Drake and I are currently in Palm Springs. I didn’t realize until we were driving here and memories suddenly came flooding back to me that the last time I visited the desert was with my Jud Bud. Judson was 13 months old; he and I (Drake had to work) had driven out to spend a little time with my parents while they were vacationing in the dessert.
I vividly recall that it was during our visit to the palms that Judson truly started walking for the first time. He had been taking steps for several weeks prior, but it was during our stay that he stepped out on his own, walking briskly with pride and enthusiasm.
The pivotal moment came as we were meandering into the grocery store…Judson suddenly and bravely let go of my hand, confidently taking steps on his own, grinning from ear to ear at his accomplishment. As a new mom, I watched with awe and wonder, matching his pride and enthusiasm. My heart was full of joy! In that moment, my little guy discovered upright mobility and there was no turning back. All over Palm Springs I have memories of my precious boy waddling like Frankenstein into my outstretched arms.
This morning I decided to pull up pictures from our visit to the desert to further engage those memories. I was taken back to discover that it was exactly four years ago today, February 2, 2006, here in the desert, that my Juddy started walking. And little did I know, 17 months later, after becoming paralyzed, my beloved boy would once again bravely take his first steps…into the arms of Jesus.
In many ways, since losing Judson, I have been paralyzed too, very slowly discovering what it means to walk again. I am reminded this week, here in the desert where Judson started walking, that even if I am uncoordinated and awkward in my steps, that I too, need to be brave, keeping my eyes on the outstretched arms lovingly cheering me on, waiting to one day embrace me. And as I step out in faith, my ability to walk again will grow.