We were all a mess. Everything felt really, really hard.
My teenage daughter was struggling with a heavy burden and we simply didn’t know what to do next. We had come at this problem from every angle that made sense and nothing had changed. She felt hopeless and overwhelmed and we felt powerless to make it better. It broke my heart to see the defeated look on her tear stained face, although it more accurately reflected the state of my own spirit than the mask of cheerful confidence I was trying bravely to maintain. We sat there in silence and I thought to myself “I’m the mom. I should know how to fix this.”
Then I felt the gentle tug on my heart. Feeling foolish for not thinking of it before, I said “Let’s pray.”
So, we joined hands, bowed our heads, and we prayed. We told God that we didn’t know what to do next to fix this situation and we were tired and frustrated. We told Him that we had tried everything we knew to try and needed Him to show us the next step. We acknowledged that we felt hopeless, but believed that He loved us and wanted to help us out of this mess. We asked that He bring healing and guidance and focus and patience. And then we said Amen…and tried again.
During the rest of the day, we kept talking and listening. We cried a little bit at times. We made brownies and tried to just breathe. And then we talked some more. Towards evening, we expanded the circle to include some friends who brought hugs, understanding and laughter.
It wasn’t until the day was over that we realized that we were better… maybe not fixed…but definitely better. The burden felt lighter and the way seemed clearer. We didn’t have to try so hard to breathe deeply.
As I lay in bed that night thinking about the day, I gratefully realized that the shift happened when we stopped to pray. Not a lightening bolt or a miraculous healing, but a way forward that felt manageable. A letting down and a letting go that allowed us to wade through the fear and worry to a place of hope and calm. A place that felt safe…a place to begin.
As I said my tearful thank you, I felt Him say “I was just waiting for you to ask.”