My daughter is fearless. She genuinely is. She’s not afraid of climbing, falling, jumping, crying, screaming, laughing, feeling, asking. She is not afraid of pain, or adults or big and small animals. When she turned three she developed a fear of water in her eyes. And getting her hair wet, or washed. So on nights when I would do this I’m convinced the neighbours thought I was beating her or hurting her in some way. But she’s since started swimming lessons. And I’m pleased to say that her fear of water seems all but gone now. As she gains confidence she has begun to throw water on her face in the bath. And to jump into the shower before swim class with giddy excitement. And to splash me as I supervise bath time. I love it because now that she’s not afraid anymore I enjoy her squeals as I splash her back. It is pure joy, watching her live a life of no fear. Sometimes I think she’s too fearless. And in my weakness I try to make her like me because I start to see her fearlessness as a weakness. I try to remind her that it might be a bit too ambitious to try and conquer that massively high slide in the park; ‘you’re too young for that’, I say. And I watch as she pulls a disappointed face often followed by defiance as she attempts it despite my warning and conquers it. I’m left speechless and stifle a strained ‘well done’ often followed by more warnings. I know it’s important to be safe. I want her to know that, too. But I fear in my fear I’ve been missing what God is teaching me through her as well. I have failed to see the times that she checks to see where I am before she launches herself down the massive slide. Or where I am when she is attempting the monkey bars or cartwheels or the zip line or even when she runs off as fast as she can through the park without a second thought for the pram that restricts me behind. In my fear I always miss it. But she always looks to see where I am. And when she is reassured that I haven’t left her, or that I am there to catch her should she fall, she Leaps, and jumps and slides and runs and screams and asks. Because she is confident that I am there, I am watching, and she is safe. Tonight at church someone gave us a word from God that said: ‘be a child again’. That is my prayer. To be so confident in His abilities that I am free to attempt the impossible, the scary, and to navigate life with such freedom that I forget the fear. Not because the fear isn’t real, but because it is overcome by his presence. And by His love. Oh that I may be a child again, Lord! Your child!

Advertisements