Even to your old age, I will be the same, and even to your graving years, I will bear you! I have done it, and I will carry you; and I will bear you, and I will deliver you.
Recently, I've been watching some growing pains, not the old, (How old is a matter of perspective!), eighties sit-com, but the real thing. You find yourself moving along rather blissfully down the road and then a major shift in life occurs that you didn't altogether desire or ask for just smacks you in the face.
I am watching this happen in one of my beloved--my firstborn, beautiful child. When I think of her, the words "heart and soul" come immediately to mind, for she touches the very depths of me. I feel her joy and her pain. When she hurts, suppressed hurts in me awaken. I realize the older she gets, the more I just have to listen and love. Of course, my first course of thought is what can I do, how can I get busy to fix this situation for her? When I settle back down to earth, though, I begin to understand that she doesn't need to or want my fixings in most situations; she just needs me to listen and love.
I hate to, but I have to interrupt myself right here to tell you how I learned this lesson, again, most recently. I watched it played out between father and daughter. How sweet and how sacred are those moments shared? They simply sat and talked together in a dimly lit room--just a few feet apart, face to face. It was so peaceful and quiet. She spoke; he nodded; she spoke again; he affirmed her; and there, they sat together. In all of the wonder, it was quite unnerving to busy little me who could not even slow down enough to listen to one I so love. Honestly, I was jealous--quite jealous--and decided to ignore them until that inner, nagging nudge, (A.k.a., The Holy Spirit!) stopped me in my tracks. I stood on the stairs just around the corner from them, frustrated by the obstacle but melting under the pressure of my own selfishness. I moved myself out of the way and worked my way into the equation. I had known what was going on with my baby all along; she had already shared her feelings and happenings--or lack of--with me. I had just been missing the movement of compassion and the comfort of fellowship on my part in her sorrow. But, daddy had been available, ever-ready to sit and listen and authentically love. Another lesson learned by me.
These times are so unsettling, but they are also the times I pray for--when change happens, old comforts are disabled, and the opportunity to enter into new freedoms is set before us. It hurts when my child--who is hardly a child in reality but always my baby girl--feels lost, yet, I know in her confusion, God will be faithful to meet her and show her the way. I know this, because I've been there, and I find myself there time and again in my own person daily walk, and certainly, as a mother in need of wisdom. We have to believe He is near for ourselves and for those we love; we have to reach out to Him in all things, as well as to reach over and pull Him down over them.
That evening, after praying with her and then with my husband on her behalf, I cried myself to sleep in prayer. I wrestled with the Lord of Hosts over my questions and concerns, proclaiming His total sovereignty, as well as my lapse in making any sense of it at times; I vowed, though, to trust Him, because through the knowledge of His Word and experience with Him in relation to His character, I know He is completely trustworthy. I finally rested in His presence, His nearness, for sometimes that's all I can do.
The next day, amazingly, the situation had not changed, but I noticed the pain had lessened--the load felt lighter, and the smile was wider and brighter, quite possibly because we had called upon and allowed Him to take it off our shoulders, respectively. The night may seem long and, at times, the growing pains may feel unbearable, but Divine appointment is at hand, and He will take you to new places in the spiritual realm with a greater revelation of His faithfulness. We cannot and should not steer around these inconveniences, though we would most often like to. If we do, we will miss important life lessons, and perhaps, a spiritual growth spurt, for those growing pains are stepping stones in knowing and trusting Christ Jesus more. He loves us enough to allow them to happen to us and those we love, for they drive us deeper into His heart, if only we will go.
What changes in life have spurred your growth? Are there any changes that you believe have stunted your growth? If so, what steps did you or do you need to take to allow Christ Jesus to heal you?