Yesterday our Pastor preached a very tough sermon to children and parents. One thing that he said was that as parents we have to do things for our children that we don't want to do because it may cause them to be quite uncomfortable, but we do it because it's right for them. And by doing it, they will walk in the blessing of God and live well upon the earth. I'm so glad that he picked yesterday to preach it because I really needed to hear it. Today is the day I had something scheduled that was going to make one of my children very uncomfortable.
Our daughter was brain injured at age 5. She's 16 now. Her whole brain was completely erased, so over the years, she has had to re-learn everything, but at a much slower pace. She has defied every doctor's report, every therapists opinion, and every statistic about her recovery, going way above and beyond any expectations they might have had for her. And now, she is ready to enter the community to do some volunteer/vocational types of things. The problem is that she is very comfortable at home. One of the residual effects of her brain injury is that she is fearful and unsure about most everything. Because it was such a distraction to her, it impeded her ability to learn in a regular academic setting, so we took her out of school and homeschooled her. And although she has advanced academically at an amazing rate, has learned a lot of things, and is probably more responsible, diligent and dependable than 99% of teens her age, she does not like to be out doing new things unless someone she loves and trusts is with her.
But I know that it's time for her to spread her wings, even though she doesn't think she's ready. So today, we met with the transitional coordinator at the local high school to discuss some Job shadowing opportunities that will hopefully lead to gainful employment on a part time basis for her in the near future. It was so hard to sit and watch the fear tears slip down her cheeks as we tried to reassure her that this is something everyone has to do and that it will seem silly to her in a year that she was even scared about it. She has been so good, so compliant, worked so hard for so long, it was really hard for me to put her in the a position where I knew she was going to be scared and unsure. But it had to be done. It's time.
I wonder if God's heart feels the same way when he looks at us with love and sees something that is holding us back from a fuller life in Him. I wonder if He too, holds back His own tears when He sees the "fear tears" running down our cheeks as we enter a part of His realm that is unknown to us. I can picture Him, my meticulous caretaker, looking at me with love, with a sigh and a smile and saying "it's time my child".
I can't go with my daughter and hold her hand in the new adventures that she is embarking on, but God will. This time, I can't be that security that she feels in the midst of strange surroundings, but God can. I can't be the author of the reassuring words that she'll need to hear as she is thrust into the unknown, but she will have a job counselor with her at first, and God's Word dwells in her heart.
There have been many "it's time" moments in my life. I'm in one of those currently. Thank God that He is one who sticks closer than a brother (or a mother). He NEVER leaves me nor forsakes me. He is my peace. His Word is planted in the deep recesses of my heart and when I need to hear them, the Holy Spirit brings them to my remembrance and I am calmed. And as I walk into this unknown territory, He will be right beside me holding my hand and spurring me on. He is my perfect Father. And... "it's time."