Thursday, June 27, 2013

Not left behind

  As the youngest of three and a true daydreamer, I was given a healthy fear of being left behind.  I was never good at keeping up with two much more focused and braver siblings.  Often, the gap between our strides would widen until I would realize how far behind I was and rush to rejoin them.  Ian is not a daydreamer, he just is a lot younger than Luke and Levi.  He did not come in the nicely spaced
two years of his older brothers. Or even a reasonable three or four year spacing. It was the summer Luke was seven and Levi was five that Ian came into our lives.  And pictures changed from Luke and Levi side by side, to Luke and Levi with Ian far behind.  The gap is slowly closing as I take snap shots
of their adventures. 

I use to worry that Ian would be lonely.  He would feel like an add on child.  Feeling foolish for thinking we looked like parents that didn't have their act together. Not like the other families that planned and provided just the right spacing for siblings to share bus rides and friends.   I didn't know I had the expectation that all my children would be grouped tightly together until it didn't work out that way.  

Funny that is how expectations work, they are silent until met with something different.  Then the loud voice of discontentment, what ifs, and why not echos through my thoughts.  Fear becomes louder than hope.  
I love this picture because it reminds me that our expectations and fears are wrong.  Ian loves to be in the middle ground.  He enjoys watching his big brothers charge ahead, call him forward, and rests in knowing I am safely behind watching it all.  He doesn't look ahead panicked that his stride does not match theirs.  He certainly isn't concerned that I am behind and not beside.  He is enjoying his own pace and making his own set of tracks, his own ripples.

It is so easy to get caught up in our expectations or someone else story that we forget to trust God's timing, spacing, and path set specifically for us.  When we fixate on how God unfolds life for others we begin to think He is withholding from us.  We can miss the blessings of the middle ground, the ripples and steps of them, because we are wishing to be further along or in a past that feels safer.

I am grateful for two older boys who are fearless and charge ahead in adventures.  Thankful for Ian  following the trails they have blazed and often times creating his own.  He is a reminder daily
 that expectations and time frames that disappoint at first, end up strengthening
our trust and faith in the end. A reminder that looking down at the steps taken
now is better than fixating on the future or wishing for the past.
To rest in the knowledge that we are not left behind and we are never alone in the journey.

"You will keep in perfect peace

all who trust in you,

all whose thoughts are fixed on you!"

Isaiah 26:3

Hold on

"When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw away the ticket and jump off.  You sit and trust the engineer."

-Corrie Ten Boon