Push In

This is just about right. This is the way she walks out her life; right on the edge of the boundaries. Daily, as we walk to therapy, I remind her of the simple rule of staying on the trail for her safety, but every day she either walks right on the edge or pushes those boundaries by walking with one foot on the path and one off.

As I watch her walk confidently right on the edge of the parameter, what weighs heavy on me as I pray in and out with every breath for my family, is the weight of raising children who daily push up against those simple boundaries. I see the ironic view of her boundary walking right before my eyes. I don’t miss it, instead I let it sink deeply into my soul.

Sink deeply. Boundary walking. Reminds me of a practical tip I learned while working with a child during my field hours that was an aggressive biter. I hear my supervisor’s words over me, “Push in to the bite.” What?! Who in the world pushes in to a painful bite? The natural human reaction is to tense up, pull away from the bite and express outwardly our displeasure for the pain. Usually it’s anger directed at the one who has bitten us.

“Brandy, push in to the bite.”

I hear Him whisper to me the wisdom of those words as I walk this unspoken road of a child…children who push up against the edges and bite me with their actions. They hurt. I want to recoil from the source of pain.

“Brandy, push in to the bite.”

Wisdom learns from experience. Our natural human reaction is to pull away from a bite, but those more experienced than me have told me, “Brandy, push in to the bite because it will cause their jaw to release, giving you relief from the pain.”

It’s contrary to what my human heart wants to do. When my line-walkers push, it hurts. I want to walk away. Over time, with repeated pain, I want to give up. But then I remember another wise mentor reminding me that it’s not about ME. Trying to force my child back on to the path should never be about the relief from my pain. It is always about pushing back in to the pain with them, walking the line with them in LOVE until they make the decision on their own. Funny how the relief from my pain comes in the form of LOVING them even when it hurts.

Dear child of mine,

Even when you push up against the boundaries…even when you walk the line. Even when you bite me and it hurts, I will push in to the bite with LOVE because some day when you willfully choose to walk right back into the center of the path, I will still be right beside you because that’s what LOVE does. And you know who else will be right there with us? God. God already is and will continue to be there with us every single step we take together because His LOVE for us is inexhaustible. It never ends. It never fails. It doesn’t give up. What I want for you to know more than anything else as we walk this unspoken road together is that my love won’t quit and God’s love for you knows no end.

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