Sometimes when we’re walking, Ken and the kids run ahead and I just stop and watch the three of them, my heart beating wildly. They are pieces of me, my heart, out there in the open.
I feel inside out.
What was once on the inside, protected within me is now out, running free down the sidewalk where God knows what could happen. I didn’t know having a family could do this to me. I didn’t know it was possible to love so much that I actually do feel as if I could burst.
J and S run, laughing and playing their sibling games. They fall down and bounce right back up. They don’t know I’m constantly scanning the driveways, watching for things that may cause them to trip, or broken glass on the sidewalk. That every time they fall I catch my breath for a second while I figure out if it’s major or minor. They just are filled with joie de vivre. I’m not all worry and woe. They make me run, laugh, and love in ways I never considered. They bring out my best parts. (And sometimes the worst ones, too—but we’re not talking about that, today.)
And this is where I have to pause and remember that we are grounded and we are raising our kids to be the same. We have roots that will tether us when hardship comes. Oh God, I hope they will.
For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:11-13, NRSV)
This passage has been my tether in many a storm. We do have a future with a hope. And I love to see it bounding down the street.