Gated Community

After weeks on our toes, cameras in hand, the inevitable occurred. Of course while mom was gone, dad was working, and no one other than grandpa was in sight. The “first steps”! Arie decided the lack of pressure and audience was best for his debut of strolling across the living room, leaving a total of fifteen footsteps behind.

Since that moment, our lives, and better yet our house, has never been the same. From raising Grammy’s “pretties” to the top shelf, closing every door while exiting, to removing every reachable glass from little fingers. Now in every turn there is a gate to step over, openings barricaded by random objects, and stubbed toes from the ever-changing furniture layout to accommodate Mr. Mobile.

I never envisioned living within the perimeters of a gated community: however, I’m starting to see that more clearly!

Within this gated community can be found every toy, every blinking light, every buzzing noise one could ever imagine. After pouring money, time, and strategy into this evolving play space, where do you think this kid would rather be? Where better, then the other side of the fence. The many places and spaces that scream, “danger”, “hot”, “don’t touch”, “NO!” Why must it be that his less than content mind, wanders from the area that is designed for him, that is most safe and will best assist him in growing and learning? WHY?!

I can’t help but compare this visual, that I feel God has put in my path, to a lesson in my own life. Focusing on my own boundaries, the ones God places around me to keep me safe, maturing, and within His plan, I sometimes find myself at the gate crying to be let out. Not in a literal sense but figuratively, wanting what I can’t have, whining over something God does not intend for me.

I have to be careful because if not paying attention, evil will seep in, tempting me to focus on what’s “lacking”. In God I lack nothing, but this world tells me otherwise. Over the course of the past 11 years of my marriage I have had to learn to not make comparisons with other’s relationships. If I allow myself to see what my friends have in their marriages, I find my partnership with Jeff drifting away from God’s path. Sometimes, if watching couples too closely, I see what I can’t have; a husband pulling his wife into his big embrace, lovers slow dancing during a wedding celebration, two holding hands strolling in the sand.

God has gifted Jeff and I with something unique, a relationship that is unlike many others. It is easy to look out, and concentrate on the many blessings given to those around us, forgetting the thousands upon thousands, God has lavishly heaped upon us!

Although I may say we are unique (and physically we are) God reveals through other’s journeys that we are really all one of a kind. This can be hard to recognize when focusing so intently on one’s self, but I find that most people share these same feelings, they’re just specific to each situation. God is faithful and will provide everything we need within your OWN “gated community.” We just have to focus on what’s been placed at our feet, not the feet of others, trusting in God’s perfect plan. So stop rattling the cage. Take a seat in the center of where God has placed you. Then savor the glory of all He has done!

Sarah Dykema - Jeff Dykema and Arie watching the Monaco Formula One race