Big Shoes to Fill

When people look at me and snicker, I have come to realize that it is never a good sign. After the 5th or 6th parent I passed looked at me and my kids and snickered at us, I thought I better turn around to see if there was a reason. Sarah didn’t let me down!

We were late for school. Not a bit late, not a few minutes late, we were ‘Get shoes on, I’m in the car and I’m leaving’ late. I parked the car on the street just across from the school and I was quickly trying to shoo the kids towards our elementary school. I heard the first bell ring across the parking lot and I knew we only had a few minutes before the late bell rang.

“C’mon!!” I ran ahead to catch up to the crossing guard standing in the intersection so we could make it across while he held back traffic.

That’s when the parents started to snicker as they walked back to their cars after dropping off their kids.  I turned around all the while motioning to my kids to hurry up as they walked through the intersection and I got my glimpse of Sarah. I told Sarah to put shoes on.  I just didn’t specify which shoes. Sarah was wearing David’s size 13 tennis shoes and was trying to plod her way to school. It was a sight! She tried with all her might to keep them on but she looked like a clown.

“Oh Sarah….” I shook my head and laughed at the sight. Needless to say, Sarah was late for school as we had to return home for her shoes.

Let’s face it; those were big shoes to fill!

Have you ever been in a position that you felt inadequate? Whether you are facing ‘big shoes to fill’ or just feeling like everyone has their act together but you. You look at others and wish ‘if only I was more like that’ or ‘why can’t I have my life together like that person?’ and so on.

It reminds me of a story:

“Rachel was not satisfied with the frame God built for her. She was sure her physical and emotional disabilities, her lack of abilities, were a cross she had to bear. She wished she could choose another frame.

One night as she slept, she dreamt she was lead to a place where many frames lay, frames of all sizes and shapes. She discovered a beautiful frame, inlaid with jewels and gold. “Oh, this one will be perfect for me,” she cried. So Rachel hung the heavy jeweled frame over her body. The gold and jewels were beautiful but far too heavy for her, and she collapsed beneath the weight of it.

Next, Rachel found a lovely frame with delicate flowers entwined around its sculpted form. This was surely the one to fit her perfectly. Hurriedly she lifted it, but beneath the flowers were piercing thorns that tore her flesh.

Wasn’t there a frame just right for her? She came to a plain frame. No jewels. No delicate flowers. Yet something attracted her to it. She picked it up and hung it over her, and it proved a perfect fit. As she looked at the frame encircling her, she recognized it as the one God had originally created for her!” *

God has designed you for a specific purpose and design. The more people I meet and hear their stories, the more I realize that each one of us has a journey. Some journeys I think sound so difficult, heartbreaking and challenging. I think I could never handle the weight they carry. Yet, I am sure there may be people who think having a severely autistic child would be too tough for them. (Sometimes it is for us and that is why we are so thankful for the prayer support!!)

I love how our Lord knows, designs and calls us to walk the roads He has for us. We can encourage and cheer each other on to run the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12:2) and give grace to each other. God is not asking us to fill anyone else’s shoes, just the ones that keep us closely in step with Him.

May I be faithful and trust Him and serve wholeheartedly with what He has placed before me today. ❤

Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”


*(Calm My Anxious Heart, Dillow, pages 42-43, adapted from Streams from the Desert, Mrs. Charles E. Cowman, page 271.)

6 thoughts on “Big Shoes to Fill

  1. Pat Vess

    Oh what encouragement your words bring–more than you could possibly know. I just read this to my prayer partner who is facing much right now and we both became encouraged together with everything put into perspective. Then I forwarded this to another friend who works with autistic children and she always is so grateful to receive your treasured words too. And then I made a copy and will put it in the mail to another dear friend who needs to open a real letter found in her assisted living mailbox and her heart will soar with hope too! Thank you! Thank you! Thank YOU! Keep writing and do think about publishing!!

    1. Wow! Tears are in my eyes because I know that this is all the Lord! I am so humbled that you read them and so honored that you share them. Thank you for your loving encouragement! It is I who is blessed! ❤

  2. Pat Vess

    Dear Jill, I have to add one more comment and share how this blog will encourage one more person. My friend who I read this to asked me if I would make a copy for someone she has met where she exercises. This person has “sign in duty” and is in a wheel chair and is in her early 20’s and has been in a wheel chair since she was 6 when she had surgery for cancer at age 3 which left her disabled. She shines so brightly and will shine even brighter when she reads your blog. Couldn’t let this “thank you” be left unspoken. Such joy encouraging words bring!!!
    If a publisher crosses your path, don’t be surprised!

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