this post, Barb. We placed our severely autistic, non-verbal daughter in a residential placement last year when she turned 18. It has been a tough transition for us even though we know God has made wonderful provision for us with this awesome facility.Had to laugh about your comment above too. I started a support group for moms of special needs kids when my daughter was 2 because I needed it so badly! Blessings!

    1. You are so welcome, Shelly! Continued blessings to you on your residential transition with your daughter. Isn't it amazing how difficult these changes can be, even when we know they are the right and good thing? Parents like us are constantly "redefining normal" in our lives.

  3. I needed this message today, too. Thanks Barb for speaking the truth of God's faithfulness when things are changing all around. Thanks for adding this post to the DifferentDream.com Tuesday link up so more parents can be reminded of this truth.