Newest to the toddler house, Asha held my hand as we led the way to the pool. She stepped up to the fence and pressed her face up to the bars to peer at the shimmering surface. The tía unlocked the gate, and we followed the train of eager faces onto the warm concrete. Squeals and excited yells abounded as the toddlers jumped into the water.
But not Asha.
In the blink of an eye, her expression dimmed. The same child that had smiled at me all morning now wore a panicked expression on her face. My brow wrinkled. Why was she so scared? I stepped closer to the water, and she let out a sob. She buried her face in my leg and held on tightly. A new realization entered my head.
She’s afraid of the water.
The same sparkling blue that looked so inviting to me was what gave Asha so much terror. I had seen fears of water before, but not one as paralyzing as this. With each step I took closer to the water, she screamed more and clung tighter.
One of the tías noticed my plight and brought over a box for me to sit on in the shade. I led Asha over and sat down, and she climbed into my lap. Her body slowly relaxed as we watched the splashing and laughter that went on before us.
Though we sat in the shade, the sun still peeked through peepholes in the leaves and reached us down below. The day was heating up. The cooling water looked even more refreshing when I was silently dripping, a few feet away.
The breeze rustled Asha’s dark curls, bringing with it an idea. I shifted her off my lap and moved slowly towards the pool. She clung to my hand and fussed all the way. When I was within arm’s reach of the water, I stopped. I dipped my hand into the water and splashed it onto my hot, dusty feet. Then I dipped my hand in again and ladled water onto her feet. The cool water glistened on our toes. Her tense figure softened, and we walked back to our box in the shade.
After another five minutes, we got up and walked to the water a second time. Within a minute we would return to our box, feet cooled off and refreshed. Another few minutes, and we did it again. And again. And again. Each time we went, Asha stepped a little closer to the water. She started pointing out her feet like a ballerina so I could put more water on them. With each trip we made, her fear diminished a bit more.
As lunchtime drew near, it was time to go. Leaving Asha sitting in the shade, the tías and I began to bring the soaked toddlers out, one by one, to dress and dry them. After a few minutes, I looked up to a sweet surprise.
There was Asha, squatted at the edge of the pool, dipping her hands in the water.
As she splashed around, her face was lit up with a smile. She turned and sat on the edge, dangling her feet into the pool. My heart melted. This sweet princess, brand new to the Hogar family, was blossoming before my very eyes.
Asha still is afraid of the water. Each new day, the tías give her their love and support, and she dips her hands in for one more day. They know she will be afraid tomorrow, but God’s love outlasts that fear. It never ends. It wraps Asha in comfort and peace, so that she can touch the water once more.
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
Kris’s Note: We all have hopes for our children. Taking our babies out of the nest of our community in the states and learning to do life in Costa Rica was a leap of faith. The Lord promised to take good care of each of us. As Eliana shares her experience here, I see fulfillment of that promise. I could not be more proud of her.
Eliana wrote this? How beautiful! Just like her mother. :). Thank you for sharing Eliana! What a great picture
of God’s love and how he doesn’t just throw us at our fear but lovingly brings us closer step by step each day
until we’re ready to jump in! What a beautiful heart you have. Beautiful girl too!
She did! And it’s beautiful just like your own heart for the Lord, Joanne! You inspire us. So thankful to do life with your family. Can’t wait for your team to land in July.
Eliana, as I read your story I can feel the fear and the comfort that you were able to give this little girl. You have a genuine talent. Love you grandma
Thank you Grandma! I am glad you enjoyed the story. I will carry the memory with me forever.
Way to Go Eliana! I could picture the entire story in my head. I love your heart for these children. Thank you for giving this child of God the time and space that is needed for her to step out in faith and take the risk. Keep loving her through this! I can’t wait to read your next post.
Thank you Mrs. Witt!! I am honored to have this opportunity to share my story with everyone. I am excited to see you again at Hogar this summer and experience more fun stories right alongside you!
I am stunned at how gifted you are at writing. I really enjoyed your story, but I think your patience and kindness is even more impressive. I missed you and Elijah, and Ezekiel, and your Mom.
Thank you Mr. Abraham! You are so kind. I miss you too!!
We all miss you, Jim. So kind of you to encourage Eliana. I know your prayers for us are blossoming in these dear 3 E’s.
Well done, Eliana. What a sweet story, made me cry!
Thank you Mrs. Clem! Give Laura and Tanner hugs from me!
Very well said. May our God continue to bless you and use you to share His love, peace, joy, and eternal life. The joy of seeing someone move closer to God (both in the young toddler and yourself) is the greatest.
Thank you, Bob, for all the ways you all have walked with us on this journey. We so appreciate your family and your encouragement.
Exceptionally good writing Eliana!
Thank you so much, Mr. Charlie. We love knowing you.
Powerful! Thank you so much, Eliana. You have “eyes to see”, and the patience to gaze….you’ll be rewarded with glimpses of His character, majesty and love. Go girl!
What a beautiful encouragement, Carol. Thank you!
Wow! That is an amazing story! Eliana, you must be incredibly proud and I know that your parents are. That is really cool the patience that you had to help Asha overcome her fear, you are so awesome! That story is really inspiring, thank you!
Thank you Mr. Anderson! You are awesome. Praying for you!
Gods grace glistens brightly upon you ! Thank you for loving and thank you for sharing
Thank you for your encouragement and all you do to give her the opportunity, Chris.