Facing Our Fears for the School Year
Our summer is officially ending as the new school year launches today. Our youngest daughter begins first-day classes at a local technology center. My husband, Rob, has already tackled his reading this morning for his new master’s program. Our middle daughter just received an invitation to move out from under our roof to live closer to her college downtown. In a few short days, our youngest jumps back into elementary school with his spiffy new backpack and lunch box. Summer has ended with a hard stop and we’re off and running!
As my four loved ones scatter to grow and learn, I celebrate their independence. The fresh start is exciting. God will certainly develop their gifts and stretch them in ways I can only imagine. Yet the fears are real even as my heart feels joy and gratitude for this new school year.
Will my child suffer from bullying or rejection?
Will he feel stressed out or struggle academically?
How will the kids get along with their new teachers?
Can my daughter’s job cover the expenses of school and rent?
Is she going to be safe living in her new neighborhood?
Will last year’s stresses and challenges follow us into this school year?
What if they rebel and reject my influence?
How will the girls balance work, classes, a social life, and rest?
Will the worldviews my kids encounter derail their values and their faith?
Will my husband feel overwhelmed by adding grad school to his plate?
How will our relationship change as they become more independent?
Can our family stay connected in the busyness?
As the “what-if’s” fill my mind, I can slide into fearful worry.
I’m tempted to micromanage and control every detail as “Boss Mom” takes over.
The ache of letting go can stir up a poor-me attitude that steals joy from my heart.
Instead of counting blessings and trusting God for each of my loved ones, I can fall deep into anxiety and doubt.
Will this school year begin in fear or faith for you and me? How can we experience God’s promise that we “will go out in joy and be led forth in peace”? (Isaiah 55:12) The answer is found on our knees in prayer.
Join me in praying for the family we love, the hopes and concerns we carry, and God’s perfect plans to be revealed.
It’s hard to let my children go. As a parent, I want to hold them close and protect them from every danger and struggle. Help me to trust you with every detail of my kids’ lives as they begin their school year.
Guard my children’s hearts as they engage with other people. Sustain their confidence when teasing, criticism, or harsh words attack their well-being. Fill them with your Spirit so they can respond with kindness and respect to everyone. Strengthen them to stand firm when they’re tempted to sin or follow the crowd. Help them to find their identity in you as beloved children of God.
Equip my kids to succeed. Teach them self-discipline and focus. Give strength to endure when they’re weary and want to quit. Provide what’s needed to grasp new concepts and grow their skills. Use their education to prepare them for the “good works, which God prepared in advance for [them] to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)
Give my children the blessing of friendship. Allow them to know the joy of belonging and feeling wanted. Surround them with others who bring out their strengths and build up their spirits. When they suffer moments of loneliness, reveal yourself as their constant, faithful friend.
Lord, this year will bring its share of challenges and pain. Fulfill your promise “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” so no hardship is wasted. (Romans 8:28) Use every hurt to reveal your mercy. Use each failure to create humility and a deeper reliance on you. Let the false teaching and confusion of the world make the truth of your Word our greatest treasure. Help me to trust you’re in control, growing my children in strength and maturity every day.
Throughout this school year, draw us closer to you and each other. We surrender our schedule to you–give us wisdom in choosing our activities and commitments. Keep us from crowding you out of our busy days so we can worship and pray as a family. Help us to value relationships over the to-do list so we invest deeply in the ones we love. Focus our eyes on eternity, seeking your kingdom instead of just building our own on earth. Fill our home with love, encouragement, and peace as we walk this year together.
Today, I place my children in your hands. Your power is greater than every enemy they face. Your love surrounds them every moment, and you never leave their side. You know them inside and out and you’re the author of their lives. Thank you for all you’ve planned for this school year. Your will for each of us is “good, pleasing, and perfect” in every way. (Romans 12:2) Loving Father, you are “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to [your] power that is at work within us.” (Ephesians 3:20) Amen!
To keep praying for your kids this school year–and for a little dose of laughter along the way–we offer a special back-to-school bundle to encourage your family.