Learning to Walk Again
Our baby is nearly one year old.
With this comes the delight of watching a small person learn to walk.
It started with the day he let go of a piece of furniture and stood by himself with a twinkle in his eye. His siblings squealed in awe. Next came cautious, uncoordinated, forward movements while death-gripping sibling fingers in both hands. Confidence-building repetition led to smooth steps and transitions from the coffee table to waiting hands. Now he’s giggling while walking around the room holding onto a finger with one hand. We all know what comes next — -lots of brave attempts and many glorious crashes and head bruises as Baby tries and tries and tries again to master this skill.
Spring also brings high school graduation. As we watch our second child wrapping up her high school experience and preparing for college life, I look back on the last two years and realize she’s been slowly “learning to walk” into independent young adult life.
For example, acquiring a driver’s license was a tad bit terrifying at times. Lots of brave attempts and maybe a couple glorious crashes occurred as she tried and tried again to master this skill.
Like many mothers, I now look at my pending graduate and wonder, Did I teach you what you need to function? Laundry? Online banking? Toilet scrubbing? Communication? Boiling water? Connecting with God? How many times are you going to fall as you learn to walk through life on your own? Will you be able to get back up?
Life events frequently knock us flat. However, “our destiny is not determined by the number of times we stumble but by the number of times we rise up, dust ourselves off, and move forward.”¹
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, an Apostle of God, has given this promise: “rise up and follow in the footsteps of our Redeemer and Savior, and one day, you will look back and be filled with eternal gratitude that you chose to trust the Atonement and its power to lift you up and give you strength.”¹
So walk into the world with your chin up, 18-year-old. Take those tentative first steps, 1-year-old.
And to every celestial being having a mortal experience, let us keep rising up and trying again. We are all in the process of learning to walk…..again and again.