"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion & the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) A daily devotional especially intended to offer compassion to other challenged parents of kids with special needs. Visit our home page at www.snappin.org!
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
My Best Friend Is Moving
"I prayed for this child, and theLordgranted my request.In return, I am giving
him to theLord. He will be dedicated
to theLordfor his whole life.”
they worshiped theLordthere.
~ 1 Samuel 1:27-28, GW ~
Once upon a time, I used to look at parents
who made every attempt to be their kids' "friends" with great
disdain. I took God's mandate to raise
our children to know, obey, and love Him very seriously. From little on, I continually told my kids,
"It's my job to train myself out of a job." In other words, bringing up kids that could
stand on their own two feet and walk forward in life to the best of their
ability was my solemn assignment. This
compelled me to be an activated parent with good boundaries for the children
God entrusted to my care.
Little did I expect the Lord to throw in
friendship as a bonus! Having made
myself approachable on any topic has made conversation relatively easy with my
children over the years. This has woven
our hearts together as a family in greater ways than had I just served as an
authoritarian figure. Rather, I have
challenged my kids to think through and talk out their problems, so their
critical thinking develops and they also grow strong problem-solving skills and
morality of their own. It has been an
amazing journey watching them each stretch as their own selves blossom.
Standing up together in a family wedding in 2006
Now the first of them is about to spread
her wings. This upcoming weekend we move
her into her the college dorms for her freshman year of college. There is an entire section of our basement
that has her many boxes corralled and ready for the big day. Lists have been examined. Stores have been visited. New linens and household needs have been
purchased, all out of either graduation gift cards or her own hard-earned
People have had plenty to say to me about this
huge life transition. It began over a year ago when people started asking me, "Aren't you sad?" Others have been more vague asking, "How
are you doing with all of that?"
Those who have been there before tell me that this phase of life is a
hard, painful adjustment. The college
recommends that, for the sake of her success, we leave her at the dorms for the
first 6 weeks of school, not even bringing her home for the long Labor Day
weekend, a difficult thing indeed.
Deep in my heart, it has been a scrambled mess of blunted feelings. I have learned to bridle so many
of my emotions over the years, needing clarity to manage my children's chronic
illnesses and special needs, that it requires intentionality to actually
reflect on how I feel about certain things.
This past year as we have marched her towards graduation, applied for
scholarships, and celebrated college acceptance, I have rejoiced in her
progress without grief. After all, this
is what we (God, my daughter, and her parents) have all worked so hard for throughout these years. Her school choice has felt
more satisfying every time we have contact with them. Orientation was exciting, and shopping has
been filled with joyful anticipation. It
has also been an immense blessing getting to know her chosen roommate as well
as develop new, cherished friendships with her roommate's parents.
Nevertheless, my best friend is
moving. No longer will my days be
infused with her singing. Those
affirming compliments that so easily roll off of her tongue when I've dressed
to go out of the house will no longer be there every time to catch me with
delighted, humbled surprise. My heart
will miss the glow of having a front row seat to her easy compassion and
friendliness towards the disabled. Our
halls will be painfully silent, missing the echo of her humorous sass. And our cats just may win their daily battle
for milk, which she is convinced is not good for them.
"In Holiness And Learning"
Though my heart will ache at her absence, I
am ultimately left in the glow of God's glory.
This amazing young lady has been a privilege to raise. The Lord brought her into our lives after the
painful loss and grief of multiple miscarriages and infertility treatment. Like Hannah in the Book of 1 Samuel, I
committed both myself and each of my children to the Lord before they were ever
born. Now God is calling my account
due. I havewritten in the past that I will hold each of my kids with an open hand. Now He asks me afresh, "Will
you? Do you trust me, Barb?" I respond this week by leaning into the
bittersweetness of college with a resounding, "Yes, LORD." He has been faithful to us all these
years. We thank Him for His gracious
goodness and trust fully that He loves our daughter even more than we ever
could. He will work out His perfect
purposes for her as we release her from our constant care.
PRAY: Abba, You give and You take away. Blessed be Your Name in every season! Thank You that You love our children
infinitely more than we could ever ask, think, or image. They belong to You. Thank You for entrusting them to our care for
the period You see fit. When we are sad,
comfort our hearts with the joy of recalling how You have blessed us with
parenthood over these years. Remind us
also that when we cannot be with our kids, You are present with them every step
of the way. ~ Barb Dittrich