He can ride a bike. HE CAN RIDE AN EVER-LOVING BIKE. I celebrated with him and his enormous grin while grieving inside. I mourned the end of an era (containing sleep-deprivation and threenage attitude, but I can be as irrational as I want thank-you-very-much) as though each push of the pedal moved him from bedtimes to dorm life before my eyes.
Moms of big children, feel free to roll your eyes about now. While you launch your family into the world one by one, I’ll sit here in turmoil because my four year-old graduated training wheels.
Often, when I feel intense feelings toward my children, I wonder how God feels about me. Despite my anguish that out eldest stands a mere fourteen years from graduation, watching him sans training will thrills me.
I watched my husband let go of the bike
“You got this.”
“Don’t look back.”
“You don’t need support.”
“I know falling hurts”
“Keep moving forward.”
Can you imagine our tender Savior whispering similar sentiments as we move from the support we once required? I can see his joyful cheers as we take the next big step, his loving compassion when we lose focus and fall, and His steadfast support as we climb back on the bike and pedal our skinned knees once again.
“You don’t need those things anymore.”
“I know it hurts.”
In this broken world, hurt is overwhelming; grief, loss, illness, depression, pain. Aristotle believed our happiness was interwoven with the happiness of others. We are not standing alone, satisfied when our life is charmed. We are wives, fathers, daughters, employers, friends, aunts, brothers, and grandmothers. We hurt for others more often than we hurt for ourselves. Each time we tear down a wall and love someone new, we risk another skinned knee.
If we, as messed-up parents, deeply love our child through painful falls, how much more will our Gentle Savior love us? Our pastor recently taught about the prophet Elijah. He did astonishing things and immediately followed said things up with a season of depression. He fled. He abandoned his work and declared it pointless. Here is where I expect a swift kick from the God working so obviously trough him. Instead, the All-Powerful Creator gave him food and whispered guidance. He nursed him back to health.
And if we, as over-coddling parents, tell our babies to get back on the bike and try again, how much more will God encourage us to try the hard thing yet again? We will not always do everything right. We are going to hurt. But, our sweet God will hold us until we are ready to love deeply and do the hard and terrifying things.
He’ll watch us flourish – and catch us when we fall.
Danielle Geri Long
Among top Minneapolis photographers, Danielle provides award-winning lifestyle photography to capture stories of clients all over Minnesota. Danielle Geri's heart often longs for the bustle of the Twin Cities, while still savoring a little country life just outside Buffalo, Minnesota. Danielle and her husband, Ryan, are raising two feisty red-headed children and attempting to reign in frequent over-committing, so they can do important things (like see each other and watch Netflix). Photography, once a creative outlet, has become a career they both love at Danielle Geri Photography.
As one of Minnesota’s premier lifestyle photographers, Danielle love picture-taking in Minnesota's Twin Cities. Specializing in In-Home Documentary Lifestyle Photo Sessions, she gets a little giddy every time I leave home for lifestyle photo sessions. Telling the unique story of each client, forming new relationships, and pouring myself into every lifestyle session delights her. She is continually grateful Ryan takes on much of the business-y activities of Danielle Geri Photography, so she can focus on photographing her clients well. Contact them for information on availability, or hang out here for a little while and get to know her and the amazing things/people she love.