Tuesday, April 11, 2017


Photo image courtesy of Nadezhda Prokudina via 123rf.com
For I know what I have planned for you,’ says the Lord. ‘I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope.
~ Jeremiah 29:11, NET ~

Our son turns 17 today. The whole reason for this ministry, these written meditations was born on this day in 2000. While he is showered with celebration, this occasion always comes with mixed, bittersweet feelings because I can't recall our son's birth without remembering the numbing shock of his diagnosis.

What can I say about this moment that I haven't already said over the years?

With Holy Week here and Easter only days away, I am finding myself strangely identifying with Jesus' mother, Mary, much more than usual this year. I have always found immense comfort in knowing that God, Jesus, Mary, can all identify with the pain and sorrow my own family has faced over the years. But at this point in our family life, something is suddenly different.

Adulthood, graduation and the reality of life apart from us is within view. Even so, that view is still very murky. We have mixed emotions. It's exciting to see our son reaching his full potential and entertain dreams of his future. At the same time, we're nearing a crossroads, a precipice, and we're concerned that this amazing young man is properly equipped for what lays ahead. How will he handle self-care? Will he be responsible in reporting medical difficulties when he's not at home? I can't take too long of a glance at "what if's" right now because it is too overwhelming. 

As Mary headed to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, I wonder if she felt some of these same emotions in a different context. She must have been excited to see the son she loves and celebrate with him. Even so, I imagine that she must have felt confused and uncertain as she watched her precious boy lock horns with the religious authorities. Her angst had to have escalated as she powerlessly realized what Jesus was facing.

Photo image courtesy of mihtiander via 123rf.com
Just like the loving mother of the Savior, I must let go in spite of all the unknowns. My son may stand on the edge of life, but like Mary, I must trust that the Heavenly Father ultimately has good plans for him. Things could get ugly along the way, but because Mary's Son was willing to give his life for us all, every one of us has a reason to choose joy over dread.

While 17 may feel surreal and uncertain, we can celebrate knowing God ultimately holds for us a future filled with hope.

PRAY: Abba Father, thank You for Your loving care throughout our exciting and uncertain times. You are a good and trustworthy God. Thank You for loving our children even more than we ever could and for being with them even when we can't. 

~ Barb Dittrich

1 comment:

  1. Aw. A mother's love. Mary is the ultimate example indeed.
    Happy birthday to your, son. Reading your ministries here, I'm sure he's going to be alright.