(This prayer is from my friend Meredith Dangel. Be sure to get to know her better at the end of this post!)
Henry is sleeping peacefully. The first-day-of-school clothes are chosen with care. The bookbag is packed, already by the door. All I can do now is pray.
Summer is over, and it has been long. I have prepared Henry for kindergarten as best I can. We have toured the school, roamed the halls, played on the playground, and charmed candy from the secretary; those were joyful days of smiling, joking, snapping pictures and embracing hope. But, we have also endured epic meltdowns, as Henry succumbed to what we can only assume is anxiety. A terrifying riptide churned beneath the surface of this summer, and we are all spent from gingerly entering the sea each day, wondering which step will be the one that pulls us under. Henry, Keith, Henry’s therapists, and I … we are all exhausted.
For months, I have prayed not only for Henry, but also for his teacher. Just a few days ago, we met the lovely woman. She endeared herself to us immediately. I pray for her now by name, and I feel my forehead crease as my voice strains against the lump in my throat.
“Oh, Lord, thank you for Ms. Langdon. Thank you for giving us the teacher we prayed for, the teacher who will see him as a whole person. Bless her, and please bless our son tomorrow. Give him your peace. Cover his body with your presence. I know you will meet all Henry’s needs according to your glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Amen.”
He is in God’s hands, as he has been all along, but I can rest in the knowledge I have done my part. I have faithfully lived into my calling for this season of motherhood. I have not watched television all summer. No, I have driven to therapy appointments and reinforced calming strategies. I’ve scheduled playdates to maintain social skills and encouraged outdoor play for adequate stimulation. I have worked hard to ensure his readiness, and now I will entrust him to his teacher for 7 hours each day, trusting God to equip her and to equip him.
All I can do now is pray, though perhaps I should word this differently: All I do is pray. This is not my last resort, but my energizing and sustaining life-force, covering all I do. Prayer carries me through both the beautiful and the broken, both the tidy and the messy. This particular prayer has strengthened me through the hard summer work of preparation, and it will strengthen me now in the hopeful release.
Tomorrow morning, I will cling tight to this promise, even as I let go of my precious son.
“God, I know you will meet all Henry’s needs according to your glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Amen.”