The Getting Up

I beat myself up a lot when I fail.

It’s been one of my most negative qualities in the last 2 years that I’ve been following Jesus. Getting easily discouraged and overwhelmed over real and perceived failings. I stay in a defeated state for way too long.

So, God gave me my oldest daughter to daily teach me a valuable lesson.

My 17 month old is a tiny ball of awesome. She never fails to impress with her stunning looks and assertive manner. Already she has the makings of a natural leader and a confidence that constantly surprises people.

She’s brave, and she’s fearless. She’s been learning to walk, run, and climb over the last 6 months, and she does all three pretty well.

Her judgement, well, it’s the judgement of a person with a year and some change under their life experience belt.   Her daddy and I are consistent in addressing dangerous behavior (standing in the middle of a bed that sits 3 feet off the ground and running towards the edge), but I’ve learned not to leap at every sign of her adventurous spirit.

I don’t want to curb the bravery or the confidence, but I do want to help with the impulsivity and lack of information.

My daughter doesn’t know what I know. She isn’t concerned with my concerns. But sometimes, she’s in danger anyway.

This stage of her life has taught me about two things: myself and God.

Being a parent is a small window into God’s heart. And when I see my daughter trip or get into a sticky spot, my heart is moved with compassion and a strong desire to protect. Sometimes her best lessons are learned by her multiple attempts and mistakes. Sometimes she needs intervention. God treats me with the same care. Sometimes teaching through failure and sometimes through a staying hand.

And I’ve learned about me. When my daughter falls or trips or bumps because she’s learning to understand how her body interacts with the world around her, she reacts one of two ways. Crying or a redo. I give her space to decide which one she needs. If a gentle pat or a clinging hug or an empathetic murmur will help, I do it. If just standing by and letting her process what happened is enough, then I take that approach. But either route, the result is the same. She tries again.  Without fear of another failure. Without hesitation. She’s confident that I will respond to her need no matter what, and it’s enough for her to stand up and TRY AGAIN.

I need to learn this lesson in my own walk. Failure is a reality of living fallen. But confidence is a quality of living in Christ.

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace in our time of need.

Hebrews 4:16 NIV

Like my daughter, I am going to stumble. But I have a perfect Father that gives me the courage to stand.

The Clumsy T-Rex

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