The time had come. The inevitable had arrived. The fourth-grade version of me had reached the point of no return, and there would be no going back. What was this crisis of morale? What had brought about this moment of truth? What unexpected and inexplicable tragedy had befallen me?
I had outgrown the children’s shoe section.
That’s right. At a whopping ten years of age, I was forced to bid adieu forever to the land of pre-adolescent shoes and to join the ranks of women’s shoes. The horror.
Okay, so it wasn’t such a cataclysmic event, and, as usual, I am a bit prone to hyperbole. But the fact of the matter remains: my feet are, well, rather large. And with only a decade of life under my belt, I had feet the size of the average adult woman. Unfortunately, they would only get larger. By my eleventh birthday, my shoe size had surpassed my mother’s, and by the time I quit growing, I would be compelled to do what I hoped would never happen: buy shoes in the men’s section. (Here I must clarify that these men’s shoe purchases were limited only to running shoes).
Needless to say, I’ve never particularly liked my feet and, to be quite honest, we’ve had a rather rocky relationship. (Especially when mountain climbing. Pun intended. ) Don’t get me wrong; I am very thankful that I have feet. It’s just that sometimes I wish God had decided not to “Super Size” them. Over the years, I’ve begun to recognize some of the benefits of an abnormal shoe size: I feel a strange sense of connection to clowns, I can successfully kick soccer balls (although aiming remains a challenge), and as my dear Nana so aptly said, I “have good understanding.” Get it? Understanding. Haha. I didn’t actually catch the humor in that until a couple years ago, which is approximately ten years after she started saying that too me. Oops.
Anyway, I’ve definitely outgrown my fair share of shoes in my lifetime. Growing is part of life, and, thus, outgrowing is too. Right?
Way back during my child-sized-shoe days (and I mean waaaaaaaaaaaay back), my parents told me about Jesus and His love for me. They explained that He had come died on the cross for my sins and then rose again from the dead. They told me that if I asked Him into my heart, my sins would be washed away and I would get to live with Him forever in heaven. And so at the age for four, I accepted Jesus as my Savior.
At four years old, I couldn’t tell you the definition of “salvation.” I wouldn’t have known a thing about church doctrine or history. Heck, if you had shown me a picture of Jesus Himself, I probably wouldn’t have remembered who He was. But I did know this: that He loved me enough to die for me. As a four-year-old, I understood His grace, and that was all that mattered.
Now I am a lot older than four (and my shoe size attests to that), and I’m afraid I’ve lost sight of what was so clear back then. My faith has been tested as I’ve experienced challenges. I’ve wrestled with questions as I try to figure out what I believe. I’ve come to realize that the more I learn, the less I actually know. Sometimes I don’t know where to turn or what to think or whom to trust. And as the doubts bear down upon me, I feel trapped and overwhelmed. But then I remember this:
You can’t outgrow grace.
No matter how old I am or how much I struggle, no matter what I do or how many times I fail. Regardless of my fears and doubts, His grace still remains. And it fits me as perfectly as it did when I was four years old. And that’s true for you too… regardless of your shoe size.