Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing , Now shall it spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19 (NKJ)
It wasn’t anything that seemed like it should have been that big of a deal. Something non-climatic like tumbling off of a chair while playing led to my daughter’s ankle being hurt. She cried out in pain as she landed on it the wrong way causing it to twist. I sympathized, knowing from experience how the quick sharp pain of a simple injury like that could linger.
Holding her until tears dried, she eventually seemed okay and I set her down. I think we were both surprised when she immediately collapsed in the attempt of trying to put pressure on that same ankle. I scooped her up, set her on the couch in front of Elmo, and figured she would be all better by dinner.
Unfortunately, dinner came and went with no improvement in her condition. Transitions between dinner to bath and bath to bed offered opportunities to encourage her to “try again” to see if she would be able to walk. At the slightest hint of pain she refused to even really try. Becoming concerned, I decided to take her to the pediatrician the next day hoping they might be able to offer some answers.
An examination by a professional offered the explanation that perhaps a slight sprain was causing her some discomfort when she applied pressure. We were told to “give her a few days” and all would be back to normal.
My daughter’s refusal to walk because of the fear of pain impacted all of our lives. As an almost five year old, Brooke had been fully mobile and self propelled for quite a while. Quickly adapting, she adopted a forward butt scoot maneuver around the house to get where she needed to go. The biggest issue came into play however when we had to go out in public. With an almost one year old and a now immobile, not to mention very heavy four year old, I had my hands more than full.
Three weeks into it, we did everything we could think of to get her to try to walk again. We encouraged, bribed, cheered, cajoled, challenged and eventually refused to pick her up anymore. We knew that enough time had passed that her wound had healed, but nothing we said or did could convince her that that same amount of pain would not be there waiting when she placed pressure on her ankle. I’ll never forget how pitiful she looked sitting on the floor staring up at us with tears streaming down her face in frustration becuase we kept trying to make her walk. “It hurts!” she would shout at us wishing we would just leave her alone allowing her to spend the rest of her days transporting herself in the butt scooting method she had become so adept in.
Almost ten years later I’m thankful to report that she did indeed walk again. In a moment of excitement and forgetfulness she pursued something that had been strategically placed on the other side of the room.
Children of God too often allow their hurt to hinder them from continuing to walk in the manner which they have been called. Fear of hurt has stopped some dead in their tracks. Fear of man, fear of rejection and fear of failure often keeps us from living in the fullness of life that we were intended to live. Child of God, the only way to move forward is to keep walking.
Father, help me to always have the courage to move towards the future that You have for me.