Uncharted Territory for my Tugboat
The tugboat takes it's lead
The charter of the day was a less traveled course for the two of us. In many ways, it was a new territory for exploration, an abyss of undefined realities, yet full of amazing possibilities. She is like me in so many ways; in her moments, I see the course I traveled so long ago. The look in her beautiful green eyes has a mix of excitement and timid concerns, yet full of a new found confidence, in that she is ready.
She has listened intently, battled profusely; she is serious in her intent to be who she is, in her own right. There are so many new ripples for her to balance in the wake of her journey. She is young, simply beautiful, as she boldly states, “Oh mom, I didn’t tell you because I knew what you would say.”
She is a daughter and she is embarking on a new charter all her own. Every day of the last year in her teens, I saw her taking leaps, that place her further on her course. I kept looking out to the horizon trying to see her sail, but at times, she ducks behind the clouds smoothly gliding along her way.
How many of you have heard such a statement from your amazing children? “I knew what you would say,”
But here’s the thing, how could she know when I myself don’t know from one moment to the next. How does one react to seeing their baby girl, as the young woman, they once were? I’m in awe of her and at the same time trying to balance my own excitement and concern, while praising the journey her Captain has charted for her. I look forward to her journey ahead while wanting to look back at the same time. All the while in my heart I know She was always a God girl, she was just on loan to us for a season.
Peace in the possibilities
In the moment:
It’s a bit funny when in their moments, they believe they understand our plight as parents. Having not chartered the parental wave on their own, as of yet, there are some misconceptions. I too had those as a young adult. Assuming, they have preconceived ideas of how we’ll react responding to life’s little happenings. What would happen if we were to ask this question?
“If this was your own child, how would you react, what might you say?”
My guess is they would give that junior high stare, the deer in headlights look we get when delving into uncharted territory. After presenting a hypothetical, situation, to the well-intentioned listener, such as,
“What do you think? Would you please share?”
You can see the wheels turning and still they hesitate, but not for long as they have found their voice, and when they use it, well, it’s pretty awesome.
As the questioner, you quiet yourself in anxious anticipation as to the pearl's of opinions they will soon bestow in response to the inquiry. Then one waits for it and waits for it, and there it is the deer in headlights look. That, I have no idea what you’re asking, is this a trick question, I’m sure I don’t have the right answer look. The same look we often reflect back in similar situations, yet due to our “maturity”, we put on an assimilation of confidence. We are so careful to not show our own confusion.
However, this was not the look, that remained in her eyes. She was not the child, not the deer in headlights; she had that confidence as she spoke. Trying desperately to convey an emotion in the most mature way she knew how in this uncharted young adulthood.
In these moments of navigating life’s new experiences with parenting or growth as an individual, I find myself regressing to the kid in the circle, a circle of young children in a group discussion, grasping for words, poignant words that are just what is needed, but instead I’m often the deer in headlights. I sit fumbling for the right answer. When in actuality I know there are no right or wrong answers. We are all on a charter and we are not the captains. I should just sit back and enjoy the ride while listening to, His call to me, His shipmate.
I must let her see me, me inside, me I hide, the one who trusts her walk, who knows her journey is not my own. Always wanting her to see how very proud I am of her. I need to set up an understanding that as she goes on her way, I will always pray circles of love and God’s grace around her. I will let go and then at times struggle with pulling her back like a tugboat in my sight, all the while knowing she never truly was mine to keep anyway. She was and will always be my baby, but she is His shipmate on a boat ride all her own.
Still That Girl By Britt Nicole ~ We're always that girl, no matter our journey, we are world changers when with Him
On a chartered boat:
If you've ever taken a ride on a boat with a captain, you know he will call out instructions when the waters get turbulent as he navigates the course. In the same way, God is there in our life moments. He is in our situations readily calling out to us, guiding our next step. Are we listening?
Do we call Him into our conversation, do we humble ourselves before one another with our realness, or do we put on airs? Do we see Him in one another; better yet do we see others as He sees us? Do we react to our confusions with the love of Christ? Or, do we again hide behind our humanness, acting much like the deer in headlights?
When we seek Him first always trusting in His will it's amazing. If we just remind ourselves, that He knows the course, so we can love one another as He navigates our way. If we remember to lead with Him in all things we embark on, not hiding Him for even a second. Making Him so visible people have to face Him before having a chance to get to us. Sadly and often we place Him in our proverbial box, thinking I will hide just a bit, but He is there, for without Him we would be shipwrecked.
