“Mommy, I don’t want you to leave me.”

“Ryde, I will never leave you. If I drop you off somewhere, I will always come and get you. Daddy and I will do our best to never leave you.”

“Please don’t leave me.”

“Ryder, you will leave me first. When you get big, you’ll get married and get your own house and you will leave Mommy.”

“No, I will NEVER leave you.”

I then went on to explain that it’s okay if he leaves me when he’s grown up, but for now, his daddy and I will always do our best to never leave him. And regardless, Jesus and His angels are always with Ryde wherever he goes. He is never alone.

Parenting is not easy in any way, shape, or form. My little big man is going through a lot of anxiety right now, and truthfully, so is his mommy. I keep repeating the scripture that says “Let not your heart be troubled . . . “. It’s a minute by minute choice to not be troubled.

I had a bit of an anxiety attack this weekend regarding our upcoming trip. 9 hours of sitting in a cramped airplane seat with a one year old just makes me want to have a panic attack. I don’t do well in tight spaces. I don’t do well with sitting in the cheap airplane seats anymore either. I’m too old to sit that long or so my body says. And I really wanted to buy Ez his own seat, but at a thousand a pop, there’s no way. And E is in the screaming, let me out of here, I don’t want to be constrained at all phase right now, and it’s so hard. There’s no way to reason with him, no way to console him, and nothing to do but just get through it with patience. We spent 2 long hours at the car lot on Saturday, and E was a wreck. A totally wild, eating everything of the ground, running, screaming wreck. I had a giant headache by the time we left. And it gave me a sense of how much I don’t want to do the long flight. But leaving him home is not an option, so we’ll do the best we can and by God’s grace, we’ll get through it.

So after a very long, non-relaxing, needing to fight through anxiety weekend, I decided to start packing in order to feel not so panicked. Since it’s been so stinkin hot, it was easy enough to pull out the autumn/chilly/rain clothes that the boys will need for the trip. Mark and R helped me to pull out the suitcases from the garage, and Z laid down next to all the stuff and provided her sweet companionship while I sorted. At one point, I looked over at her and saw this beautful face with anxious eyes, and I thought, “oh Zoyz, I know.” I know she knows that we’re getting ready to go for a bit, and I so wish we could take her and not leave her. I also know that all of the house has been feeling my anxiety. I saw my heart in her eyes, and I realized that just as I wanted to comfort her, He wants to comfort me.

And it’s not just traveling with a one year old that has me anxious, it’s our car situation (long story), it’s the change that’s needed in our circumstances, it’s the preschool situation, it’s all the emotions of going to our second home to see our other family that we haven’t seen in so long (and the short time that we have to see them), it’s all the memories that we’ll feel, it’s the saying goodbye too soon, and in general, just all the change that’s coming. It’s a lot of mixed emotion. It makes me not want to eat at some moments, and at other moments, I want to inhale a chocolate cake. And it’s in all of these moments that God quietly whispers “come away with Me.” “Come find rest for all of your anxiety.” “Trust Me, rest in Me, take My yoke upon you for My yoke is easy.” It’s the daily choice of hiding in Him rather than living in the emotion of it all.

The more that I parent, the more I realize how much I need Him. Just like my firstborn doesn’t want me to ever leave Him, I want for Him to never leave me. And I have that blessed assurance that He won’t leave me. I also have the privilege of drawing near to Him and leaning on Him when my heart is full of troubles. And that alone is such a giant gift. I don’t know how to say it in any other way. The chance to have a relationship with Father God through Jesus, My Redeemer, is such a beautifully perfect gift.

So on that thought, I’ll leave you with this – just as the Lord God went before the Israelites to lead them, guide them, and be with them in battle, even more so does His Spirit live in us and go with us:

Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

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