Wednesday, June 24, 2015

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
Isaiah 40:28-29 NIV

Our family enjoys playing board games. In fact, board games have been an important part of my daughter's mastery of math concepts. One of her favorite games is a competitive one which involves the game pieces doing a lot of moving back and forth. If you're lucky, you eventually end up in the right spot and win the game. Inevitably, one of us will be very close to the win, only to find ourselves drawing a card or getting bumped by another player's card that sends us back to the beginning again.

I felt a lot like that this past weekend. My daughter came home from an overnight stay with grandparents, and they were telling me how she had done. She hadn't gotten homesick at all, had slept well, and had done better in every respect than any other time she's ever gone to stay with them by herself. I was so excited to hear the news, and then . . .

. . . I had to interrupt that phone call with the news that she was having a meltdown over not being able to find something. I heaved a big sigh and went to see what was going on. While I was excited about the victory of her stay with her grandparents, I was disappointed that the minute she walked through the door she had a meltdown over something inconsequential.

One step forward, two steps back.

The meltdown didn't last as long as they have in the past, and we were able to go ahead and have a good evening as a family. But then she had trouble winding down that night and didn't sleep well, which left her tired and not feeling well the next day.

One step forward, two steps back.

And that's the day we started this year's Vacation Bible School, which is exciting and fun but gets us way out of our routine.

One step forward, two steps back.

But she did really well, even participating on the praise team, and she hasn't covered her ears in the worship rally once. At least not yet.

One step forward, two steps back.

As frustrating as these steps backward are, I can see that we don't go back as far now as we did when she was younger, and we move forward to regain lost ground and make progress more easily. I also realize how much of life is like this:

  • You almost get one medical bill paid off . . . only to have someone need care and see the bill go up again.
  • You finally get a car paid off . . . only to need a full set of tires on it the very next month.
  • You work your way up to walking thirty minutes every day . . . only to have a child get sick while a spouse works out of town, causing you to miss several days in a row.
  • You swear off sugary treats . . . only to get an invitation to a special event you really want to attend where sugary snacks will be a highlight.
One step forward, two steps back.

It's just the way life is, and I'm thankful that God is faithful to provide the strength I need to continue on during the difficult times and the joy to cheer every victory along the way.

Pray: Father, thank you for being patient with me as I haltingly run this race you have set out for me. Thank you for giving me the patience to run alongside my child as she does the same. Thank you for the strength to face each day and to continue on, even when I'm discouraged and weary. Amen.


  1. YES, good to know we are not the only ones with the one step forward and then 2....or 12 steps back!

  2. You are definitely not alone, Deb!

  3. That's the drumbeat of life! Thanks for sharing! Pressing forward with you!