Monday, October 13, 2014

The Little Girl Who Got Back Up

This morning as I prepared to teach my Writing Your Life Story class, I found a story from my childhood I had written years ago.   It would be perfect to use for my class, I thought.  

But as I read I was caught back through the years.--back to when I was just a girl.  As I watched through my child's eyes I was deeply touched.  The truth the little girl learned that day was exactly what I needed to pull me up out of the pit of depression and fear where I had been wallowing.

I thought perhaps this story might touch your heart, too:

I’ll never forget the winter I was nine; the year Daddy bought our John Deere tractor. I remember the excitement I felt as Mother, Daddy, Dale, Lawrence and I crowded around the kitchen table, the John Deere catalog open in front of us. 

 “Picture yourself on this seat,” the caption commanded and I could see that was just what my brother, Lawrence, was doing.

That spring Daddy pulled out the red cigar box and counted out the bills. We could scarce believe it; soon that tall green John Deere would be ours. No longer would we need to hire the neighbor to plow our garden plot. Never again would Daddy have to scythe the hay by hand. That wonderful John Deere tractor meant all our needs would be met. We could hardly wait.

It was summer when John Deere came to live with us. With Lawrence at John’s wheel, our fields were plowed and disked and harrowed.  Dale and I even got into the act as we rode atop the harrow and disk as weights to help break up the clods.

One day when Dale and I were acting as weights an unexpected jounce jarred my grip and tossed me over the top and onto the ground in front of the discs.  

I have no memory of the fall, but I heard a horrible scream—it was my own voice. John Deere jerked to a stop. The disk rested on top of me and I saw my brother’s face as he turned.  He leaped from the tractor seat and lifted the disk from my back.

I sprang out, unhurt. “I’m all right,” I said.

My shirt was uncut. Lawrence brushed dirt from it and wiped my face with the corner of his. “I’ll take you to Mother.”

I shook my head. “I’m all right,” I insisted.

My legs shook. My mouth tasted funny. But I had to get back on the disk. I had too.

Lawrence understood. He smiled reassuringly as I climbed back on beside Dale.

As we rounded the corner of the field, we saw Mother hurrying toward us. We lifted our hands and waved.

Mother frowned.

We smiled.

We didn’t come in until the field was free of dirt clods.

As I relived those heart-stopping moments, the little girl I had been spoke truth to my heart.  I had forgotten the importance of getting back up to face my fears.  Fears which had plagued me since the death of my husband.  I had felt especially paralyzed when my computer crashed and I was faced with the loss of the original copy of the galley proofs of  A Stitch and A Prayer.

As I struggled with trying to master a new computer and the challenge of marketing my new book, I grew even more fearful and weary.  I had  lost sight of the courageous little girl I had once been.  That girl who had bravely climbed back up on the disk to finish the task she had been given to do.

I do not want my fears to keep me from what the Lord has called me to do.  Just like that clear-eyed girl I once knew, I need to get back up, hop back on, and find strength to finish the job.  

But I don't have to face my fears on my own.  A verse calls to me from my Bible. It is God’s message for me: I have not given you the spirit of fear but a spirit of power, love and of self-discipline. (My paraphrase of 2 Timothy 1:7).  

As I forge through my day, seeking to honor God in all that I do, I will cling to God's promise of living fearlessly through His power, with love and self-discipline.

1 comment:

Wendy Simpson said...

As I face my fears each day, I am encouraged by this lovely story of the courage to get back up. Hugs