There’s nothing like noticing the streetlights switch on while simultaneously watching the sun as it sets. When this happens, I catch the air in my lungs—a wisp I might miss. The sun sets and the streetlights switch on every day, but the change always takes me by surprise. Transitions do this, don’t they?
I was reminded of this, recently, while sitting next to my eleven-year-old son on our couch. Every so often, I peeked up from my book to glance at him snacking from a container of peanut butter pretzels and reading The Lord of the Rings. The loud munching and rustling of pages turning seemed to ring out like a symphony that sang of his size. His limbs looked gazelle-like, despite how he sat scrunched, shirtless and in basketball shorts. My son never looked so…old, I thought.
I know seasons in life don’t stay the same. And yet, sometimes, these shifts and changes catch me off-guard. Like this moment with my son? Not only was I caught off-guard, but I was knocked down. A lightbulb went off in my head as I realized what I was seeing and sensing — this kid is growing.
When it comes to parenting, it feels like I’m entering the land of the unknown. I’m venturing into the land of never-ending friend hang outs (which have replaced the occasional play dates), awkward conversations about body changes, and the incredible need for deodorant. No one warned me that my little kids would someday grow up and turn into tweens. Now I’m stuck here wondering, When did I become a mom to an older kid?
So often in my parenting, I’ve relied on 2 Corinthians 5:7, “For we live by faith, not by sight.” This verse encourages me when I have no idea what’s to come or what to expect. Especially when it comes to raising new tweens . . . because I’m entirely out of my league. I used to think that living by faith meant I could see what was coming up or have some understanding of what to do. But having faith does not mean we will have answers. Instead, maybe it’s a call to embrace Christ’s comfort in the midst of whatever many come.
Transition is uncomfortable. Even small, daily changes can feel nothing short of shocking. I know change is supposed to happen, but I’m never ready for it. I’m never ready for the hard questions or prepared for the moments when I’ll have to let go — like sending my son off to his first away-from-home-in-another-state summer camp experience. I’m not ready for any of it.
A little bit of us dies off when we change and grow. And, yet, Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:16 about how we are not only continually changing and “wasting” away on the outside but, paradoxically, how we are also growing and being renewed . . . inwardly.
We can’t expect all things to stay the same. Daylight will always transition to twilight — streetlights will eventually flicker on, and little boys will grow into young men. Yes, change is to be expected. But the beauty of all this constant change is that God is with us in all of it.
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18
For now, I’ll welcome the fact that the streetlights will always turn on when the sun sets. I will trust that God is with me in every momentary change — even when I don’t know what’s coming next. Instead of staking my identity or security on knowing what is to come, I will rest in the comfort of God’s eternal presence.
I’ll also load up on more peanut butter filled pretzels . . . just in case!Leave a Comment