As parent's we often forget that we're not the only ones pouring into our children as they grow. The Captain has placed many in their path's to nurture the growth and discovery of His will for their life. When we see the confidence in their eyes, we see the reflection of the work the Captain Himself has poured into them. It’s here in these moments when we start to see the space in between the past and our future. We realize it’s important for us not all to be in one place, once we have received our instructions. We must take a new charter and set out in a different direction to secure the lost at sea.
In the waves:
We will experience the ripple of life, they, are a preparation for our storms. The slightest bump in the water plays with our balance, bopping us about as we attempt to steady ourselves. In the tiny ripples, the bumps often go unnoticed, the bigger ripple's shake us a bit. Sometimes we giggle through them, maybe we freeze in place, until we correct our footing, and often we don’t see we’ve lost our balance until we fall. In the ripple's, it’s quite easy to bounce back and stand up again.
Why then do we experience a constant ripple at times? Isn't it true that in this life we're in a constant ripple, prepping and preparing, as these are the practice for our wave's! The waves are much larger and they sometimes swoop us up inside of them. The preparation is constant and necessary, hence the consistency of the ripples.
Are we listening to the Captain along the way? Did we listen to where the life jackets are in the boat? Did He encourage you, be not afraid, on the water, but rather to go with the flow? A wave can be damaging if we let, or it can be an exhilarating and fascinating ride.
Though the ride has its peaks and valleys, where emotions and reactions will vary. It is nonetheless an awesome journey. We can laugh through life’s journey, but it’s okay to cry and let your prayers be spoken to the world. Your Captain is always in earshot. Let yourself feel Him wiping away the tears of concern for your future ride is in His capable hands. Take some time for Him to show you He has you on course through it all, in tears of confusion and tears of joy. You don’t have to be brave because you’ve been saved. Feel free to take off your brave face.
Just Cry Mandisa ~ For all the journeys we went through as you came to know your Captain, thankful for all the tears He wiped away through answered prayer and l
Our shipmate's, young and old, some are similar in their experience, however, we're all still listening to the Captain to navigate our charter. It’s important to let our shipmate's see us as we bobble; they need to know we're all in the same boat. It’s a different ride altogether when we give up on our own understanding, trusting in the Captain of our charter. When we show our humble experience loving one another in every ripple, the waves become awesome, less intimidating. When we have listened and learned together in the ripples, then the waves can be exhilarating. When we listen in the ripples, we are stocking up the skills to maneuver through the waves. There is no wave so great that our Captain will not navigate, straight through the fog to the clearing. He knows the way; He is the light that guides the storm.
Not all ripples are bad, sometimes they’re just new experiences. We need to trust the shipmates around us, knowing none are better or worse in their maneuvering. They lose their balance and giggle, sometimes they need a hand, sometimes they just need to be heard and trusted that they too have ears to hear with and eyes to see with.
They are all on their own course and individual instructions come through on their own frequency, these are not always audible to the mates around. There are no two frequencies exactly the same. The communication is quite individual, this is the same for the relationship to the Captain it’s unique; it’s their relationship unlike no other.
Keep the starlight in your eyes...
A new charter a crazy ride:
Imagine all our boats in the same port ready to go out to sea. Now for the longest time each day we got on the same boat and set out with our Captain. We looked across the bow and saw the same shipmates. At first, they’re fumbling with the ropes and instruments. When we became familiar with the tasks at hand, we found a rhythm that worked. We became comfortable with our instruction. We have slipped together and gotten back up. We know what our shipmates might do, and we think we know their next step.
We start to assume things about the next ripple, good or bad. It may move us this way or that, however, we really don’t know until it happens. We are skilled in the things that have already occurred, but we can’t even imagine the course He has yet to take us on. Our shipmates may be taken on a very different charter, but we will see them up ahead or tagging along behind until they are ready.
But when they are ready, they are no longer our little tugboats. They are their own beautiful vessel and their Captain is using them for the rescue of the lost.
I let her go again today, she passed me in the night, we are sometimes in the same port, but my beautiful daughter has her own boat, and I’m so proud of her and I am in awe of her Captain. Hold on Baby it’s a crazy ride, and you are loved at every ripple and wave. I wish for you to keep the starlight in your eyes. We will meet from time to time at the same port and one day be together always at the docking station.
Crazy Ride by Michelle Branch
© 2014 The Stages Of ME