Oh my…it seems my deer story resonated with you all and for that I am high fiving Jesus, because I struggled with actually publishing it.
I had, you guessed it, anxiety that you all would think I was insane for finding humor in that story…but you get me and for that, I am so grateful <3
I have one more little story of God showing me the futility of worry and then I promise…Thursday and Friday will be devoted to how God offers us hope and freedom from the vortex of angst.
I know I have written a post about this at some point in the past, but its worth sharing again because it fits so well with our theme.
Our mall, like so many others, has a central stage type area. It is a venue for school organizations and dance studios to put on exhibitions.
Picture a carpeted mini-amphitheater that descends down toward a pool of water separating the audience from the performers.
When our children were little, it was a favorite place for them as they would toddle down the stairs and throw coins in the water.
After they were grown, I didn’t have much reason to stop there but one day I needed to check some phone messages and so I sat for a while on the top step.
A young mom came along and I watched as she followed her child down and handed pennies to be tossed in.
I smiled nostalgically and wistfully pined for those days when life was easier.
Back then, I could kiss skinned knees and whip up a favorite meal, say bedtime prayers and tuck them in safe and sound and life was good.
Now they were off facing unknown-to-me battles and adventures.
Their hearts got hurt in ways I couldn’t ease away with my love and in that season, I was overwhelmed with the process of transitioning into the role of adult-children-parenting.
And then in the middle of my rose colored glasses reminiscing, God spoke to me in that candid and slightly firm way He has and flashed a real life visual of me as a young mom in that same setting.
After racing down those carpeted steps behind my charges, I stood grasping the back of a jacket or the shoulder straps of a pair of overalls with a white knuckle grip and giving shrill instructions to be careful and get back and don’t lean so far over when you throw that penny for crying out loud!
That body of water between us and the stage was swirling like the white water rapids coming off a mountain in Colorado and at any moment I knew our precious child was going to be sucked in.
I could hear my mom’s voice in the back of my head reminding me a child can drown in a teaspoon of water and I would breathe a sigh of relief when our coins were gone and we could start the climb back out of this nightmare death trap.
You think I exaggerate, but you think wrong.
As the mother of adult children, I recognized the truth that the penny-throwing had never really been a fun thing for me because I feared our kids would fall in.
I got up and walked down to the bottom of the stairs and looked at the water to see it in its reality and said to my more grown up self…good grief…it is like 4 inches deep.
The worst thing that could have happened is they got wet.
I went back and sat down and tried to grasp how I could have had such a distorted perspective that was clearly uncalled for and God whispered how perhaps I needed to apply this to my new role.
Grasping the back of their grown up selves was destroying me.
It was sucking the life out of my soul, interfering with the relationship changes God was wanting to bring about and it would not keep them safe and dry not matter how much I shouted warnings and grappled to maintain control.
I needed to let go of the worry and the anxiety of the what-if’s.
They might fall in…but they also might find out that they don’t have to.
They might learn their lessons the hard way and they might have the time of their lives at the edge of what looked so scary to me.
They might just find out that God sets wondrous and wide open boundaries if we learn to trust Him.
But it needed to be their story…their falls…their standing firms… their sorrows…their joys.
Let go of your grip on them Laura, I heard Him say…I’ve got them…I always have… I always will <3