Many young girls in the 90s grew up playing with Barbie dolls and coloring with glitter gel pens in their Lisa Frank journals.
I loved all that stuff too, but I also grew up with baseball posters on my bedroom walls and spent my mornings poring over the sports section of the newspaper.
I come from a long line of sports fans and spent many warm summer nights at the ballpark. Being from Colorado, my team was the Rockies, and although they spent most years in the cellar of the NL West, we were still committed fans.
My parents would load us four kids into the minivan, park a few blocks from Coors Field where the Rockies play their home games, and then trek with thousands of other fans to the stadium gates.
My dad did this thing where he would put his hand on the back of my neck to navigate me through the crowded streets. The older I got, the more I became annoyed with the feeling of his hand on my neck. It felt like he was trying to control me, telling me where I should go and what I should do. I knew where I was going and I thought I knew those streets well.
Gradually, I started to shrug my dad’s hand off my neck.
And that felt like the right thing to do, until one time I was walking to the stadium and realized I was completely lost in the frenzy of moving people. The world that used to feel safe and familiar suddenly felt so overwhelming and uncertain.
I was lost.
I didn’t know where I was or where I was going. I felt so disoriented and so afraid, until I looked up and saw my dad.
Our eyes met, and instantly I knew everything was going to be okay. Even though I still didn’t know where I was or where I was going, I was with my dad and that was enough. He knew his way, and all I needed to do was stay close him.
After that incident, I learned to love the feeling of his hand on the back of my neck. He wasn’t trying to control me he was trying to keep me safe. Knowing he was close to me became a source of comfort and security I began to appreciate more and more.
Looking back, I see how similar this experience was to the way I trust God’s hand on my life.
I have spent far too many sleepless nights feeling overwhelmed because I didn’t know where I was or where I was supposed to be going. Sometimes, I still feel lost and hopeless and helpless. But the truth is, I need to be just like that little girl who felt safe when she was close to her dad.
My problems are a lot bigger now. On many days the world feels impossibly complex. But I was never meant to brave these burdens on my own. It is far too easy to get caught up in the emotions of what is going on around me, but I know I need that gentle reminder to zoom out and look at life from an eternal perspective.
I need to lift my eyes and look for my Father in heaven.
God’s promise of his presence is the source of peace in our suffering, in our confusion, in our disappointment, in our regret, in our heartache, in our uncertainty, and in our stress. He is a good and trustworthy Father, and he knows what he is doing even when we can’t see it or understand.
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.
– Isaiah 43:1-2
Prayer: God, I trust you. Give me the grace to walk each step of my life knowing that you are with me. Help me to rest in your presence and surrender my whole heart to you. Teach me to walk in step with your Spirit and trust your hand to guide me.