My little boy marched on independently in front of me, ‘I’m too old to hold your hand now mummy!’. I felt a stab of pain in my heart. My baby is growing up and it hurts even though that is exactly what is meant to happen. We raise children to become confident young adults. Later in the week he seemed to forget himself and unconsciously hold my hand on the way to school. Growing up is a process and change is both hard and beautiful at the same time.
Even when we know something must change for our good it can still be painful and difficult. Over the last few years as I have watched many women take the Peaced Together journey. I have walked beside them as they wrestle with some things they needed to see change in and sometimes shared that pain with them. While on holiday in Spain my children enjoyed ‘rock pooling’ most days. I have never seen so many hermit crabs in one place, tiny ones and large ones. It struck me that in-order-for the hermit crab to grow it must embrace vulnerability, cast of its shell and find a new shell fit for the next stage if its development. Change is a journey that is never comfortable but often necessary. When it is a journey that sparks hope and life it is worth the fight. What a joy to see people blossom in new confidence, to consider their future with a sense of hope where they had no hope before. To take steps of courage to break free from things that have held them back and to expect something more out of life than just surviving. I often hear of victims of Domestic Abuse being referred to as ‘survivors’ but my dream is that people wouldn’t merely survive the bad experiences in life but come through to a place of living and thriving again, that is where hope for the future can flourish.
I know that as soon as my little boy falls and hurts his knee he will still come running to me but for him to become all that he is meant to be I also need to release him. It takes courage to walk beside those facing change as well as to face change ourselves but remember the butterfly, often when it looks like all hope is gone new life is working in hidden places.