It began with a Monday off for Martin Luther King, Jr and our family enjoyed our time together. Scottie, apparently, really enjoyed the extra day. Monday night the tears began and continued the rest of the week. She would cry and cry and cry. When we asked her what was wrong, her responses were "I am sad" or "I don't need to go to school" or "I stay home mommy day". We tried all the ways we knew to encourage her, make school sound like the MOST exciting place, and reassure her that at the end of each school day she would come home. When we tried to dig deeper and ask her why she was sad, her response never made sense, "because I am happy". We discovered that Scottie did not know why she was sad. She did not know why she wanted to stay home. She was not able to tell us why she did not want to go to school. She did not have the answers, but she need with great certainty that what she DID want was a "stay home mommy day".
Mommy panicked and realized that Scottie has been suffering for months with anxiety. Because she is developmentally delayed and has receptive/expressive language disorder, she hasn't been able to tell us that she was anxious or worried or scared. She suffered silently...she started to withdraw at school...she was alone. Mommy and Daddy wanted nothing more than to sweep her up into our arms and make her feel safe and loved. We only discovered that the anxiety was there because her body was sick. She could no longer control the emotions because her body was not strong enough.
As I reflect back on Scottie's week, I am overwhelmed because I know what it feels like to keep everything in. I know what it feels like to be sad, lonely, and anxious, but not really understanding why. I know what it feels like to crawl in bed and stay there....wait, that was not my Scottie's response. She did not want to hide out in her room secluded from the ones' who love her. She wanted to be in a safe place, our home, and be with the people who love her most.
My Father, wants me to want nothing more than to run to Him and find shelter and strength in His arms. He calls for me and wants to pick me up and encourage me. He showers me with love, mercy, and grace. His love letter, The Bible, was written for times when I do not understand or when I am lost. He loves me...unconditionally. He loves me!
"I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings." Psalm 61:4
"He will cover you with his feathers and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart." Psalm 91:4
The next time I am feeling anxious, lonely, overwhelmed, sad, and lost I will RUN not walk or meander, but RUN to my Father. I will follow the example of my sweet Scottie and desire nothing more than a "Stay Home with My Heavenly Father Day"! My prayer is that others would learn from my Scottie!