A couple weeks ago I took all three of my children on a hike in one of our local state parks. Hiking is one of my most favorite things to do outdoors. The bucket list of hikes I would love to take is extremely long and gets longer and longer instead of shorter. This was our foster child’s first real hike ever I am quite sure. There was severe whining and complaining the entire hike. This was a very short hike compared to what this momma really loves to do. All along the way there were little break throughs amongst the complaining and threats from our child. “I can’t go any further!!! Oh look there is the same kind of bug you and I saw that one time mom!” “Oh I hate spider webs!! Oh my legs are worn out!!! Oh look at the cool butterfly!!” All three children missed the beautiful deer that crossed our path right in front of us. All the way were opportunities to teach about God, His creation, His love, and that in life we need to stop, listen, and look otherwise we miss the greatest blessings from Him. As the hike grew more intense with inclines so did the complaining. The story of the Little Engine that Could (one of my favorites) came in handy that day. With each step I encouraged “I think I can…I know I can!!” At one point I turned and looked at our child to keep encouraging and I saw just how far we had come. I said “Turn and look and see just how far you have already come!! I know you can do this!!”
We reached the top to see the awesome view and the first response was “wow!”. Then that hard shell of pride and survival methods from a harsh life went back up. The guard had been let down just for a moment showing a glimmer of hope that love was winning this child’s heart. The opportunity presented itself to explain that the reason I love hikes so much is that they are hard. The girls started telling him how they have even watched me fall down on hikes. It is a goal that requires physical, mental, and sometimes emotional work. All along the journey God provides little views of His Glory and His Blessings. Once we have persevered and reached the goal then we get to see something beautiful that we never would have seen had we not made the long journey. Each hike I have ever taken I have gotten to see more and more of God’s glory, His beautiful handiwork of His creation.
So it is with life and definitely parenting. Anything truly worth anything takes a lot of physical, mental, and emotional work. As God directs and leads down new paths it is so hard. I stumble, hurt, cry, feel like giving up and then He shows little snipits of His glory. Each new hurdle in life God reveals more and more of His Glory to me that I would have missed had I not listened and taken the path He directed.
Not only was this hike a teachable moment for this young precious child it was one for mom as well. Just keep looking at how far you have come I can hear my Heavenly Father encourage. Just keep taking one step and one day at a time and trust me.
It is always good to look back and see what God has brought us through and the prayers that have been answered. The past is not a place to dwell, but to learn from and press on.
So a message to all parents and especially foster/adoptive parents. Just look at how far you’ve come!!!
Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”