To the mama at the earliest screening for the kid-friendly movie

I see you. And, probably, I get you.

I figure you’re probably like me, torn between wanting to have nice family activities and fearing public meltdowns. Maybe you made the plans a few days ago, and maybe you even dreaded coming after solidifying the decision.

But some sense of normalcy… the luxury of simply going to the movies. Can’t that happen? Maybe? Maybe this weekend?

I get it.

I noticed you, leaning far across your child’s seat, hand on your son, close enough to whisper encouragements and comforts (and, let’s be honest, maybe a few bribes) in his ear above the noise of the movie.

I heard you shush him quietly when he asked some questions at probably too loud of a volume. It’s okay.

Maybe your heart sank as you saw another family walk into the theater and sit close by. You probably hoped that maybe, maybe, you’d be the only family in the theater. After all, the movie has been out for weeks and you’ve chosen the morning showing.  It could happen.

You did good. You were brave. I am happy you got out of the house today. I know how hard simply leaving the house can be. You were brave, facing down all the anxiety about public places and your son.

I saw that you’d chosen a specific location in the theater to allow him to roam a little. He did. He wasn’t in the way. So he stood up. It’s okay.

I hope you know that. That’s its okay. That the world can be a harsh place, but that there is a sweetness in this world, revealed by people just. Like. You. And by your sweet son. Brave mommas. Brave daddies. Brave kids with complex and complicated needs.

You shouldn’t have to be brave, mom. I’m sorry that the decision to be here today includes being brave. It shouldn’t be. But you kicked anxiety and self-doubt and second-guessing in the butt today.

I noticed that you didn’t finish the movie. I didn’t see you leave, but I pray that it was NOT worry about your child in public that made you go. It’s okay that he talked a little too loudly and stood up at the side of the theater. We, the fellow families of the early morning screenings, WE ARE YOUR PEOPLE. We get it, we get you, and you are safe here. Your son is safe here.

We give grace. We have grace to give because we have to give so much grace every day. Grace to kids, grace to the ignorance, grace to the inconvenience, grace for the doctor appointments, grace to the givers of well-meaning but stinging comments.

Grace to ourselves. To myself, to yourself. Hear me? Grace to your own heart and body and mind and all the times you feel you’ve failed.

I have grace, I have been given so much grace. I am learning grace still.

So keep going. Keep being brave. Be brave one day at a time. Go to movies. Break away from routine. Buy the candy and popcorn sometimes. Ignore the voice that whispers anxiety and fear to your heart.

“My grace is sufficient…” Be overwhelmed by His grace, full of grace to give, moment by moment. Include yourself in that grace-giving.

I pray that you have a good support system. A husband, boyfriend, sister, mom, friend, church family to help you through the hard days.

I pray that you have a relationship with Christ. Because, quite simply, I could. not. have made it without Him. The Great Sustainer when I’m on my last milligram of patience. The Perfect Listener when I’ve cried in the shower. The financial Provider when medical bills get scary. The Holy One, the Unchanging One, the Absolute Truth in a chaotic world.

I see you, and whatever insight God, the Wisdom Giver, has given me into your situation (see? more of His grace), He sees you, too. Much, much more. And He loves you perfectly, completely, genuinely, eternally. 

Keep going. Keep being brave for your son. I know you sacrifice so much for him. And I pray that you know the love of the One who sacrificed everything for you.

*******

“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sings. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”  1 John 4:10-11

But I will sing of your strength; I will sing loud of your steadfast love in the morning For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.” Psalm 59:16

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