My son has been anxious about beginning the 4th grade. In general, he is anxious about the unknown. He was anxious at Disneyland as we waited to get on rides; unsure of what the ride would be like.
We’ve been preparing for the 4th grade all summer…practicing math facts, talking about what 4th grade behaviors are and are not, and talking about his worries. He is worried about what his teacher will be like, who his classmates will be, what will he learn, will it be too hard, will he have what it takes? We are facing his fears and working through his anxiety, together.
A few nights ago he couldn’t get to sleep. His mind was turning over the soil of the 4th grade. I met him on the stairs…halfway up for me, halfway down for him. We sat there for a while… just talking.
He spoke of his worries. I listened. I reminded him about how worry steals away the joy from his life.
He shared that he has been praying about his worries. I listened. I reminded him that it is sometimes, often times, not enough to just pray; he had to surrender too. He had to give God his worry. His worry is too heavy for him to carry on his own…God will carry it and care for it. And, by still worrying after he prayed… it was like he was telling God that God couldn’t handle it… he wasn’t trusting God’s mighty power.
We talked some more. He said he wanted to shine God’s light at school. I listened. I reminded him that worry stops his light from shining brightly. Then, he said it! He said something so truthful and wise beyond his 9 years. He said, “So (as if he was still processing), worry is the wind that blows out my light?” WOW!!! Not only does he get it, he has created his own profound statement about it!
At that moment, I got such a beautiful feeling of his peace and understanding of the concept. His words gave me the gift of a vivid visual.
A candle flickering bright light and illuminating the darkness.
A strong breeze blows in.
Shifting the light.
Bending the light.
Until the flame goes out.
Then, only darkness.
My son woke-up the next day feeling ready for the 4th grade. He didn’t remember much of our conversation on the stairs. But, he processed and internalized the words we shared. His light is shining again… as bright as it has ever shone before. His worry is gone. His joy is back.
Worry is the wind that blows out your light!