Surrendering Our Steps
"A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps."
"Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you."
I got a call from our pediatrician earlier this week checking in to ask if my youngest son, 16 months old, was walking yet. At his appointment six weeks ago, they told me they would be in touch, so I had been waiting for this call. In the meantime I had been practicing, hoping and praying for progress, to no avail. I got a pang of sadness when I had to answer no, and we began the conversation of physical therapy referrals, rehabilitation center recommendations and first appointments.
However, this is actually not new territory for me, as my oldest son started walking at 20 months old, with no reason for his delay. It was simply happening in God's time. In a way, I'm grateful to be given the reminder once again that God is in control of each and every situation, and not me. I can practice walking with my son all day, do leg strengthening exercises with him or coax him verbally to take steps towards me, but I can't take those steps for him. It's completely out of my (very imperfect) hands, and I am so grateful for that.
Proverbs 16:9 reminds us (all too literally!) that "A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps." We all have plans for our children, whether that is to hit all of their milestones at the "right" times, be successful in the classroom, excel in sports and activities, or be a model for showing kindness and compassion to their classmates and friends. Or maybe it's simply to have them get a bath at the end of the day without protesting, and make it to bedtime on time without a meltdown! No matter our plans, they are never fulfilled to our expectations. Rather than being defeated by this, we must remember that God is guiding our steps each and every day. He is the author of our lives and our children's lives. His plans for them are beyond anything we could ever conceive of, despite them taking a different path than we originally envision.
As we begin this new school year, let us surrender our children's steps to the One who has it all, and who has had it the entire time. Let us embrace the detours in our plans that inevitably arise, and submit them to the Lord. This month, I am committing to echo the prayer that David prayed in Psalms 25:4-5: "Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you." I love the word "lead" because it reminds us that we are not walking through this parenting journey alone; the almighty God walks with us step for step. And just as He is leading our Weekday Schoolers throughout the day, I can be assured that He is leading my youngest son's walking journey as well.
Amy Mixson, Faith and Family