Oh I love when something happens with my children and I feel that nudge from the Holy Spirit! All morning I've been reeling and writing this post in my head!
For those of you that haven't gotten to meet our Julianne, she is such a blessing. One of the things that has amazed me in raising a larger family has been watching the similarities and differences among our children. Gifts and areas of opportunity sometimes overlap but sometimes they are completely different from child to child.
Our Julianne is a sweet girl. She can be a little shy. She makes a friend easily and her love language is touch. I can calm her in a matter of moments if I can touch her. She loves it when I rub her back during service, or hold hands with her. Or when I brush her hair out of her face. She gives out hugs often. She dances to her own little beat and is witty beyond her years.
She is also very afraid of heights. I'm not talking rollercoasters or skyscrapers, even stairs frighten her.
At our church, we have several flights of stairs that you can go up or down depending on which area of the church you are trying to get to. It's taken me a few months to figure out these stairs because I am directionally challenged. For Julianne, these stairs challenge her every week.
Most weeks she stands at the top with tears in her eyes and we have to coax her down. She will step down, then bring the other foot to the same stair, then go down to the next stair. She doesn't alternate feet and stairs. Nope. One stair at a time. All while desperately clinging to the rail, with her Bible bag draped on her arm. Most of the time, she will leave her hands planted on one part of the rail and step down and have her body all stretched out because she is scared to move her hand down the rail a little. We've shown her how to slide her hand down so that she doesn't even have to let go. Cognitively she knows she has to move her hand down, but she usually takes quite some time before she will do it.
But this week... this week, she started down the stairs. And she immediately started to get upset as she yelled out "I'm falling!!!!" I was in front of her on the stairs walking down and Brandon was behind her. She has never fallen down these stairs or any that I can remember.
She wasn't really going anywhere. She was still standing, grasping the rail so hard that her little knuckles were white.
Brandon called out down the stairs, "Baby, you are okay! You just stumbled! You didn't fall! Daddy is right here..." And a little tear slipped out onto her cheek.
Stumbled.. you didn't fall and I'm right here.
And I felt that quickening in my soul...
We got down those stairs and I stopped her right before she walked into large group time, to wipe her cheek and comfort her.
And I told her "You did it!" She flashed a quick grin and said "Yup! And I didn't fall! Daddy was there!" And I nodded yes.
And then her grin disappeared as quickly as it had arrived.
"But Momma, what if I did fall?" I assured her that if she had fallen, Daddy would get her and pick her up and dust her off... and that she could try the stairs again another day but she had to keep going and keep trying.
And I felt that quickening again.
I walked to my class in my own little world trying to process what was going on in my heart.
Here's the application:
No matter how many times we walk the stairs, they may still look scary. Just like Julianne's Daddy was there ready to catch her, so is God. Just like Julianne was scared to fall, sometimes we are too. Sometimes we think we are falling and we are really only stumbling. Sometimes we cling to things so hard, that we can't do what we are meant to do. Julianne was desperately clinging to the stair rail so hard that she couldn't reach the next step. Instead of sliding her hand down the rail, she was stuck. But if Julianne would have skipped the stairs and taken the elevator, would she still have learned that she can walk the stairs?
Are you taking the elevator in your life? Or are you taking the "scary" stairs? When you feel like you are you falling, are you really or are you only stumbling? If you did fall, would you try it again? Are you desperately clinging to something that is keeping you from being able to freely walk?
Father, open my eyes to things that I am avoiding, by taking the elevator instead of going the scary way. Remove the fear from me, so I can go that way. Reassure me that if I fall, You will catch me, in only a way that You can. Allow me to loosen my grip on whatever I am clinging to desperately, so I freely walk and if I must cling, allow me to cling onto You. I love You and praise You. Amen!