As my baby boy CJ blew out his first birthday candle a couple weeks ago, I hoped to see him walking soon.
CJ had been cruising for months, going from toy to sofa, with graceful pilates-like balance for months. No matter what goodies I dangled out in front of him, he’d crumple down on his legs, and move out in his diaper wagging crawl.
Nope. He just did not want to walk.
I blame it on being cooped up indoors, during months of winter-spring rain. Last weekend, when the clouds parted and it warmed up into the 70’s in San Francisco, Hubby and I buckled our kids into the car and sped to Ocean Beach.
We walked all the way up near the water, where the sand feels sticky and wet. As we lowered baby CJ onto the shore, his knees and palms sank into the mush. Wet sand took to him, like black ink to a fresh brush.
Out of nowhere, unprompted, my sweet angel rose to his feet, babbled at the sky, and pointed to the ocean.
Onlookers around us probably thought I was, like, on something. I was yelping and clapping, jumping, hoopin’ and hollerin’. Like any proud mama.
I’m feeling a lot like CJ right now. I’ve been crawling through a rainy season in my life for a quite some time. I’m not sayin’ my circumstances defined me. But, my faith has been shaped by stormy weather.
It’s been a positive thing overall, building a dependence on God, through continual challenges and personal setbacks.
But, now that there’s a break in the rain, I’m not too sure how to stand up and start walking. Just for the joy of it.
Suffering— I can do. Not by choice. Just how life worked out for a lot of my life.
To God’s credit, He’s blessed me through it all. Among the fruits of the Spirit listed in the Bible, I’ve seen faithfulness and goodness, as my perennial harvests.
Trusting God in the dark…
Putting one foot in front of the other…
Loving God and doing my best to love others along the way…
God’s had me doing these reps so much, they kinda built themselves into my spiritual DNA.
But, joy and peace?
Hmm… these are strange fruits indeed.
I’m not saying I’m free of trials or problems. But, I’ve recently gained freedom over some major internal obstacles that have weighed me down in the past —
I’ve come to accept that some things that I wish could change, won’t.
As a result, I now feel free to pursue the things that give me joy.
Out of nowhere, I find myself in this foreign place called God’s pleasure.
How do I start walking in this new skin? What changes will I have to make?
God’s now taking me out on the beach, after the rain. I’m seeing new sights, babbling at the sky. I may stumble and feel awkward, but I’m no longer content to crawl.
I want to stand up tall.
I’m learning to say “Yes” to God, by saying “Yes” to joy.
Don’t look now — I think I see a proud Daddy, hoopin’ and hollerin’, dancing over us, with every step of “yes” we take.
The LORD your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.”
~ God (Zephaniah 3:17)
[ In the coming posts, I’ll be sharing the steps I’m taking, to make joy my new make up. Click here to read the intro to this series, After The Rain.
Wondering about my story In The Rain? I’m working on telling it soon. Later this month of April, I’ll be asking for your help — to stand by and encourage me, as I share a page, in my chapter of walking in the rain. ]
What changes have you made, as a result of saying yes to joy?
NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN, FAITH BARISTAS!
Pour your shot of faith. Write a post on the topic “New Steps” on your blog and share it here with us. Just enter your link below. If you don’t have a blog, you can still share by posting a comment.
I’m looking forward to drinking in your brew! I’d like to encourage us to read the posts shared and comment (as your time allows). By writing what’s true in our lives and giving voice to what we really think and feel, we’re practicing fearless living together.
By keepin’ it real, we’re keeping our faith real.Faith Barista, where Christian writer Bonnie Gray serves up shots of faith for everyday life. ]