Today I took a walk through childhood. I stepped along the path of simpler days. Memories of naiveté and blissful whimsy came flooding back here.
I had a Door Dash delivery to be dropped off at the apartments I grew up in and spent most of my childhood. Aside from in my dreams, I hadn’t been back there since I was about 12 years old, before we moved. I lived there most of elementary and middle school.
Living in the same town all my life, of course I’ve driven past the area and glanced over at the apartment complex many times from the main street. But with this Door Dash order, I finally had a reason to re-enter the complex (and had the ability to, being provided a gate code).
On the way there, I became excited to return to the place where my story began, where the foundation was laid of everything I am, and where I prayed some of my first prayers. Ultimately this was the place I first experienced some form of relationship with God.
Naturally, I decided once the delivery was completed, I’d take a break to walk around and find my childhood apartment home. I couldn’t resist taking the opportunity to add some excitement to the mundane delivery shifts anyway.
Some things never changed, like the motorcycle taking up one of the only unassigned parking spots. Or the unique sidewalk stains drawn up and down the same stretches of pavement. The layout of the complex, some unfinished construction project somewhere, the foliage, even the paint.
Other things were altogether changed. For one, I felt like a giant, stepping foot onto a whole other planet made for tiny people. I’ve never felt so far away from the ground. It was almost laughable how tall and speedy I felt walking on such familiar sidewalk that used to take so much longer to complete, and with so many more steps.
I don’t ever remember appreciating the weather and the sky as much. For all I could remember, it was only two temperatures growing up- blistering hot or freezing cold. Today it was like Heaven.
It felt unreal, like I was just a character in an overly polished, re-worked movie. I mean the weather was perfect. Not hot, chilly, nor even harboring any breeze. Just still. The sky and clouds were also perfectly sculpted masterpieces from none other than He who reigns over the universe itself.
Approaching my childhood apartment, none of the negative, growing-pain memories lingered. Instead I was overwhelmed by a wave of peace and love. I know Jesus was walking this path with me all along.
My heart took hold of an entire different space in time. Back to a time before damage, hurt, or brokenness could shake it.
Of course we might all grow up with traumas, nightmares, and brokenness in those years. But through it, my young heart stood so relentless to embody every last ounce of love that it was made with.
I was such a kid of love, hope and smiles. Children are naturally full of so much more love for themselves. I could write novels just on the the dreams and plans I had for myself of who I hoped to become when I grew up. As adults, we easily forget this pure love and belief in ourselves, living in a world full of comparison and lies that we’re never good enough.
“Truly I tell you,” He said, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”Matthew 18:3
Getting back to my car, I caught my reflection in the windows. I wondered if 10-year-old-me would let me get away with how much I neglected caring for myself. When the battle for my focus is between my stresses and allowing care or rest for myself, how much more do I side on the anxiety of my stresses to take me under?
I felt the Holy Spirit fall afresh on me that moment. All my reactants to my stresses transformed into a reaction of worship. Before, I had planned to spend the rest of the day to deal with some current stressors with planning and worrying- but it instantly turned into the desire to just give thanks for God’s constant pursuit for me to face Him and His love.
It’s funny how easily we can forget how much better the latter, more restful choice is. His beautiful pursuit is a calling to constantly live in more love instead of how I think I should live. Why wouldn’t I want a life full of more of this love?
I asked Him who I am, in His eyes, in all truthfulness, and that He might let me see through that lens too.
I’m still that loving kiddo in His eyes. One that loves Him and all His creations, including myself. With that, comes so much more care for every moment of my life and every fiber of my body.
Ask your Father in Heaven who you are to Him and wait in rest. Be amazed in a beautiful unraveling.
“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.”Luke 12:25-31