Last week was a week of milestones for my family. My youngest graduated from eighth grade, and my oldest graduated from high school. My friends and I were mentally preparing ourselves for how much we would cry. We all spent a few minutes (or hours) looking at baby pictures and school photos, recalling all the good memories.
Because it’s graduation season, I know there’s a whole bunch of parents in the same emotionally melancholy boat right now, wishing we could freeze these moments.
Now, before you think this is going to be a weepy mess of a message, let me be honest. I didn’t cherish every moment. (Frankly, you can’t cherish every moment.) I didn’t cherish potty training. I wouldn’t want to go back to the days of temper tantrums and debating whether or not it’s worth it to make them eat their vegetables. I didn’t cherish trying to come up with natural consequences for discipline. I don’t miss trying to help them with fourth-grade math. (Even their first-grade English homework posed a challenge, which is embarrassing for someone who gets paid to write.) I didn’t cherish setting my alarm for 12:30 A.M. to pick up my child from the post-homecoming party. I don’t cherish the fact that I started to tear up as I thought about this post.
Still, I do cherish that milestones like graduation help me appreciate how Jesus’ mother, Mary, “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). Granted, I did not give birth to a child who will save the world, but I did give birth to children who can change the world—and so did you. All because, for people who believe in Jesus, these are children God chose “before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight” (Ephesians 1:4).
Changes like these give us a chance to cherish that our children are his children too—and he has plans for them. He designed them to share his good news with the world and gives them hope, purpose, and a future.
Changes like these give us a chance to ponder just how much our heavenly Father cherishes us. And, let me be honest, he doesn’t cherish every moment either, like when we think that sin would be more fun than his plan. But, thanks to Jesus, he does cherish us and is excited for us to discover his good and perfect plans for us. He’s a Father who takes great delight in us and rejoices over us with singing. (Don’t believe me? Check out Zephaniah 3:17.) He loves watching us reach milestones and serve others the same way our hearts are filled when we see our children grow up to be caring, thoughtful, funny people.
Finally, changes like these are also a chance to cherish that—even in the middle of all our changes—God never changes. He has been faithful to children and parents for thousands of years, and he will be faithful to us and to our children too.
Linda Buxa is a writer and editor who also didn’t cherish getting a puppy when her kids were two, four, and five years old. That wasn’t their smartest decision.
For more encouragement from Linda and other Time of Grace writers, sign up here to receive daily Grace Moments devotions in your inbox each day.