My Smithers has never enjoyed school. Actually, he never cared for daycare or preschool or staying with babysitters either. He really has no interest in anything that comes between him and his Mama.
As he gets older (there is no way that he is almost 7!) it becomes more obvious that he is just an introverted little homebody, very much like his Mama. He would rather be curled up on the couch with his Chili Dog more than being anywhere or doing anything else.
Kindergarten was rough …. Tough Love … and first grade has been no better. ;-(
He cries at bedtime because he knows a school day is coming.
He cries when he wakes up in the morning.
He cries as we leave the house.
And he cries as he is dropped off for school.
He complains that his stomach and his head hurt.
He worries that his Maw Maw will be late picking him up after school.
He says that he doesn’t feel safe.
My poor boy is consumed by worry and anxiety.
I have not always handled his tears in the best possible way. Bedtime is frustrating, mornings are rushed – I don’t think I have given my boy the time and attention he needs to process these tender feelings. Honestly, it has taken me awhile to realize that the feelings he has are real and serious and not just a tactic to escape something he doesn’t want to be involved in (i.e. school). I know that I haven’t been as loving and as patient with him as he deserves.
And I have realized that what I have been doing (basically ignoring his feelings and hoping he will just grow out of them) is not working. Instead of diminishing, his worry and anxiety are multiplying by the day. I have had conversations with his daddy, with our family, with his teachers, and most recently with a therapist we just began seeing.
And then, after all this, God gently whispers to my spirit:
You have talked to so many people, sought the advice of so many but what have you brought before Me? I hear your prayers for these boys I have entrusted to you but how intentional, how specific have you been in your prayers? You can ask for more. You can go deeper. You can pour your heart out before Me and I will hear your cries. My daughter, you don’t have to sit all alone in your bed brokenhearted over your boy. Don’t you know that before he was your’s he was Mine? Don’t you know the great love that I have for Smith and Charlie, for both Our boys?
And then my God, my Heavenly Father, the same Heavenly Father of my own sweet boys goes on:
How often have you prayed specific, intentional prayers out loud, over Smith and Charlie, so that they can hear your conversation with Me? How are you teaching your boys to speak to their Heavenly Father? How will they ever know how to share their hearts with me in prayer if they don’t witness their mama and their daddy doing the same? Let them see you. Let them hear you. You have asked for courage and boldness to speak My truth and to share My love. Start in your very own home. Be bold and courageous with Our boys.
If you read my last post (and if you didn’t you can read it now) you will see how God is already answering my prayers. Already he is guiding me, directing me specifically to show me how I can be a “doer of the Word” in my own home with my own family. I am so thankful for the immediacy of His response and now, in turn, I must be obedient.
So this morning before school, I pull my boy onto my lap, wrap my arms around him and whisper my prayers in his ear.
Jesus, I ask that you fill my Smithers with Your love and Your peace today. Jesus, I know You go before us and will be with us always. I pray that you will speak to my Smither’s sweet precious soul today so that he will know that You are with him. When he is scared, when he is worried, I pray that he will feel Your arms around him just as he feels my arms around him now. Jesus, I thank you that You have not given us a spirit of fear but a spirit of power and a sound mind. I pray that my boy will know the power that he has through You. I pray my Smith will know he has nothing to worry about, nothing to be scared of because You are with him always and he will always be safe in Your arms. And Jesus I pray that my Smithers will know that he can speak to You anytime, in his heart, in his spirit and You will always answer those prayers. I thank You for the gift of this boy, for the honor and privilege to be his mama. Jesus, I pray that he will never forget how very, very much he is loved.
In Your precious name I pray,
And you know what?
Smith came home from school this afternoon and said: “Today was a better day.”
Thank you God.