In one word: PAINFUL.
I had asked my mom many times that day if I could go play with my friend Brianna. Her backyard was close to mine so I planned to just run over and ask if she could come outside.
My mom said NO.
I know right?! WHAT?? How could anyone say no to me?
Although this was not my first time disagreeing with a decision made by my parents, it is one of the most special because it was documented. I have never been good at taking “no” at face value. I tend to be extremely determined at going after things. I enjoy fighting against the obstacles and proving that my abilities are enough.
I imagine this is what crossed my mind as I began to climb our cedar wood fence to reach the latch and free myself from all oppression. If only my 30 pound little body had received the memo that climbing was not my one of my skills at the time….
Unfortunately, my mom found me lying in the dirt with my face up against the fence. The whole front of my body was covered in tiny wood slivers. I was obviously a bit upset.
Looking back on this moment, I draw a few parallels to this last week.
- Although I had great intentions of opening the latch to our fence and escaping, it turns out I wasn’t even climbing in the right spot. That stupid door lock was a good four inches to the left from where I had began my ascent to freedom.
I think sometimes life is like that. We begin a project with the best of goals and desires to achieve. We climb and stretch to our limits.
Then we look up…sure we were watching the road closely so we didn’t trip over rocks or hit a pot hole. But what about looking forward? Realization smacks us in the forehead and we notice that maybe our goal was a bit misdirected. We didn’t align our climbing to the end goal, and it seems to be just out of reach. I learned recently from an angel to always keep your eyes looking forward. The past might plague your thoughts and the struggles of the journey might be rough below, but forward is the only way to go. (Thanks J)
- Slivers hurt. Especially when they are in your face and hands. These are the lessons and consequences. We are often directed to make certain choices because someone is aware of potential dangers and wants to protect us from the pain.
Just as my mom told me no to make sure I stayed safe in the backyard, our life often changes course. I know that this is our loving Heavenly Father letting us know that there are far better plans for us, and that he can make us more than we ever could alone.
Unfortunately we are stubborn and lose trust. We get prideful and think our climbing skills are first rate. We boost ourselves up a few inches off the ground, reaching our little fingers high as we can to grab ANYTHING. That is usually when we slide down the fence with our faces.
Never lose your trust in His will!
- Even though I was the dumb one who thought I was big enough to make my own decisions, and then suffered the consequences despite the warnings, guess who cleaned me up? Guess who picked me up and wiped my tears? Guess who helped me heal each of those tiny prickle wounds covering my skin?
My mom. The one who said I had to stay home. The one who knew what would happen if I decided to leave on my own.
It’s funny; I don’t remember her saying “I told you so.” She just peeled me off of the fence and held me even though I was wearing half of her garden. That is unconditional love.
Over the past week, I endured some difficult challenges that I never imagined I would get through. It was hard. I was shaken to the core as I lay there with my face smashed up against a proverbial cedar wood fence.
As I sobbed, feeling broken and ready to give up, two people came to my side.
First, my angel mother. She is my rock and one of the biggest examples of faith during trials. But she didn’t come over and tell me to stop crying. She didn’t say to grow up and handle it. She just held me. She gave me all the physical comfort and support she could provide.
Someone else was also present….
My Savior, my salvation, and my redeemer from all earthly pains and sorrows, was there. He didn’t tell me to suck it up either. He cried with me, knowing firsthand what I was feeling in the depths of my soul.
Even when I turned around and tried to make my own path, He watched and He waited. In the darkest night, my brother opened His arms wide and picked me up out of the dirt. He gave me the strength to keep moving forward and just do my best. He willingly makes up the difference in all of the spaces where I lack.
If you are struggling, look up. Open your eyes and look how far you’ve come. In those black, cold, misty nights where you feel lost, He was carrying you. You will never be alone.
XOXO – Heath