Our older daughter will graduate college in May. Where to go and what to do next are the questions on her mind these days. One thing she is sure of, is that she is done with school for now. A Master's degree was a consideration a few months ago. Now, however, she's ready to venture out… out of school, out of our home town, out of her comfort zone. She took her first step a few weeks ago and as a parent, it was almost as exciting as watching her take her first few steps as a toddler!
In the first week of February she ventured out to a series of meetings and workshops in Kansas City to look into what it would take to become a Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleader. Although she is an Accounting major, her minor is in Sports Management. What she would really love to do is work for a sports team of some sort. She spent three weekends in Kansas CIty – two for the workshops and one for the tryouts. She invited me to go with her for the weekend of tryouts.
As we approached the stadium, I was struck by the size of it. A far cry from our hometown football field. Huge. My heart told me what I guess I hadn't fully realized before… this is a BIG step! As her mom, I knew it was a big step for Hannah. She had taken a giant leap out of her comfort zone and had done it on her own. The girlfriends that said they were going to try out with her all backed out. Four years ago, that would have been enough for her to stay home, as well. This time, her attitude was different. She had already decided in her mind that she was going to do it. She had invested time and money in the workshops and was determined to make it a learning experience.
I took her out for a special meal. I gave her a card that on the outside read, "Take a Chance, then, Take Another Chance." I told her about the story I shared on my blog a couple years ago called "Keep the Photographer." I told her I wanted to take a picture of the young woman that she is at this point in her life. I want to have a reminder of exactly what she looked like at a time in her life when she was willing to risk rejection or disappointment and instead look to what she could learn from an experience. She said she really wasn't expecting to make it but she wanted to be able to say she tried. Just before we left the stadium at 11:30 that night, I received a text from her… "I didn't make it, but I still had fun."
Big Steps. We can learn from our children. None of them, when learning to walk, threw themselves on the floor and said, "I just can't do it!" They fell down and they got up again. Over and over again. The older we get, the more cautious we get; the more we say we can't before we even try. I have learned that by saying "yes" to life and the various opportunities it offers, that often I am taking a bigger step than I could have imagined taking. Each step leaves us stronger and more confident that we can take another.
The class that I teach on Wednesday night has a group of ladies that have taken a Big Step. Some have never done anything like it in their lives. They have not given up. They ask for help, they laugh at themselves, they work together and so far, all have completed all their pages and are still smiling. Last week they wrote down the 10 characteristics of God that are most meaningful in their lives. They wrote in their own writing and each one was profoundly personal. If no book is completed and they are not at another session, I am happy with that Big Step. For their loved ones that read that page, they will know of the importance of the presence of God in their lives. That is huge. The irony is that so many times, we don't even realize how big the steps we are taking really are.
This journey we're on isn't always an easy one. It requires faith and trust and perseverence. I'm grateful for those who walk with me, who cheer me on, who believe I can walk when I've fallen flat on the floor. No matter how small the steps may seem to you at this season of your life, I want to encourage you to keep trying and to surround yourself with people who believe you can! In hindsight, even the baby steps can be Big Steps!
Believing You Can,