A few weeks ago my 14-year-old daughter was away for the weekend. This was a really great opportunity to “help” her clean out her closet. The sweet girl can’t bear to part with ANYTHING. I’ll spare the details but let’s just say that 4 bags of garbage were disposed of. Yah, that’s right, 4 BAGS! It was almost an episode of hoarders. (I promise I didn’t throw out anything special, she was thrilled when she got home and could see the floor, and says she doesn’t even know what’s gone.) This was a collection of birthdays past, schoolwork, Christmas, candy wrappers, clothes that don’t fit, clothes that needed a hanger, and other random things in a growing pile. Once organized it was an incredible transformation!

I had some sentimental moments and deep thoughts as I cleaned out that closet.  As I looked at her sweet “grown up” dress hanging up for Grade 8 graduation in a couple of weeks, I was struck by the contrast of the little girls toys behind it. The ones she wants to hold on to. (The ones I’m not ready to let go of yet either. I’ll store them forever in rubber bins, and deep places in my heart.)

It painted a picture to me. That dress surrounded by toys.

It’s a fine line

I thought about the fine line, the one between childhood and starting to grow up. You almost can’t see it because it sneaks up slowly. It’s like a vapour that you can hardly recognize. But it happens. It’s there.

Being a child is simple.

Growing up can be hard.

Little girls can’t be little forever.

They grow up.

The more I thought about it, the more I thought about how life is all about those fine lines that we cross as we grow into different stages and ages. They become internal lines. Lines that define us, lines that we have to balance on because of the tension they bring to our life.

Fear  –  Bravery

Insecurity  –  Confidence

Doubt   –  Trust

Pain  –  Joy

Questions –  Faith

I’m often standing in the middle of these lines. Doing a balancing act. Like a tightrope walker high above the crowd, I feel the pressure to cross. But sometimes I don’t want to. I’m afraid to fall, but I don’t know if I can go back and moving forward is terrifying.

Will I cross? Will I push through? Will I stay where I’m comfortable? Will I fall?

Sometimes it’s a daily choice.

It would be a little bit boring to be the most brave, confident, trusting, joyful, faith-filled person in the world. That sounds like perfection. I’m nowhere near that. And despite all of the amazing people I know, I can’t think of one who has reached that goal 100%.

We need the tension. We never fully arrive. We are works in progress, living out our redemptive story. Trying to leave our immature ways behind as we strive to be whole, as we grow into all we should be.

The fear pushes me to be brave.

Each time I overcome my insecurity I become more confident.

When I doubt, I have to trust more.

I have to work through my pain, to get to the joy.

My questions, strengthen my faith.

Alway trying to cross the line, balancing what is on each side.

Sweet girls with grad dresses

Warriors trying to find their path

Momma’s with broken hearts

Sisters in deep pain

Wanderers feeling lost and alone

Brokenhearted asking deep questions

You can do it.

You were made for this.

You’re strong.

If you get stuck in the middle, it’s ok.

Go back and start again.

You have everything you need

On both sides.