He Taught Me to Walk
My name is Caitlin Emfinger. I’m an Alabama girl soon to be living in Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil. I love Jesus. Photography is my passion. You can usually find me with a cup of tea and a neverending stack of books. This is the story of my crazy life living overseas and trying to figure out how to make friends in 3 different languages.
“But it was I that taught Ephraim to walk; I took them up by their arms, but they did not know that I had healed them. I led them with cords of kindness, with bands of love, and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws, and I bent down to them and fed them.” Hosea 11:3-4
I love this verse so much. Really, I love the entire book of Hosea. It’s a beautiful story of redemption. When I read this, I realized one thing: God was always there. He was constantly guiding me to where He wanted me. When I look back on my life, I can see it. Even during the times that I wasn’t looking for Him or following Him, His hand was there taking me to where I would one day meet Him. And not just knowing about Him, but really knowing Him.
One of the most important moments of my life happened on my first mission trip to Santa Cruz, Bolivia. It was one night in a small Baptist church, and we had finished our program, but the Holy Spirit was moving. I don’t remember the exact day, but I remember the details. The church was white. The floors were wood. I was wearing black pants that looked like they were from the 70’s and a black and white shirt with a vest. And I remember barely being able to get up because His presence was so strong. That was the night God completely healed me of the depression and insecurities I had struggled with for so long. This was the night I felt like I finally met God. He was more than a story. He was real.
But before this big moment, there were many small moments.
Like the nights of almost taking my life and being interrupted. There was a day that I actually went to my guitar lesson with the intention of taking my life that same night; until my teacher told me that my smile lit up the room. I honestly believe that was God. Like coming to, what is now my home church, and feeling at home for the first time. The first night I ever felt God’s love standing in the middle of the altar area, my heart matching the spring weather; growing once again after the long, cold winter. The night He promised me that He would turn the ashes of my life into the beauty I had so longed for. All the nights of praying, crying, trying to let go… Then one night, on the right side of my church at the altar, letting go of the identity I had placed in my past and receiving the one God had for me. The miracle approval to go on the trip. The prayer service the week before I went to Bolivia, where I told Him to do whatever it took to bring healing because I was tired of being broken. The seeking. The longing. The falling. The getting back up.
All of those little moments, all of those little steps, were leading me up to the moment that I would meet Him. Some of those moments hurt, some of them healed the wounds I had made, but all of them were necessary.
The entire time, He was there teaching me how to walk. Even when I didn’t see Him working, He was there, in the background, moving things in the right direction. Placing people into my life that He knew I would need. Protecting me. When I look back, I can see where He guided me to Him even in my darkest moments. I see the work He did. The small moments that made the big moment possible. Those little steps I took towards Him.
If we all look back, I’m sure we’ll all see the same thing. But we normally don’t recognize it, because we don’t look at the little moments. We remember the big things. Yet, those big moments are built on smaller, learning moments. Just like when a baby is learning to walk, he starts with one step, then two, then before you know it, he’s running. When we look at those little steps, we’ll see where He changed our lives or guided us down a different path right when we needed. It’s beautiful.
I am so thankful that He still healed me when I didn’t know Him. I’m thankful He was patient with me, teaching me how to walk while I was still in the dark. Guiding me with His cords of kindness to where He wanted me.
Life is full of moments, big and small. Moments of learning, moments of falling and getting back up. In those moments, He is teaching us to walk. Don’t despise the little moments.