This week I was visiting with a couple of friends over coffee. One of them is about to depart on one of those epic vacations where the whole fam is going…three generations.
She is, understandably, both incredibly excited and wisely aware of the potholes that such an endeavor are bound to include. We grandparents have had enough doses of reality over the decades that we never expect smooth sailing with children involved.
But the joys of it all are worth any and all of the hiccups and we well know that no matter how rough it gets with melt-downs, lack of sleep and personalities colliding, we will look back at our pictures and say it was just awesome.
All the minuses will melt away into one glorious joy burst…it’s kind of like going through labor and then forgetting it all when we see that little child in our arms.
Okay…we don’t completely forget the pain…it just is eclipsed by the fun that was had, and we tend to make it part of our story and even eventually find humor in it.
Since part of the trip will involve air travel with a toddler and some preschoolers, we began sharing our own travel stories of such experiences with our own kiddos and now grands.
I remembered our flight to Texas with the Fab Four over Easter of 2019.
Sweet Caroline was an angel for the flight, particularly as the snacks flowed. But when we began our descent to land, things got ugly.
Science and medicine would tell us that most likely the change in pressure was doing harmful things inside her tiny ear canals, but there is no way she could understand what was going on.
Her response to the discomfort was an impressive show of physical strength. As she trashed and screamed at a decibel level that assaulted our ear canals brutally, her mommy held her fast.
I tag-teamed mom, catching any stray legs and arms that came flying out of her grip as I continued to assure Rachel she was doing great. The ten minute landing seemed to pass at the speed of eternity as Rachel endured the battle and I fended off what seemed to be eight arms and legs.
Caroline didn’t understand why she was being restrained. She was angry at what was happening and furious at us.
But we held her fast because we didn’t want her to hurt herself. We took the blows because we knew that was the only way to keep her safe. What we were doing seemed unloving to her, but it was the greatest love we could show.
That’s how parental love is.
And God loves us like a parent.
Our church is doing a study that is causing some of us to thrash about as we haul out some old pains, hurts and face our wiring that is often stubborn to the point of causing us and others damage.
It has been hard work and we might wish that God would just let us bury the past in the past and limp along the rest of our days with a “good enough” mentality.
But He loves us too much.
He will hold us as we writhe about because He knows we can be better.
We can be healed.
We can live that abundant life He promised, if we will face our junk and bring it to the light where He can help us and heal us and we can move forward whole and holy.
If you are one who attends FCC, I am praying for you that as God does a good work in you during this time; you will cooperate and be real and honest with Him.
If you do not attend FCC, I invite you to listen to the sermon series, purchase a copy of the book and avail yourself of the extra worksheets provided by our church.
Here are the links:
Book: https://shop.wordbookstores.com/book/9781954089648 This is available from other sources, but I have selected an independent dealer instead of the big guys <3
Worksheets: https://www.firstdecatur.org/sermons/onyourown/ worksheets are in a pink bubble that says “On your own” underneath each video.
Bless you today friends and remember, even when God seems unkind…He is not.