I could not be more proud of my darling daughter, Ashley. She just posted this on Facebook. And she generously gave me permission to hijack it for this blog. The kind of thing that would make any dad shed a tear or two. It is well-worth a read!
Nora slept in our bed last night.
While I was laying there, taking my sweet time to fall asleep, as I often do, I kept thinking about how much I loved the sweet, little bundle next to me.
Then my mind jumped from that warm, happy place to the worst place imaginable where I kept thinking over and over, “What if something ever happened to her?”
I then devised a plan, a series of plans, that I would, of course, never actually be able to follow through on. Plans like never letting her leave the house, interviewing every person that may come into contact with her to make sure they are worthy of her, or the most practical of all: simply not allow her to grow up.
As I slowly had to let those ideas fade away, I began to realize what a shame it would be if any of them were possible. I would never get to see my little girl become a woman, I would never be able to see her develop her own likes and dislikes, I would never have the privilege of hearing her opinions, I would never get to witness her fall in love.
I then began to wonder, and then ultimately decided I believe, that God must feel the same way when it comes to us.
How He must long to create a protective bubble around us, and how His heart must break when we do things that hurt ourselves and others.
And all the while He is waiting, just like I will always wait for Nora, with a heart full of compassion, forgiveness, and love.
Knowing that I have a Father God who cares for me even more deeply than I do my precious child is so comforting… not to mention humbling!
And then I took this thought process and applied it to a bigger picture. I have had people ask me in the past, and upon occasion wrestle with the question myself, of why an all-powerful, loving God would allow pain and hurt in this world. I know that I may never have a complete answer to that, and there are many who have a greater grasp on this subject than I, but I did get a clear look at a small part of the picture.
In the same way that I will have to let Nora grow up and have free-will, in the same way I will have to let her become the person she decides to be, and in the same way I will have to allow her to one day make her own decisions that may be potentially devastating to herself and/or others, God has given us free-will. He let’s us grow into the people that we decide to be, and allows us the opportunity to make decisions that could be potentially devastating to ourselves and/or others. And He does that out of love… just the way I will with Nora… Always waiting with a heart full of compassion, forgiveness, and love, ready to step in at a moment’s notice to help her pick up the pieces, and with the hope that she may learn, grow, and be better for it.
I know that some people don’t and will not agree with me, and that’s okay… These are just the thinks that I think in the middle of the night.