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Courage, Dear Heart

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For moms of anxious children 

Many children love school and return with smiles on their faces and eagerness in their feet. For those of us with anxious children, this time of year brings a few more challenges and bumpy mornings. 

To you, mom of an anxious child, I see you. You are not alone, and your child is beautiful, strong, and gifted. Take heart. 

Curled up on the couch and wrapped in your own anxiety, you hide from the pain in your soul. Cramped and aching, your stomach tells a story of sickness that I know means fear. The soft warmth of the blanket creates a cocoon of comfort around your body that simply cannot reach your soul. One wide and wary eye peeks out from the darkness of your space and shoots darts at me with pleading tones. As I sit and stroke the one leg you allow me to touch, I absorb the anger and fear and worry you carry so deeply. 

Today you face challenges only you can walk, yet the weight in my heart tells me that my challenge will be to love you well as I carry your pain to God. A constricting chest and the heaviness behind my eyes choke my words as they slide from my soul to my tongue: encouragement and light and hope. I believe them. Do you? 

While you hide from the world, I chase you down with my love and hold out my hand. “Courage, dear heart. Adventure awaits.” 

Though you refused food before arming yourself with walls and will, soon I know your body will relax into reality; hunger will strike. Hoping you find the snacks I tucked into your bag, I kiss your sweet head and smile, praying a slice of my bravery will stick to you, dear child. If it doesn’t, I comfort myself with knowing He goes before you and in Him, all things hold together. Your fear, your hunger, your deep desire to be known. He sees it all. 

Today, you are brave, and I love you. 

In the quiet space created by your absence, I sit in my favorite chair and let the tears fall, the prayers rise. My fear, my hunger for you to walk with God, my deep desire to be comforted. He sees it all. 

Today, I am brave, and I am loved. 

“Courage, dear heart. Adventure awaits.” 

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