Tuesday, June 18, 2013

'Do not be afraid ...'

Her eyes were welling up with tears. Her sweaty hands were crushing my fingers. She wanted to sit down and take off her roller skates. Yes, it sounds dramatic for what was supposed to be Saturday afternoon entertainment with my girl, but she was scared. Genuinely scared.

It's not the first time she'd been skating, but our local rink didn't have the walker-like helpers to give confidence to her rolling around the slick surface. She just had me. 

We sat down on what used to be church pews that now line one end of the rink and I asked, "Why are you scared?"

She loosened her grip on my hand and said, "I might fall."

"Yes, you might. But it will probably be slowly and on your bottom."

She had other ideas on her mind: "I might break a bone."

"Probably not." I feel like I can say this with certainty. I told her about having monthly skating parties with my elementary school and how the skating rink was the birthday party location of choice. I didn't remember learning to skate, but I remember "Ice, Ice Baby" blaring from the rink's speakers and knowing I never broke a bone.

About then the older man who owns the skating rink, accepted our admission money, controlled the music that he called "records," and made the rules about which direction to skate offered some advice: Right. Left. Right. Left. Just take tiny steps.

Like so many times in life, taking one step at a time is the best way to get there. Sure, taking tiny steps one at a time won't get us there quickly. But it will teach us the route and technique. It will keep us from breaking bones {probably}. And we'll gradually go faster.

I persuaded Cate off the old church pew and we started taking tiny steps, holding hands, moving counter-clockwise around the rink. Her grip gradually loosened. Her steps gradually became bigger and more frequent. There may have even been a couple rolls of the wheels in there.

In her own words: "I got the hang of it, Momma. And I wasn't scared anymore."

Isn't that just like life?

Some moments are scary, but we aren't alone. As we take steps, we gain confidence.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." {Joshua 1:9}

Cate found comfort in holding my hand on one side and having the wall nearby on the other side. I told her this is how God wants us to be with him. He wants us to rest on him. He can hold us up. He'll take the tiny steps with us and then stick with us when we speed up because we finally get it. Yes, we may fall along the way, but that doesn't mean we can't get up and and try again.

We made several circles around the rink without her even holding my hand. The fear that had been pushing tears out of her eyes had become joy. And now she's asking when we can go skating again.

I'm linking up with Jen Ferguson and her Soli Deo Gloria party and Jennifer Dukes and the storytellers she brings together for #TellHisStory. Want more? Subscribe to get "Insights" in your inbox. Like 152 Insights on Facebook. Or follow me on Twitter and Instagram.


  1. Gindi Eckel Vincent6/18/2013 8:09 AM

    Oh I live this story!!!!

  2. Gindi Eckel Vincent6/18/2013 8:10 AM

    Love (not live) - iPhones.....

  3. KristinHillTaylor6/18/2013 8:17 AM

    Thanks, Gindi! :)

  4. KristinHillTaylor6/18/2013 1:02 PM

    Thanks, Kristin!

  5. Such a sweet message. And yes, I agree -- so much of life is like this. And I think by God's design. He wants to be there for every small step -- it's all part of a journey He has designed. oh, and I'm a vanilla ice fan, too.

  6. KristinHillTaylor6/18/2013 9:11 PM

    I'm not sure I'd go as far to say I'm a Vanilla Ice "fan," but I like reminiscing, and this song takes me there! :) You're right - God wants us to need him. And boy do I ever!

  7. What a great message and that you were able tell your daughter that this is how God works too is awesome!

  8. Oh, your sweet girl...bless her. And what a sweet reminder, too...thank you for sharing. :)

  9. Michelle Eichner6/20/2013 12:21 PM

    Beautiful! What a neat picture. Thanks for sharing. Michelle