How many times we say or have heard, “If I could only go back in time but knowing what I know now”? It’s crossed my mind and my lips on many occasions and opens the door to wonder. How would it look or feel to actually do that, to go back in time and not rush through life as a series of tasks? How would it make a difference in who I am now and how would those in my family, especially my children be changed? I remember being a child and looking into the night sky wondering how many stars there were. It would fill me with awe and a tinge of fear. My newly forming ego didn’t want any questions left unanswered. Wonder would continue but for a while was overshadowed by fear.
Now this fear was not like running away from a hungry bear or any real threat of danger. This fear was one created by the culture I lived and grew up in. A slow creeping kind of fear that I might not measure up, I might fail was the first I am aware of. Being a student in a school where perfection seemed required was one perception I held. As I grew and struggled just a bit in school, the culture of consumerism also jumped on board. My family did not have what others did and so hand-me-downs were the norm. One new outfit a school year was exciting until I realized I couldn’t wear it every day. I began to want things I didn’t have. And I grew. To college student, new nurse, wife, mother and friend, all of these mini-identities held a special ongoing competition for my attention to control and perfectionism hence creating fears of their own.
It wasn’t all bad or all fear, if it had been I would have succumbed and been lost. All along the way there was faith. Faith in a creator God who was good, who created good things, kept my head just above the water until I chose to dive deep. “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child;” 1 Cor. 13:11a As I grew, through life experiences of love, sorrow, trials and joys, a longing was bubbling up through the wondering that continued. The wondering turned to questioning and study. The study became filled with conversations between God and myself in prayer. Slowly a wonderful crack in my perceptions of fear and finality let in some light to shine on the mysteries of life.
Being a Grandmother is teaching me some new and wonderful lessons, not the least of which is to just love every moment and enjoy the mysteries. It’s easier now to just love and not worry. Looking into those sweet faces, so similar to my own children’s is like looking at the stars in a mirror. There are so many amazing possibilities for their lives. They are beautiful and sweet, funny and loving. There is the answer and no need to wonder. It is Love. Just Love. I did a lot of that when my children were young. There are so many memories of sweet baby kisses and sticky hands hugs that fill me with joy. And so I would not want to go back, I don’t have to go back. God was there all along helping us all grow. He was loving me through sweet times of growing and some sticky situations.
I am happy for my now grown children and who they have become. They are making their own way now and will most likely repeat some of my mistakes but that’s how they learn. I let go of fear and swim in the beautiful night sky of wonder. I let go of the worldly ideas of how life should be and enjoy each moment as it is. Every life change and event is momentous and filled with wonder. I love to wonder momentous.
He counts the number of the stars;
He calls them all by name. Psalm 147:4