About a year and a half ago, I bought some wall decals for my youngest daughter’s room (Miss Lady). She was five at the time, and very into the Disney Princesses and Tinkerbell. So one day, while strolling through Target, I saw both Fairy wall decals and Princess wall decals on sale, and picked them up. The next time she came over for her weekend with us, I showed her the decals and she selected the fairies to put on the wall.
You have to understand, Miss Lady is a girl’s girl. She loves pink, princesses, dresses and dolls. Her room is “Bunny Nose Pink” (gotta love those fancy paint color names), and, while she has it setup with all her toys and photos, it was missing that special touch that told us all it was her room. Clearly the pink wasn’t enough of a statement for me. When she saw the wall decals, she was elated and immediately selected the Disney fairy decals. There were like 50 stickers in this packet (I should’ve read it more carefully), some small, some large. We literally spent an hour placing each and every sticker, no matter how big or small, around her room. Admittedly, when it was done, it was just what she needed to complete the look of her room. She thought it was, “Awesome!”
Now, Miss Lady turned 7 last month (I know, she’s growing up before my very eyes). I’ve been trying for the past few months to get her to take down the fairy decals and put up the princesses. But whenever I asked (and I didn’t ask very often), she would say, “No, I’m not ready yet, Momma. Maybe when I’m 8.” So I let it go. The last time I asked was in May after we returned from Disney. After all that time with the Princesses, I just knew she would be ready for the fairy decals to come down. But, no, she wanted to wait until she was 8.
Understand, I didn’t ask about the decals because I was tired of looking at them. That really is her room and her space, so, unless she is there, I don’t spend much time in her room (our girls don’t live with us, for those who are looking confused right now). But I knew that she had outgrown the fairies and moved on to the next thing, as evidenced in the things she chose to play with and liked to do. So I wanted to support that in her living environment as well. Growth is good. At the same time, you have to know when to use a gentle nudge, and when to step back. So after I nudged, I stepped back. And a funny thing happened.
I was coming out of my bedroom on Saturday, and was met at the door by Miss Lady. “Momma,” she said to me, with that look that told me she wanted something. “Miss Lady,” was my reply. “Momma, I want to take down my fairies and put up my princess stickers.” I smiled to her and said, “But I thought you wanted to wait until you were 8.” “Yes, but I changed my mind. I’m ready now.” I just smiled and said okay, and off we went to her room to work on our new project: taking down the old stickers and putting up the new ones.
An hour later, all of our work was done (and the paint on the walls remained perfectly in tact . .. those decals are GREAT!). As I walked out of Miss Lady’s room, I looked back at her. She was staring at the walls and spinning and laughing, which is what she does when she’s REALLY happy. The next day, I asked Miss Lady about her “new” room, and if she liked it. Her response? “I love it, it’s awesome, but I kinda miss my old stickers too.”
I thought about the process of her changing her mind about the stickers. I gave her a gentle nudge, but didn’t push hard when she felt she wasn’t ready. And yet, she was ready, which I knew all along, and when she finally realized it, the change was made. But even after the change was made, she still missed, just a little bit, what she’d left behind. How often does God, through the Holy Spirit, give us a gentle nudge to make a change or adjustment? And how often do we push back on it, feeling that we’re not quite ready, even though we know inherently that He knows all and is doing what is best for us. But eventually, God works on our hearts, and we walk the path we’re supposed to be on. And even then, we may look back longingly at the past, but we must realize that the past is behind us, and we have to press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling (Philippians 3:14).
What lies ahead of you? Has God been speaking to you about doing something that makes you nervous or apprehensive; feeling that you aren’t quite ready? Why are you waiting? Just as parents do with their children, He knows best, and we must trust God and walk the path that He has set before us. So step out of your comfort zone, there are better things ahead of you.