When she was six years old, she saw Soul Surfer.
She’s never been the same. Something in her clicked on, and every day since then has been all about surfing. On Saturday, she turned ten.
I have wondered how in the world this mountain-dwelling family would give our daughter such a different dream. Luckily, the Lord has even this little girl in the palm of His hand. It’s amazing to me how a way was provided.
So, for her tenth birthday, our daughter learned (or at least began to learn) how to surf.
She had an excellent and patient teacher. Even so, watching my baby walk out into the surf was enough to stop my heart.
It was a small taste of what is to come in my life…all too soon, I will let them each go, to fly to their own dreams. Luckily, each of us is given the right people in our path to help us on our way.
Surfing isn’t an instant skill for most people. So, as with any new thing, there are obstacles to be met and fears to overcome.
On her first try, she got up, but the rush of the water under her feet was both terrifying and thrilling all at once. It got her into her head a bit. She struggled after that. Luckily, her teacher was patient and gave her lots of breaks and calm pep-talks.
Just when I was worried that she didn’t have any more in her, when I was worried that her fears would overcome her and that she would be left with a feeling of failure, the troops arrived. Her sisters, her dad, and her dog came running down the sands, yelling, cheering, and overjoyed at her efforts. All it took was a hug from her dad, and she was a new woman. She would do this.
She didn’t completely pop up, but she made it up to her knees and rode the wave. It was enough. She overcame that fear and felt the thrill of the ride on her last try. More than that, she felt the thrill of courage.
And it struck me…this is what a family is. This is what a family can do. A family doesn’t say, “Hey, sorry kid, you live in the mountains. We don’t surf here.” A family can make dreams happen. A family overcomes their own fears in order to let you dream. It took all the love I had to let her go out there. But most of all, when you feel like you’re failing, when you feel like you can’t succeed, when you feel like you’re on your last breath, your family comes roaring down the sands telling you that you can do this.
This is what a family does. Blessed, blessed am I, to have a family like this.