This is my girl, Much Afraid.
You can see it on her precious face.
Scared to the point of tears. That instant where your flesh begs to be bowed to, in relief or rescue. This is that.
As, her Mama… I could tell she wanted to bolt and not in the same direction as the other runners. She wanted to be done. Gone. Away.
She was a fifth grader in a seventh grade event. Her first track meet ever. She wasn’t expecting so many runners, she wasn’t expecting the cold or the crowd or the starting gun. And, as the director gave last minute directions about breakaways and lanes and things she didn’t understand… I saw this look. Much Afraid.
Have you ever read Hinds Feet for High Places? You should. It’s the story of fear, trust, suffering, and summits only reachable with The Shepherd.
It’s the story of maturing from fear to faith, in hard things and hard places. All the lessons my girl is learning.
Bang! She started running. 800 meters. Behind the whole time.
Running the whole way.
Until the end.
She finished last. And, I was beaming. Tears of pride and amazement. I’ve said before, I don’t know what first place finishes she will have in life… but my girl podiums in “Hard Things.” Heavy are her laurels in “Doing it Afraid.”
And, I delight in seeing it. More than medals. Better than gold. It is LIGHT and it cannot be dimmed. Getting to see Christ well up in your kids and see them walking, running in His strength… that’s the good stuff.
Here’s what my late comer knows that many adults don’t. There simply is NO bravery apart from Him. No endurance apart from Him. Every good thing we muster IS HIS. Our default position IS slow… last…. and afraid. But, God.
Someone (me) once said, “We tend to think victory is defined by our ability to emerge unscathed and ahead of everyone else. To win and be crowned for our triumph. Not true. Sometimes victory is won by the weary, broken, and tired… from the back of the pack, nothing to boast of, no crowd to cheer them on. Those who ran THEIR race, hard and faithful.”
Finishing well is not always finishing first.
But, it is always better.
This picture goes on our Ebenezer Wall at home. Not a medal or ribbon. But, a standing stone to grit. A reminder that obedience is often hard, and only possible in Him. A reminder that HE is THE Finisher.