I was talking to my husband when Lana—our sweet, innocent girl—ran up to us, yelling, “Mom, look! I wrote my name all by myself!” Then she shoved this picture in my hands, and we both made a valiant (yet unsuccessful) attempt to not completely lose it.
We knew that if we laughed, she would be devastated, so we both covered our hysterical bubbles of laughter as best we could. After (somewhat) pulling it together, we told her she did an amazing job. She nodded excitedly and asked if we could frame it and hang it on the wall, which had us dying all over again.
But you know what? For a few months, this picture was proudly pinned to our fridge for all to see. I laughed every time it caught my eye, and we did have to explain our new décor to a few slightly alarmed guests, but our daughter put time and effort into learning something new just so she could show it to us. Just so she could get our attention and say, “Look—I’m doing the thing you have been trying to teach me! Aren’t you proud?” And we hung it up because we wanted her to know that we are proud.
Part of being a parent is celebrating the learning process, not just the final product. And I believe it’s the same way with God. We all have our own hills and valleys, but I would suggest that it’s our valleys that are most defining.
It’s easy to walk by faith when there’s fruit everywhere. When God feels tangibly present, or He’s giving you dreams or visions, or He’s holding your hand. When things are working out exactly the way you had always hoped or planned.
But what about when He disappears—or at least seems to? When you look around and you can’t see Him, or feel Him, or hear Him. When everything feels like it’s falling apart, and you’re waiting on the promise but nothing is happening and you’re starting to wonder if you heard Him wrong. When your tank is empty and your heart is aching, but you step forward in faith anyways.
I am confident that those wobbly, uncertain steps of faith are the ones all of Heaven watches with bated breath. Those are the steps that I believe are framed in the hallways of Heaven.
The same way a parent watches proudly—just out of sight but never out of reach—as their baby takes those first few steps (or learns to write her own name), the Father is always nearby, cheering you on. Always present to celebrate and cherish those moments. Always ready to pin your name on the fridge.
How pleased He is with those steps of faith because His beloved child is learning a new thing, and He is so proud of you.