But there wasn't time to talk about it. The tyranny of the urgent took over. It was the time of day where commands are shouted "Get your shoes on! Pack your snack! Find your coat! Where is your sister's lovee?!" I was flying around trying to get all the stuff together to get ready and out the door. There was no time. Where is the time Lord? I failed her. As I drove them to their daycare I glanced in the rear view mirror repeatedly. My never-quiet girl sat staring out the window, tears brimming in her eyes. I need to talk to her. Where is the time Lord? We arrived and she flew in the house, tears retreated as she became her normal exuberant self playing with her friends, the worries of the moment vanished and I felt temporarily released into my schedule as I scooted off to work. All day, a heavy heart, I kept seeing those brimming eyes in the rear view mirror. A reflection of my own brimming eyes. Why wasn't there time, Lord.
So tonight I pulled this sweet girl on to my lap. All stories and limbs, telling me of her day through her gap-toothed smile. "Honey, Mommy wants to talk to you about what you tried to tell me this morning. You said your tummy hurts every day. Can you tell me about that? What you think might be causing it?"
"Mom I know you say it's because I need to eat but I eat as much as I can and it still hurts and I know you think it's sometimes because I need to go the bathroom but I go and it still hurts!" "OK, well what do you think is causing it?" "When I do my math, I get a terrible tummy ache the whole time because I know if I don't get it done I will have to bring it home and you will be sad and think I didn't work hard. I get a tummy ache on the playground a lot because sometimes I want to play with one girl and she will stop talking to me. And then I will make a new friend and the next day she won't want to talk to me any more either. Some days it seems like no one wants to be my friend." "Couldn't you look for a girl who is lonely and ask her to play?" "No one is lonely but me. I am the girl who is alone." What do I say, Lord? Her eyes start brimming again. She is heart sick and it is so familiar and I have felt this ALL of my days and why is this happening to her too, she who is so unlike me I thought, she is brave and cheerful and chatty and friendly and I am never those things and she feels it too and the invisible umbilical cord tightens and I feel it drain the blood from my face. Why, Lord, why her?
"Oh sweet girl" I rub her back, and stroke her hair. I pull her deeper into my lap as if I can hug away the hurt and the loneliness and the anxiety. I don't want you to worry so much about math. I want you to work hard, I do. But you do not need to worry about getting it all done or that I will be upset OK? Just do your best." "OK momma." "And I know friendships are hard, it will take awhile before you know who you really want to be good friends with. It changes on a daily basis. For now try not to worry so much and just have fun. OK?" "OK Mom" "You know how much I love you?" "Yes, but it really helps to hear it every day too."
This really happened today. I wish it didn't. I wish I just made it up. Besides how badly I handled it this morning I don't doubt for one second where she learned to be so anxious. One of her anxieties is directly from me putting pressure on her to get her work done. She has been telling me every day (multiple times) that she has a stomach ache. "You probably didn't eat enough." "You probably need to go the bathroom." or my favorite "You'll be fine." have been my responses. My little girl was hurting and I was digging the cuts deeper by my hurry, my nonchalance, my lack of care. And what is more, I gave them to her. And it all seemed so familiar. I know of 4 friends whose kids are in counseling for anxiety. Kids my daughters age! Why are our children feeling so much pressure? What is happening to our little girls that they need therapy at such a young age? The anxieties I have been plagued with my whole life I often thought of as my vice, my crutch, my weakness. How often have I looked at my own brimming eyes plain in the mirror and called it out for what it is....sin! “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation." Exodus 34:6-7
I need to deal with this deep-rooted sin of anxiety in my life.
|"The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God you fear everything else."|
| -- Oswald Chambers|
This, this. This was my very motivation for this blog, for change. I didn't want them to end up being anxious too. But I think I thought I would lose the anxiety by changing who I was. I need to lose the anxiety by repenting of it. Calling it what it is. I need to change how I look at it. I need to bury it under the Word. I need to live out that repentance. I know this verse better than any in scripture; "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7. He couldn't have spelled it out any better for me. I am so sad how today started off. But it ended well. And tomorrow, I am going to read my daughter this verse and ask for her help as I learn to live this way, with a peace-guarded heart and mind. I pray that all will join me in my crusade to teach this younger generation of hurting girls where to give our anxiety-sin over to and how to find peace.