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The Next Step

January 29, 2014

Dear Rachel,

Tonight you fell asleep on my shoulder. You're a strong, inquisitive, independent 2-year-old, and it's been too long since I felt the soft sighs of your restful breathing on my neck. I didn't want to disturb your slumber. I just wanted to treasure the moment and feel the warmth of my baby's trusting embrace.

We had a fun-filled day, celebrating Aunt Hope's birthday at Walt Disney World. We ate dinner together at the Liberty Tea Tavern in the Magic Kingdom. You asked to go to the bathroom about 5 times during dinner, maybe because the bathrooms in this particular restaurant were upstairs, and it was quite entertaining to go up and down the stairs.

As we descended the staircase after one such trip to the bathroom, you insisted on walking down the steps all by yourself. You said, "No, I'm big girl" as you pushed away my hand. I kept my hand close to yours so I could offer assistance if you needed it.

You beamed with pride as you grabbed the handrail (which was almost out of your reach) and slowly stretched your white Velcro-top sneaker down to the next step. Just before your toe touched the next step, you became uncertain and began to lose your balance so you quickly reached for my hand. The moment you touched my hand and realized I would catch you if you fell, you pushed me away and again said confidently, "I'm big girl. I do it by myself."

This process repeated itself about 12 times, on every step down the entire flight of stairs. It took us a while, but with patience and persistence, we made it downstairs safely.

As I observed our interactions on the staircase, I had a moment of clarity:

Isn't that just like our walk with God?

  • We want to do things our own way.
  • We want to rely on our own strength.
  • We want to do it by ourselves.

Then we lose our balance. We can't see the next step. We become afraid and reach out for a hand to hold.

That's when God reassures us with His presence and His guidance. He's always there for you, walking beside you, ready to catch you if you fall.

In my life, I've made so many decisions relying on my own strength. And I've experienced moments of deep discouragement, when I've questioned everything. In those times, God has strengthened me with His presence, and restored my confidence as His child.

You know the funny thing? Even as independent as you are (typical for a 2-year-old little girl learning to do things for herself), you still fell asleep on my shoulder tonight. There couldn't be a more trusting, dependent posture than the one you assumed by sleeping on me. And in those times - those precious times - you admit that you still need me.

Throughout your life, you may find yourself feeling alone or struggling to find the next step. Always remember that God is with you, holding your hand, and even carrying you when you're too weak to walk.

Trust Him.

He will never leave you. And He will give you strength for the journey.

I love you so very much!!



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