A few months ago, I was at a funeral and looking in the young lady’s eyes, I thought, how I wish I could go back and hug the neck of the 25-year-old me when I lost Mom. It seemed that when my mother died, a lot of my inner little girl died too. We all have one … an inner child. It is part of who we are. And I’ve been searching for mine for quite a while. She peeks around an unexpected corner like she is playing hide and seek with me. I laugh and laugh at the silliness she shows me, but when I look back, she seems to disappear as quickly as she came.
Recently, I began working with a pony. I’ve always loved ponies. One afternoon, this seemingly high-strung pony freaked out. She ran up through the barnyard, through a rope gate, back down the barnyard through a wire gate and then ended with a lap around the pasture. I watched in amazement until she just stopped. She almost looked stunned at her behavior as she stopped dead in her tracks. I walked up and she lowered her head … seemingly in shame. That’s when it hit me. She wasn’t high strung. She was having a little pony panic attack. I knew that look all too well. I knew that breathing pattern. And I knew the relief and exhaustion in her eyes as it passed.
As I took her back to the barn, I promised her I’d help her through it. I didn’t know how, but I knew I could help her. After a few days of taking her on walks and running out in the pasture, offering a carrot, I saddled her up and took her for a ride. I expected a basket load of crazy, but instead got a quiet pony willing to work. I laughed and talked to her, trying to calm her nerves … just in case. Although close to the ground, I sure didn’t want this forty-year-old bootie to be sitting in the dirt.
And as I cooled her out and brushed her off, I laughed because my inner little girl had taken over. It was no longer a job, it was a challenge. It was no longer work – it was a joy. Adulting went out the window, as I played and brushed and loved on this little creature. And I started to see my inner little girl had been waiting to come back all along.
God made us who we are for a reason. The reasons I loved Wonder Woman, the Smurfs, and how I was a glass half full kinda girl in 1980 is equally as important today as it was back then. We are a series of events and memories and characteristics. And when a tragedy takes those things and sweeps them under the rug, we often need to find them again. Coping by adulting can often steal those precious things from us. It conceals the pain, but also stifles the joy of who we are.
But as I sang and busied around feeding treats to that teeny tiny pony, she became a better pony because of my inner little girl. And my daughter becomes a better version of herself when my inner little girl gives in on a random Tuesday night and watches movies and eats popcorn with her. And my husband becomes a better version of himself when my inner little girl coaxes me to crawl in his lap and let him be the strong man that he is. And my God becomes a deeper version of Himself when I allow my inner little girl to push me to believe and pray the impossible.
So I’m gonna let her hang out for a while. I’m going to let her sing loudly to songs even when she doesn’t know the words. I’m going to let her make up hand motions to Bible verses so she can memorize them better. I’m going to let her take her shoes off and walk through the grass. I’m going to let her hunt for roly poly’s and catch a firefly. And I’ll let her stop and soak in the sunlight for a minute. I obviously have to continue adulting, but there’s always time for a break here and there. Because if my inner little girl can make that pony and my child and my husband a better version of themselves, I’m certain she can only do the same for me.
I obviously have to continue adulting, but there's always time for a break here and there.Click To Tweet
But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.’ And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.” Mark 10:14-16