Where does change begin?
There are lots of babies and toddlers in my family these days.
And lots of relationships.
Two mamas (Rachel and Emily), then Gaga (their mother), Grandma (my mother) and me, Aunt Amy. I savored my relationship with my nieces as they grew up, just as I do now with their children as a great aunt. But unlike the mamas who still call me Aunt Amy, their girls simply call me “Amy.”
I wanted to scoop Fiona up and squeeze the “cute” contained in her little frame, and reached out to tickle her. Instead of the giggle I expected to hear, she withdrew and said a firm, “No,” hiding behind Gaga. In toddler-talk that one word meant, “Don’t touch me,” “Don’t overstep your boundaries.”
What? Just last week when I visited Gaga’s house, Fiona and her cousin, Lilly, looked at each other as if they couldn’t believe their luck and shouted, “It’s AMY!” as if I were the best thing since Cheerios. Is this that same little girl? Disappointed, I let my empty hands fall away—yearning for that sweet tickle and a quick cuddle before she barreled ahead to start exploring.
Fiona isn’t typically timid or shy but once in awhile, she assumes that role. She holds back. Like most toddlers, she chooses her moments and sets her own safety zones. She clutches onto the familiar. Stares down the aggressor and refuses to throw herself into the adventure. Sometimes she can be coaxed. Other times, any effort to draw her out only makes her more stubborn and determined to stay put—arms length away from me, or Grandma or even Buddy, my dog, which she adores.
As I reflected on this moment, I realized that many people are like Fiona when it comes to pursuing our potential. Sometimes we race ahead and meet it, seeing the possibilities and delight in the embrace. We stare at each other, unable to believe our good fortune, and pursue it with gusto. In other moments, our boldness fails and fear takes root. We stop, backtrack to the familiar and say, “No.”
Sometimes we race ahead and meet our potential, delighting in the embrace. Other times, we backtrack and let fear take root. We say a quiet but firm, ‘No,’ and, sadly, turn away from our dreams.”
How many opportunities do we lose out on because of this?
How many times have I done this?
Too many to count.
I KNOW God has a personal, more-than-I-can-ever-grasp, plan for my life and I’m ready to meet it.
That’s when I move forward in my writing career.
I surround myself with encouraging people.
I relive experiences and cull out messages I feel God wants me to share.
I update my progress on Facebook.
I even try to market myself.
That book God desires me to write is within my grasp.
Then, without warning, I hesitate.
I pull back.
I fall behind.
Doubt sets in.
But that’s not what I want. What I know we all want. What is just around the corner if we only step out from behind the Gagas in our everyday lives.
If we let our hands reach out to the sky.
If we let the butterflies invade our bellies.
Our hearts will feel.
God promises He will give us the desires of our hearts.
I saw a picture of Fiona riding this Frog ride at an amusement park. She sits in the second seat with her arms high in the air! She is ready to enjoy the ride. Excitement fills her face. Her fear is gone.
Trust the Lord. Lift your arms. Let the ride thrill you.
You’re not too young. And not too old. God loves to delight us — at any age. Then God takes what we’ve done and transfers the spotlight onto Him. That’s how we bring him glory.”
Don’t watch others have all the fun. JOIN IN.
Lord, this book has been a back and forth challenge but I’m staying with it. I’m lifting my arms in faith prepared to accomplish Your goals for my life. Starting with this book. I know you will bring it to completion.
Friends, don’t let your empty arms fall and wish you had that done ____ (fill it in with whatever your dream is).
What IS your dream? What is holding you back from jumping on the ride and throwing up your arms in joy to embrace it? Share it in the comments below, and determine to step out from behind your fears.
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