“Don’t hug the cliff. Keep your hand at your side. And whatever you do.. DON’T let go of the rope!”
These were my son-in-law’s last words to my 17 year old daughter before she went over the cliff.
As soon as she cleared the edge, she did exactly what she was told not to do. She was swinging with her head dangerously close to the cliff – which was quite alarming to me. And….dum dum dum…she let go of the rope. O.o
Vincent very calmly told Kylee that she had let go of the rope. He promised she was safe, that he had her, and that she could trust him.
He gently persuaded her to take her left hand off the rope and to put it into the air. He said, “Okay. Just this once I’m going to ask you to do something that sounds wrong, but I need you to trust me. Go ahead and let go with your right hand now as well.”
Kylee was terrified, but she was intent upon his voice. He reminded her again that she could trust him. He asked her to put both hands in the air so she could feel that she was safe with him belaying, even without her hands on the rope.
Next Vincent asked her to look up on the cliff to see me, and I smiled and waved.
He instructed her to look around and see the beauty that surrounded her… the trees, the mountains, the sky. Once her breathing evened out, he focused her back on the task at hand.
He then, very carefully, talked my girl down to safety.
A Mother’s Pain
As a mother, I was only there to cheer her on. I could see her fear and her anxiety. I could feel her pain; I could see her mistakes and the danger she faced. But there was nothing I could do to save her. I wouldn’t even have known how to help her in that moment.
This forced me to completely rely on and trust in her guide to keep her safe. I had to trust his knowledge, his foresight, his understanding of human nature, and his ability to talk her down. Only he could get her through this scary adventure.
A Step into the Dark
Once she went over that second cliff, we could no longer see each other. My only choice was to trust Vincent. And I couldn’t even watch the process!
I had to completely let go, be still, and let Vincent do it all.
In a similar way we have to watch our children struggle on their own personal journeys. When they walk through a situation we don’t understand or haven’t experienced ourselves, we have to trust God like never before.
We can smile and cheer from the sidelines, (sometimes without even being close enough to watch) but this journey is one that has to be made without us.
Our charge is to trust God enough to let go. And the only way I know how to do this is to recognize that I’m putting the care of my children into the firm and capable hands of the Master Belayer.
How have you learned to let go?