“Find what scares you the most and go live there.”
Nothing compares to a dad hug.
They were only toddlers when super running hugs became as common as anything else in our home. I would kneel at one end of whatever hallway might be situated within our current home, my daughters barely containing their excitement at the other end. In the moment that I opened my arms, my daughters would begin charging toward me, their grin the only thing in the home wider than the span of my hands.
I can still see each of them in my mind’s eye, their four-year-old selves running toward me without a care for anything else in the world, eyes locked on mine, giggling relentlessly.
I would sweep them up in a father’s embrace the moment that they reached me. Picking them up off the ground, wrapped securely in my arms, we would spin around and around only stopping when we both ran out of breath.
That was the first thing that went through my mind each time that I stood in my driveway and watched one of my daughters drive away alone, for the first time, after receiving a driver’s license.
The second thing that went through my mind was the moment that I taught each of them to ride a bike.
I remember running behind each of the girls, feverishly trying to keep up with them as I kept my hand securely tethered to the back of their bicycles. Scared as they were of learning to ride for themselves, there was always comfort in their eyes each time they looked back to see that dad was still there, steadfast and constant.
Of course, there comes a moment when you have to let go or your child will never learn to ride on their own. Admittedly, I held on longer than I should’ve, terrified of watching them peddle away further and faster then I could help them, only to watch them fall without me there to shield them from the consequences of falling.
Those memories have played out in my mind each time that I’ve stood in the driveway and watched them drive away. They’ve played out in my mind the night of each high school prom and each time that I’ve watched one of them receive a diploma.
Terrifying as it is to live through the moments in life when you have to let go, a Godly parent, grandparent, spouse, sibling, and friend knows when to let go, and when to hold on.
If we don’t let go, we keep those that we love from growing into the person that God has called them to be by preventing them from living through the moments when experience is a better teacher than instruction.
So, I will let go when it is time to let go.
But you’d better believe that each time my daughters come into my home, they’ll be wrapped up securely in one of those dad hugs that seems to make everything in the world seem okay again.
Love the people in your life enough to let go when God is calling you to let go…and to hold on when God is calling you to hold on. Terrifying as it may be for you, your faithfulness will gift those that you love with the knowledge that whatever adventure God may call them to, they will always have someone, in you, ready to hold on when they need a safe place to return.