“Come on, Adam—walk to Mommy!”
Adam smiled at me with his bright, blue eyes as I extended my arms expecting him to reach out to me with his tiny, trusting hands. He took one step. Then, his knees gave way, and he dropped to the floor with a gentle thud, muffled by his diaper.
Without hesitation, I helped my son back up to his feet and placed his back up against the wall to help him regain his balance and his courage. Then, his knees buckled, as he lost his balance again. I persisted in my efforts, until Adam finally refused, uninterested in my intentions and annoyed with my persistence.
I loved watching my son take his first steps. I kept a protective eye on him while I attempted to help him. I leaned him against the wall and coaxed him to step toward me. As I convinced him to take those first steps, he grasped my fingers for assurance. But when he grew weary of my efforts, he just bent his knees and plopped down with a grin.
Adam and I laughed as we enjoyed our little game each day, and soon he tried to walk on his own. That day, his daddy and I cheered and applauded his efforts with pride. I scooped Adam up in my arms and gave him a big hug, “You’re such a big boy. Mommy is so proud of you!”
My son’s independence soon led to climbing, and he couldn’t be left alone for very long. As he discovered all sorts of household dangers, I regretted helping him become independent. His curiosity walked him into a lot of mischief.
As I remember that time in my son’s life, I think of my own faith walk and my journey writing for publication. At times, I’ve felt my back pressing against the wall, fearing the next step. What if I fall on my face in failure?
The fear of rejection paralyzed me, and my own perfectionism held me hostage. I didn’t submit anything for publication for years. So, after our children left our nest, I enrolled in some writing classes at our local university.
Even now—after earning two degrees in professional and technical writing, teaching writing workshops in various settings, contributing to numerous publications, and signing with a literary agent—I still wrestle with taking new steps of faith in my writing life. I prefer to stay in my safe, controlled world. But my hiding place requires little faith or effort. But as long as I remain fearful, I can’t grow—emotionally, mentally, or spiritually.
When I experience the stress of my writing life, I remember the exercise my physical therapist recommended to reduce my stess-induced neck and back pain: “Place your back against the wall with legs stretched out at an angle for support, your shoulders back, your stomach muscles tightened, and your chin tucked in.”
I also recall of a promise from Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things because Christ gives me the strength” (NLT).
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished …” (Phil 1:6).
A few years later, I encouraged another little boy to walk—Adam’s son Zach. I stood my grandson up against the wall, and he looked at me with a hint of caution in his innocent, blue eyes. So, I held our my arms to assure him, “Come on, Zach—walk to Nonnie!”
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