I gathered the kids into my room and we all flopped on the big bed together. It’s our common chat place, the big cozy bed. I needed to let them know the plans for the next couple weeks and remind them that school is starting up again. As soon as I got the words out about school, all three boys burst into tears.
I could say they are just bummed they won’t be able to lay around, swim, eat, repeat — all day long. But that isn’t the case. Instead, they voiced feelings of anxiety and fear about the new year, everything appearing hopeless.
They are sad a friend moved up to middle school, scared about meeting the new group of kids coming in, worried the work will be too hard (“Mom, it’s SIXTH GRADE. It will be SO HARD.”). They worry they won’t find friends or find their tribe. After last year being the first year in public school, I understand that even this transition is still new. I totally get the fears.
I’m attempting to ease hearts and to find a way to help them, but I barely can do the things I’m asking of them. Things like “the only thing you can do is surrender your fears to God” and “have faith that it will ultimately be okay, you will be okay.” I feel like my words aren’t getting through and the angst in the room seems to increase. Could this be a lesson for me, too?
I lean in with my heart and listen. The Spirit whispers even closer.
I remind the kids that school is still a couple weeks away (we have a trip taking up those two weeks, so it feels like school starts in about five minutes because of the schedule ahead). I talk about being grateful for today and just focusing on today. We wipe the tears and I ask (beg) them to not argue with each other today and we go about our day.
It struck me so hard that the fears they have are the very same fears I still have, just in different circumstances today. I easily get myself into a place where I’m scared of the unknown, anxious about the what ifs and sad about the past that is behind me. Oh, that they could learn this surrender now, so that 20 or 30 years from now they aren’t doing the exact same dance with fear.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
~ Isaiah 41:10
I know and I believe and I have faith — but sometimes my habit is still to run to fear. I tell myself to be grateful for today and just focus on today. I will be okay.
How often are you teaching your children or someone you are mentoring lessons you are still learning yourself? I find it happens all the time!