I was nervous. Nervous is actually a tremendous understatement. I was frantic. Panicked. I’m pretty sure I was working on a couple of well-developed stomach ulcers. There were a few sleepless nights, plenty of tears, and hours of rehearsal for this one conversation.I was certain I was about to devastate and scar my child, forever marring her happiness. (I wish I was exaggerating here, but mom-guilt, self-doubt, and general run-of-the-mill crazy talk are very real enemies of the modern-day mom, and I am not immune!)
I finally worked up the courage to say what I was so darn afraid to, and pulled my daughter out into the backyard and sat down with her on the porch swing.
“Hannah honey, I have something to tell you, and I want you to know that it’s okay to have any kind of feelings about it.”
“Are you switching my school?”
(Surprised…although I don’t know why…She’s wicked smart and super intuitive), I went on to explain to her that her Dad and I had decided it was best for her and our family to pull her from her private school and put her into our neighborhood school.
“Okay. (completely fine and happy) Can I go back in and play with Henry?”
(Sort of flustered that I wasn’t having to follow the script I’d spent so much time worrying about…) “Wait…you’re not upset?”
(Incredulous) “No….You and Daddy chose that for me, and you know what is good for me.” (←Here’s the part where I should have stopped, allowed myself to feel pride in knowing my child trusts me, and accepted my child’s reaction.)
(Going against all the good advice I give you all, and with great stupidity) “Aren’t you nervous or scared? I mean, you won’t know anybody….are you okay with that?”
(And here’s the part where my child schools me and yet again blows my mind…) “I’ll know someone the second day.”
Wow. Talk about the teacher becoming the student…I had wasted a good week (plus) worrying about that short little conversation. Hours of agony. Lots of talking with trusted friends. Crying. Worry. Anxiety. More Crying.
And ladies, it was all for naught. That worrying…the fretting…the panic…it was completely unnecessary. I’m here to tell you…kids…they’re pretty incredible beings. So much better than grown-ups. You see, Hannah (6) hasn’t yet learned to let fear color her world. She doesn’t waste her time worrying. When a change comes along, she doesn’t agonize, over-analyze, or jump to the worst-case scenario.No, she sets an example for all of us plagued by the crazy that years of pain, negative self-talk, and bad experiences tend to cause. The next time a change comes along for you, or you find yourself face to face with a situation you fear, I want you to follow the “Hannah Plan.”
1. Take in the information. Process it. Clarify if necessary and get enough information to help you understand the situation.
2. Accept it….especially if the change is something out of your control. If the change is happening regardless, you might as well roll with it, and move forward.
3. Trust. For me, I trust in the One who holds me together and provides me with the peace that passes all understanding, knowing that His plan is perfect (even when it doesn’t make sense to us, or His purposes seem unclear). If you’re not a believer, trust in your ability, skills, and drive to keep going.
4. Be strong and courageous.
Hannah took in the information, processed it, accepted it, and was ready to move forward. She wasn’t fearful or worried, trusting in her parents to set her on the path that was best for her. She knew that while it may take time to adjust, she knew she could do it. She would know someone the second day. Still blows me away…months later.
Whatever you’re facing today…whatever you’ve lost…had taken from you…whether it was justified or completely unfair….expected or out of the blue…you CAN do this. Muster up that courage that lies within you, process the information, and decide to roll with it. It’s easier. Trust me….the Hannah way of living is MUCH easier than the fear, panic, and stomach ulcers I was clinging to. Take heart ladies. Change of any kind can be tough, but with a positive attitude, a bit of courage, and a willing spirit to accept the hand you’re dealt…you WILL make it through. Hannah wasn’t busy concerning herself with anything that could go wrong or wasting time being afraid of having to adapt. She was rolling with it…trusting that things have a way of working themselves out! (*Especially when we can know and believe that God is in control….of the good and the bad, and the changes that come our way!) Anything new takes a bit of adjustment…a bit of time..The first day may be tough…but the second day is coming. Believe you’ll get there. And you will.