Romans 5: 1-5
Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Our family has tried to teach Charlie how to ride a bike since he was about 5. He is now 12. We tried every kind of training wheels at first. They were always too distracting to Charlie. We tried to let go, he fell. We tried to tell him to focus and look ahead. He looked every which way except forward. We told him to not talk about rollercoasters during bike riding so he could focus. He would talk about all different kinds of things. Well this summer a great opportunity came our way. The Down Syndrome Foundation of Central Florida was offering a bike camp for a week through ICanShine.org for students with disabilities. I thought this is our shot. I signed up Charlie.
The camp is only 1 week and you go Monday – Friday and each session is 75 minutes. It is amazing! They wean him from an adaptive bike to a regular bike and wean their buddies as the week goes on. By Wednesday they said, “Ok mom, he is ready to go outside on a regular bike”. I said, “Are you sure? Is it safe out here in the parking lot?” They assured me he was ready. I was so nervous. I thought we have worked on this skill for 7 years. My stomach was churning, but I stayed out of their way. Charlie got on a regular cruiser bike with a red handle on the back for the leader to spot him as he started. She was talking to him, giving him instructions of what he was to do and encouraging him. They started to move and I lifted my hands to my mouth so nervously. I heard Charlie say, “don’t leave me”. Then in about 30 seconds she let go and the whole crowd started cheering and I gasped. Tears started to flood my face. I thought, “do you know all the things he can do now if he can ride a bike?” It was such a sweet moment. Charlie got off the bike and he shot his arm up in the air and said, “I did it! I mastered a two wheeler!” I was so proud and so was he.
Sometimes we work on skills for weeks, months, and even years so when they make that achievement it is so sweet! You remember it so much more when you don’t take those things for granted. It brings us hope because it doesn’t come easily but we know that in God’s timing all things are possible. God has taught me so much in the “waiting period”. When things just come easily I am not learning as much as when I am waiting. It is not easy. It can be painful, but it is so sweet when it finally comes. Isn’t progress so sweet?