On All Fours

When my youngest Jeremiah was a baby, I fondly remember him playing one morning and God revealing something special to me.  

Jeremiah was at that age where babies start crawling, and at the time I didn’t think he would crawl at all, he just didn’t seem interested in it.  He would roll to get where he wanted, it was functional but not very efficient.  The roll then developed into an army crawl.  We would set a toy in front of him and pull it out of his distance so he would have to work to get it.  His willingness to move towards the toy depended on the desirability of the item.  If it was a toy he really wanted he would work at no avail to get to it.  He eventually started getting up on all fours.  

One day we were in the playroom, and Jeremiah was trying to crawl to one of his brothers’ toy.  

He would get up on all fours, make a few steps, then drop down on his belly tired, and pull himself across the floor.  He began getting frustrated and started to cry.  He would look back at me, cry and then get back up on all fours and try again.  

It really hit home for me, because as his mother I had the ability to scoop him up in my arms and just hand the toy to him. But if I continued to do that, he would never develop the ability to crawl, nor would he learn to persevere.  As his mother, I stayed close by watching, observing, quietly cheering him on, but if at any time I would have seen he was in danger or knew he had had enough, I would not have hesitated to intervene on my child’s behalf.  

James 1:2-4 (Amplified) “Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations.  3 Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.  4 But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.”

When I pondered on this scripture and Jeremiah trying to crawl, I just pictured God watching me as I struggled with various challenges. At some of my hardest times it felt like He had forgotten about me or was not acting as quickly as I thought He should have. But He was watching, cheering, and enabling the growth of my spiritual muscles.  

My father; Our father.  

When I think on some of the hardest things I’ve been through, on the other side of it has produced patience, deepened my level of faith not only in God, but also in myself. Being a special needs mother has made me more compassionate, empathetic and vulnerable. It has created in me a fierce advocate and I’ve developed a voice for my children that I didn’t have the courage to have for myself.

I have learned that I do not have to know the answer to all the Why’s in life, but if I know Whose I am, and Who to call on when I’m most in need, then I truly have everything.

So when the storms of this life seem like they keep knocking you down, get back up on all fours and keep pushing forward.

8 thoughts on “On All Fours”

    1. I think one of the most amazing things that we can ever go through as parents is to observe our children and see them how God sees us. I believe if we pay close attention, there’s a lesson that we can learn daily. Phenomenal job Shawntae! Love this!

  1. Shawntae,
    To know God in an intimate way is to trust that if what we go through was for our detriment he would remove us immediately. I love on all fours because it communicates the faithfulness of God. He is a very attentive father.

  2. I always wondered what special needs parents thought and how they coped with their child’s special needs. You give an honest and transparent perspective to this challenge. Thank you for giving me peek into your world.

  3. I really appreciate you giving us a look into what your life looks like and being so transparent on the challenges you face along the way!

  4. Such a sweet but true post. Our instinct is to solve all of their problems big and small. But we have to let them figure out how to do things for themselves, so they grow!! Great post momma!!

  5. This is so comforting because the pain of learning through challenges often make you feel alone. But the part that you talked about being right there quietly cheering him on brought tears to my eyes. It’s a comforting reminder that our Father is right there in our midst ready to scoop in if necessary but when he doesn’t, it’s an opportunity for growth

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