Amelia started crawling yesterday. It was a beautiful moment. I saw her teeter the weight from her knees to her hands and wiggle like she has been over the past few weeks, but this time something about her motion was different. This time she did not fall flat onto her chest and combat wobble over toward me. Nope, this day she moved one knee and one hand forward. Caught in a symphony of infant coordination, she moved across the bed. Nicolas and I watched in awe and wonder as our little tiny princess found breakthrough at last.
For weeks she has been struggling to crawl. Since trekking places on her own was a non-option, she would cry and wobble and generally be frustrated until we picked her up and moved her towards an object she wanted. The process was pretty hard because she got bored with all of the baby activity gizmos pretty quickly. Except for the DIY mobile Nick made her, which would cause a ribbon connected to her foot and a branch holding three true to scale globes to bob and swing when she would kick her little feet back and forth. She enjoyed having the world on a leash, until she learned how to remove the ribbon.
It was at this stage, when I could see the yearning to move and crawl in her eyes. Amelia would not be satisfied until she could move her hands and knees in a tiny rhythm to propel her to the destination of her own choosing. So I watched her struggle, comforted her after the attempt to crawl turned into a face-plant, and I tried to help satisfy her longing to go as much as possible. Try as I might, I could not make her learn faster. In fact, my attempts to curb the little girls frustrations actually got in the way of her building the muscles that would enable her chug along like the determined engine she wanted to be.
I learned a lot from watching Amelia learn to crawl. She exhibited power and fortitude, a persistence like that of a newly hatched sea turtle determined to make it back out to sea. The challenge was part of her and far outweighed the uncomfortability of getting there. Nevertheless, I identified with the frustrations she felt. I’m familiar with the aggravation of not being coordinated, experienced or skilled enough to complete a new task. I cry out to God after writing the beginning of a song, but at a loss as to where it should go. I whine. I consider throwing in the towel on my guitar or voice lessons. I wonder how I will ever get to the destiny that surges in my tiny seemingly incapable frame. I learned a lot from watching her continually get back up again and again in a tedious repetitive fashion. It’s in the tiny decisions to get back up again, to move just an inch further, to practice that strum pattern one more time that we are able to find our breakthrough.
The battle to grow muscles and learn how to crawl was Amelia’s battle. If I had taken the pain of it away she would not have gained developed the courage or persistence. In the same way, God allows us to struggle. If he simply handed me breakthrough I wouldn’t have the character or strength to live it out. He watches me as I’m churning a Holy-Spirit-inspired-song-idea around in my brain and spending hours crafting it. He watches as I throw the pencil down in frustration when I don’t know how to solve a chord progression issue. He encourages me. He sends me mentors. He invites me into situations that will help stretch out the right muscles, and then he celebrates each and every one of my tiniest breakthroughs, because I am his daughter and he loves me. He’s readying me for a grand adventure. I’m ok with struggling to crawl for now, because I know he’s getting me ready to run. He’s not going to take shortcuts with me and he won’t take any with you either.
Koryn and her husband Nick are on the Pastoral Team at New Day Community Church. They are actively involved with leading the Young Adult ministry. Koryn also leads on the worship team. Their daughter, Amelia, is a whopping (almost!) 7 month old. Koryn can also be found on her personal blog http://koryndolin.tumblr.com/