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Olivia is thiiiiiiis close to full-blown crawl mode. Girlfriend can commando-crawl like a soldier and is the fastest scoocher on the block, but she’s yet to put two-and-two together (or, arms + legs together) for that truly coordinated crawl action. Lately, it’s been a near-comical narrative that plays out without fail, as she associates cause with effect and sets her sights on an end point.
It goes a little something like this.
Liv sees something she wants. Eyes on the prize, she’ll scramble into whatever “mode” she deems necessary in the moment to make it to her final destination. Scooch twice, roll thrice, twist and reach backwards until she can tip the top of a toy into her grasp.
Sometimes, if I’m at the finish line, she’ll get antsy. Especially if she’s been scooching around for awhile already, she’ll tucker out. She’ll do a few moves successfully, but then panic when she sees how far away I still appear. So she’ll pump her little legrolls in the air and swing her pudgy little arms back and forth, as if air-swimming will be the magical key now. Poor babe ends up resembling a beached whale, down to the frustration level, and will cry out like “MOM, RESCUE ME.”
Really, all she has to do is…
Just push up.
Push up, then push out. One step, then another.
Us big kids look at the situation from above and deem it “adordable” – she’s just a baby! She’s learning! She’ll figure it out!
Which is all 100% true.
But for Olivia, this is intense and this is real and this is serious business.
She obviously doesn’t realize the simplicity of the situation from adult perspectives. Instead, she’ll throw a fit of yelling, frustratedly crying out. She’ll put on her most determined look and swing those little arms and pump those pudgy little legs with all her might, hoping to move forward to her turtle or giraffe. She won’t even cry out of “Save me!” frustration, at first – she’ll cry out in sheer determination, like a body builder going up a weight class at the gym.
But…she stays put.
No movement, no progress – just stillness.
No amount of crying and the best intentions will move her forward, because the mechanics aren’t quite right. She’s going 180 mph in the wrong direction, so to speak, pushing her arms + legs up in the air instead of grounding them down below.
As the big people in the picture, we look at the bigger picture and can chuckle – if only she knew!
…So how does that impact how God looks at us?
How many times a day do we experience something that has us air-swimming on the shore of life, feeling like a beached whale, with a surprisingly simple solution right in front of us? How often do we ride the struggle bus, wishing/hoping/praying for a stop sign coming up soon? How frequently do we find ourselves in a tizzy over something, because we know it’s possible – heck, we’ve seen other folks do it! – but it doesn’t feel possible for us in that moment? We can have the best intentions in the world, but if our mechanics aren’t quite right…will alone won’t make it happen.
Just push up.
For Liv, when she pauses the panic and just pushes up, she gets calmer right away because the light bulb goes off and she remembers, Hey! I can move myself! I can sit at the finish line cheering her on per usual, and she’s a bit more clearminded to get to her goal because the tears have sortof-subsided and she can refocus a bit more. For us, it’s the same thing. And I don’t mean to dilute our very real, something very big struggles down to that of an 8-month-old’s, but from that overhead perspective…there are quiiiiiiiite a few more similarities than we might like to admit sometimes. 😉 When we’re in the midst of a our own madness, sometimes we lose sight of the mechanics and shortchange the process. We forget the motions in the middle, because we’re too focused on skipping straight to the end result
For myself, I’ve #BeenThereDoneThat. I’ve hit the panic button. I’ve freaked the freak out, only for someone to say, “Well, did you try X?” or “What about Y?” and the light bulb flicks on – I hadn’t even thought of that!
I think God looks at us the same way I look at Olivia in those moments of panic + frustration: If only she knew.
If only we knew the plans that God has in store for us (Jeremiah 29:11).
Sometimes, we just need to push up in faith. Push up to the next step. Push up into the unknown, trusting that He will help us in our every move – so long as we place our trust in Him truly, wholeheartedly, completely. Sometimes it’s not a matter of ever having an actual light bulb moment of epiphanic proportions.
Sometimes, it’s also not our time (yet).
Olivia is totally on pace with her “milestones” – there’s no rush to do anything different right now. It’s not like she needed to have this figured out yesterday. So while it may be frustrating as all heck to her in the moment…it’s OK. It’s not a matter of IF – it’s just a matter of when. And that timing isn’t ours to control.
Similarly…girlfriend still gets around just fine! It clearly drives her nuts when she can’t quite figure out how to move one leg and one arm at the same time on the ground together with enough force to move forward. But when that fails, she scoochs on all fours, she commandos with her arms, she rolls with intention, and suddenly…she’s still where she wanted to go.
Don’t let society’s idea of how it “should” go impact your willingness to go with the flow that’s in front of you in this season.
Sure, it might feel/be “easier” to go a certain way – and we look at those folks with those seemingly perfect paths and feel salty that ours isn’t so simple. But that doesn’t lessen our journey, or even necessarily impact our trajectory. We might get there just as quickly another route, even if it feels more convoluted.
So if you find yourself in frustration this week, wondering how or why the heck you aren’t moving as fast or far as you’d like – just push up. Stop overcomplicating and overthinking the process. Start trusting the One who designed the process (and you) in the first place.