Faith & Values: Can we look at each day and say, ‘Do not fear’?
More than 40 years ago, my two small daughters and I drove past a day care center. I clearly remember looking at the place and wishing that it didn’t exist, that there wasn’t even such a system. Every child should be home with their parent, I believed.
I had no idea of God’s plan for my life. I thought I knew so much about following his lead as a young mother. I was so very wrong.
I am now in my 25th year as a director of a child care center. We’re not a day care center; we care for the child, not the day. It has been an amazing experience to watch life unfold and smile that the One who guides us so well has allowed this privilege.
It will always move me to see the parents who gingerly, trustingly drop their child or children off each day, leaving to give the world all their amazing talents as bankers, sales reps, lawyers, teachers, restaurant workers, doctors, etc. Each one is trusting another group of individuals to teach, love and care for these amazing gifts they have produced.
Most assuredly, the best we can give them is our love. We can also help give them the great truth that there is a God who gave us his Son and whose angels have told us from the very beginning, “Do not fear.”
I’ve seen a lot of life happen at our center over the years, and sometimes it makes me wonder. How can a young mom be receiving chemotherapy at age 33 while her husband helps her cut her hair as it is falling out — and all this after dropping their 16-month-old at a child care center? Do not fear?
Another mother has Lyme’s disease and joins us on a trip to the zoo with her two young sons, but needs a wheelchair to be with them during this special day. I’ve watched as parents fought to overcome spinal meningitis, strengthening themselves and returning to work, and others who struggle desperately with infertility, wishing every year to conceive another child. Do not fear?
The great gift is being a part of these families’ lives. Sometimes, that means watching while they await the outcome of tests, hoping for good news and that their greatest fear does not happen. How can we learn to wait in a life filled with children, jobs and houses? We do it because he guides us, and often that means we are to listen and wait!
The lesson will always be there if we pay attention. It all gets better, and we see that even in our darkest moments … we can survive by caring, talking, listening, enjoying that young child as we watch them grow. We strengthen one another by seeing life in their eyes of joy.
What a privilege, even in the hardest of times, to be a part of this magical kingdom each and every day and to wonder with these amazing moms and dads what will happen next!
Can we learn to be thankful for every day we are given? Can we look at the day and say, “Do not fear.” If possible, we must at least tell ourselves, “The best is yet to come.” I believe God has a plan, and it’s perfect: We have the opportunity to cooperate with him and watch that plan play out.
I am grateful for his leading me to a place I never wanted to go!
This article first appeared at http://www.richmond.com/life/faith-values/article_1e53ea9d-9e9d-5466-98b0-faeb478f5cdc.html.