Katya has been riding a bike for years now…
She rode it by herself. She rode it with Josiah. And when she needed it fixed, she brought it to Papa.
And last spring, just about this time, we were hot in the throes of working hard to bring Katya into our family. My mom, Nana, called and said, “When Katya comes, I want her to have a bike, a pink sparkly bike.” I love my mom.
And when Katya arrived, in addition to all the balloons, and signs, and Princess Paradise, there was a pink, sparkly bike waiting for her, complete with training wheels.
Katya loved this bike for the first day she laid eyes on it. She has ridden it every day that weather would permit. Up and down our road. Round and round the cul-de-sac. Training wheels rattling. Calling it “Herbie” and giving it a personality all of its own.
But, while a bike for a little girl is made for training wheels, a bike for an 8-year-old is not. So, Herbie has spent much time in the “shop” being repaired by a brother, a sister, but most often by Papa getting the training wheels put back on.
This Sunday, the training wheels couldn’t be put back on again. They were beginning to damage Herbie. Katya had a hard decision to make. Would she put Herbie up for a while, or would she try to ride him without the training wheels. She was afraid. And when Katya gets afraid, she freezes. She goes into a “deer caught in the headlights” kind of stance and just won’t do anything. We’ve learned to give her space.
Adelyn gave her space, but waited with her, told her she would help her, told her she thought she could do it, told her she would give her chocolate if she tried. That was enough for Katya.
I parked myself in an Adirondack chair beneath the Red Maple and nonchalantly read – one eye on the book, one eye peeking at the events unfolding before me. Everyone else, without even being told, just backed away and gave Adelyn and Katya space. She needed space. Katya froze again. Piper and Josiah came in a little closer. Piper hopped on the bike and Adelyn showed Katya how she would hold her and not let her fall. Josiah hopped on the bike and Adelyn showed Katya how she would hold her and not let her fall. Katya gingerly mounted Herbie, gripped the handlebars in a death grip and Adelyn slowly, so slowly guided her forward holding Katya and holding Herbie.
Again and again Adelyn walked Katya, gradually releasing Katya to feel her own balance. Until, she was riding on her own.
As I watched this beauty unfold before me, I reflected on the tender care of my Father who teaches me the way that Adelyn taught Katya. He holds me, comforts me, tells me He’ll never leave me or forsake me. He waits for me, never forcing me, even letting me know there are good things to come for those who place their trust in Him. He brings people alongside me, showing me, going before me. He walks with me giving me every bit of guidance I need, and then as I learn to walk, and run, and even to fly, He rejoices, even delights over me with a new song.
Oh Adelyn. Oh Katya. You gave me a gift on Sunday afternoon as you showed me more of the Kingdom, more of His care. You showed me His pattern, His groove for how I am to trust, follow, and fly.