For a year she begged to go to our church children's camp. I was hesitant. We always made our kids wait until they had complete 3rd grade before we let them go to camp. She had only finished 2nd grade. But she wanted to go so badly so I signed her up.
She promised she wouldn't cry or want to come home, but I wasn't so sure. She cried every night the last time she went to my parents house without me.
Sunday night was the first meltdown. I found her in the bathroom, late that night bawling her eyes out. She didn't want to be away from us for that many days (four days..2 whole days without seeing us). We talked it out. She wanted to go, she just wasn't sure about being away from us. "I like being with my family" (Hoping she still feels like that when she is 16)
The next morning she said she could do it & was ready to start packing her bags. I thought, maybe she is gonna do it. She was great all day and so excited when she went to bed she could hardly go to sleep.
This morning, she woke up ready to go. I was combing her hair & it started all over again.
Her big sister stepped into the bathroom and said, "Let's go get breakfast at Chick-Fila and Mom & Dad will meet us at the church." That helped a little. She walks out saying, "I'll go to breakfast, but I'm not going to camp!" :)
Scott & I got to the church before Sarah & Gracie did so I grabbed that opportunity to talk to her counselor explaining the situation. Sarah & Gracie park at the church & meltdown # 3 starts. I was really beginning to think she wouldn't make it and neither would I.
After talking with Ms. Rebecca (her counselor) Gracie decided she was going. Dad put her bags on the bus and we found her group of friends.
|Posted from my Instagram|
Here was her cry. She wanted to go really bad, but she didn't trust herself to not cry at camp and she didn't want to go unless she knew she wouldn't cry. Yep, that is my girl! That is how she rolls through life. Unless she knows she will do it extremely well, she won't do it at all. Her name is Gracie, but she hasn't learned yet how to give herself grace.
We hugged and talked a bit more and then Dad walked up and let her know Sophie, her best friend, is in the bathroom crying too! She is having a hard time too! In a weird kind of way, that made Gracie feel better. She now had a purpose, to help Sophie.
She was now able to find the courage she needed to get on that big giant bus. And that is what she did...with her counselor gently leading her on while quoting Philippians 4:13 outloud,
"I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength I need."
She is the shadow above the "R". Waving bravely, wanting to cry but now she can't because she needed to help Sophie be brave too.
Teaching our kids to do hard things is not easy but so important. We want to find excuses for them like I did for Gracie. Maybe she isn't old enough. She needs to be more mature. But instead we are to encourage them, cheer them on and be their greatest support! Going to camp was all Gracie's idea and in the end it was all her choice. We were not going to force her to go, but we knew how badly she wanted to go.
Finding purpose in doing those hard things gives them a whole new meaning. Jesus never asks us to do something hard that doesn't have an eternal purpose. It is all for a reason. And it is all to bring glory to God.
Today's hard thing for Gracie was getting on that bus. Tonight it will be going to sleep without Mom or Dad there. Tomorrow it wil be something else. Everyday is a new opportunity to do a hard thing and do it very well, to the glory of God. Teach your kids the value of this and they will be prepared and excited to take on whatever challenges God brings their way.
I cried when I watched Gracie get on that bus. I cried because I knew how hard it was for her to do that and I was so proud of her. I know she will do great. Her leader will make sure of that. I can't wait to see her Friday!! But it would be really great if her leader would text me & let me know how great she is doing. Just a mom thing.