I never imagined that I would be writing a blog about the number 17. Now before you get turned off – this is NOT one of those posts that hyper-spiritualizes the number 17 -paralleling every time I have seen or heard the number and making something profoundly deep out of it. No. This post is quite simple. Its about my 17 year old daughter. Oh Lets face it. Its about me HAVING a 17 year old daughter. Before you even ask how it is that I have come to have a 17 year old, let me explain. My wife was an amazing single mother for 12 years. After we married i was blessed to adopt this most precious little girl and have her call me daddy since the day she took my last name.
Today, some years later, she is now 17 years old and becoming a woman before my very eyes. She works. She drives. She shops. She likes boys. Last night, a boy she likes asked her to the prom. This papa heart isn’t sure whether to be happy for her or planning this boys future or lack thereof if anything happens to my baby girl. Why do kids have to grow up so fast? Why cant they stay as small, snuggly and dependent as our 6 month old? You know, that age when they laugh at everything you say and just want to be held all the time? My wife said to me the other in regards to our 6 month old “Dont rock her to sleep. I don’t mind you holding her but if you start rocking her then she will need to be rocked to fall asleep.” She’s right but I realize that there will be a day when SHE is 17 and won’t want to be rocked or even held by her Daddy anymore. So I am trying to soak it up while I can.
All this reminded me Jesus’ prayer in John 17 before he went to the cross. Ironically, it sounds like the prayer of a Father of a 17 year old. Verse 24 he says ‘Father I desire that they would be with me and see my glory, the glory you have given me because you have loved me before the creation of the world.” All he wants to be with the ones he loves but the ones he loves have forsaken him, rejected him and chosen a better way. Made HIM the enemy rather than a safe place. I’m not suggesting that my daughter has done that to me. But I am focusing on the desire to be loved and wanted by her in a way that perhaps Jesus could identity with. It makes me want to slow down and evaluate my walk with him. Am I giving myself to him whole-heartedly? Have I chosen my own way and made him an enemy with my words and actions?
I’m going back. At 38 years old, I’m going back to him again today. I want to be found leaning and dependent on him. Yeah. Thats it. Oh to be 17 again….