Friday, September 7, 2012
Beyond the Doors with Jesus
Tears were the bedtime lullaby last night.
"Why does Brother get to stay with you but I can't?"
"What if no one picks me for a friend?"
The night before home school co-op and nerves were rampant. Hers and mine. She mirrored my own socially anxious heart, except I got to have Bubbles on my hip as my distraction ticket. She had to go it on her own.
Laying in her bed we talked about the fact that sometimes Mommy gets scared too when going into new people places but she tries to remember God can help her not be nervous. Don't forget Jesus is always when you, even when I can't be." I reminded.
Then added, "Perhaps you could seek out a scared looking little girl and offer to be her friend as a way to not be so scared yourself. The Bible says that to have friends we have to be a friend."
"You can do that too" was the gentle nudge on my heart.
Consumed by our own nervous heart, we often fail to recognize those around us have the same anxiety. My self-focus blinds me to the needs of others, some even more desperately longing than my own heart does.
Her and I, we learn this together. Her at the age of 4. Me, still learning it at 37.
Self versus others. It's not the default way. It has to be the chosen way. Chosen above our own natural tendencies and automatic responses. A choice that lifts us beyond emotions and into living from God's heart.
Arriving today, little hand tightly clinging to my own, friendly faces smiled at us. One walked our way, hand out stretched, with a "Welcome!" coming from her lips. There was no trying to figure out where we belonged or how we would fit in. We were quickly and automatically embraced. Because these hearts were living from the Father's heart. As I long to do.
"I can take you to your first class and your Mommy can come too if you want."
Bright blue eyes looked up at mine. I watched the lump move in her throat as she swallowed hard.
"It's ok Mommy. I can go without you."
Her lip began to tremble.
"Are you sure Baby Girl? I can come with you."
Lip still trembling. "I'm sure Mommy. I'll be ok."
Resolve was on her face despite the trembling.
My innate reaction was to kneel down on the floor, throw my arms around her, and just kiss those teary quivers away. Instead I asked a second time, "Are you sure? Because I can definitely walk with you."
"I'll be ok Mommy. I'm sure."
Eyes looking into mine, I saw a determination I understand all too well. A desire to prove to herself she could do it. That she would do it. That she was going to push through these trembling lips and quivery knees.
It was one of my proudest moments as her Mama.
"If you need me, tell an adult and I'll come right away", I promised.
"I know Mommy."
Sometimes that's all we need, is to know. Not to use the option, but to know it's there. She knew I'd come. It was enough to swallow that lump a second time, take her hand out of mine, and place it in the hands of a stranger and walk past swinging doors.
And sometimes, we have to let them go so that they can know. So they can know that they can do it. To know, that just knowing we would come, can be enough.
This is how they grow up and into their faith. When we deny our desire to hold them tight and shelter them close, and instead, let them a step beyond the doors, without us---but always with Jesus. There is little need to learn to trust Him if we remain their source of security for the remainder of their lives. It's when we let go that they begin to step towards Him a bit.
It's how we grow a little bit more in our own faith as Mamas. Trusting He does have them when we don't. Believing that He is just as beyond those doors as He is in our presence with them. Letting pillow talk lessons because reality--in our children's lives and our own. It's one thing to speak it. It's another to live it. Only in living it does our soul grow deeper.
This parenting journey that involves letting go, releases so much from my own heart. I learn through my children's lives. Lessons critical to faith. Lessons necessary for True Love. I cannot teach my children unless I, myself, am willing to learn.
Today she learned to walk beyond the doors into a brand new situation with Jesus, and I learned to let her do so.