Once upon a time my daughter was afraid.
She stood at the top of the high dive biting her nails. Shouts of encouragement and frustration ran up the ladder after her. Our little fish lost the will to jump in.
Many years later I recall how agitated I felt over her nail-biting and change of mind. She wasn’t allowed to turn back. Her only option was to jump in. No amount of negotiating worked. The red swimsuit clad life guard had to scramble up to her and push her in. A short squeal and sudden clapping followed as this child of mine surfaced with a smile. I, on the other hand, was mortified in her disruption to my chill afternoon.
For the rest of that summer she became fearless. Surfing with the big dogs out in the Pacific, scrambling mountains, diving to the bottom of the deep end, and pushing her luck with her sisters was her new norm. She was determined and wanted to embrace life to the fullest.
Now we face a new high dive.
It doesn’t hover over 11 feet of water nor is it surrounded by onlookers of inpatient anticipation. It’s a platform of uncertainty that our family seems to be standing on. Unsure of the future and afraid of what waits at the bottom, we are called to look up.
My eldest daughter was born with profound unilateral deafness. Baffling to family and doctors alike, we have learned to live with it for nearly 16 years. Language came slow, stubbornness and irritations came fast. This one little ear caused a delay across all elements of development to the point of being told that she would always need special accommodations for her time on this earth.
A trying childhood went to a flourishing adolescence. Smarts and compassion are what this girl is about. A heart for ministry and learning has pushed her to be the best that she can be inside her limitations. Our amazing child has come so far and amazes us daily.
When we found out that she is now on the brink of loosing her hearing completely in the good ear, we were quite shocked. She has slowed down a bit in communication and slightly in comprehension. Although she does excellent in school, her frustrations have at least followed her in reactions and attention. The platform that she stands on is now holding her back because of the unknown.
We wait. Answers are coming, but it’s at the pace of a snail. We pray while we seek a way out of something that is inevitable. Fear is there, pounding on that door, wanting to knock us off that high dive which will only lead us to a smack in the face with disappointment.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
It’s time to conquer this afraid stance. We can’t pause our daughters life, or even our own because of the what-ifs and the real answers that follow. We need to embrace the gifts we have and know that God does not make mistakes. We are given thorns sometimes to use for His ministry here on earth. We often question these crazy scenarios, but we never question the sovereignty of the Lord.We need to embrace the gifts we have and know that God does not make mistakes. Click To Tweet
We huddle together, leaning on each other and the truth.
We embrace opportunities while we have them and look for more according to our changing strengths and even our changing weaknesses. They will be used well and serve purpose for the kingdom.
Fear is a liar and being afraid is not using discernment. My child could have leapt off that high dive like a ballerina floating in air and impressed us all. Applause would have followed her the rest of the summer. Instead she sided with caution and learned a lesson in humility. She understands and although she faces this new feat, we face it with truth.
Join me as I track through 31 days of free writes with my Five Minute Writing Community. Today’s theme: AFRAID. For more posts, please click here.
4 thoughts on “Huddled Together Without Fear”
Maryann, I think the title of this post should be “Brave”! This is such a testimony of trust and perseverance. Thank you for your willingness to share your struggle so that we might be encouraged by your example! God bless, Cindy
Thank you. We had such a struggle early on that this lull in “problems” was a blessing yet not because we were shocked when things took a dramatic turn. But faith really holds us together, even when we want to break down. Thank you for your encouragement.
This is incredibly inspiring. I admire that you are writing about what you are in the thick of. I often need to write more about things I’ve already worked through, but you are revealing the vulnerability as its happening. It’s raw and real and has me sitting here hoping and praying that all of this is part of God’s plan somehow. You daughter sounds like a champion.
Thank you, you are so encouraging.