I couldn’t wait to grow up.
I couldn’t wait to get to middle school, to get my driver’s license, to head off to college, to live on my own.
By the time I’d claimed an impressive degree, I was busy dreaming of marriage and a family. Even when those came along, my heart kept looking ahead, yearning for some undefined threshold when I’d finally be considered mature enough, wise enough, fulfilled enough.
"[A]lthough you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to little ones" (Matthew 11:35).
I spent years longing to “arrive” at so many milestones of perceived independence, intellect, and respectability. But Christ’s words have become my greatest lesson: it’s not in growing up, but in growing more childlike—growing in dependence on Him—that makes me truly free, wise, and dignified.
The memories of His patient teaching bubble up and I smile: that time I resolved to receive the Lord more reverently in Communion, but instead tripped and fumbled awkwardly. “How embarrassing!” I told the Lord as I hurried back to the pew. In response, He gave me an image of Himself as Father, tenderly spoon-feeding my sweet, clumsy toddler self.
Later, I prayed for help writing the perfect words; once again I saw Him as Father, smiling and gently guiding my hand as I scribbled with my jumbo crayons over the margins of His perfect manuscript.
The more childlike I become, the more I understand that it’s right here in the present, here in seeking a relationship with Him, that allows Him to work through me, guiding my every toddling step toward greater holiness.
Yes, in all my striving, He is both the rest and the restoration I seek.
Striving by our own power for the sake of our own glory leads to only greater emptiness and yearning. But striving to rest in a real relationship with Him allows us to rediscover the most important thing we could ever learn, to “arrive” at the most important stage of life—our irrevocable identity as His precious daughter.