This past weekend we drove to Washington Farms to pick some fresh strawberries. We’ve done this a number of times over the years and it’s always fun time. Especially eating them out of the bucket on the way home. They are always so good! I was comparing pictures from 2012 and 2016 and was blown away by how much Jaxon has grown – inside and out.
A lot can change in four years. For this young man, it’s the amount of anxiety, worry, peace and confidence he has. Many of you have heard us talk about this, and it still amazes us how far he has come. And we give all the glory to God for how much He has made a difference in Jaxon’s life.
Four years ago he was in the middle of counseling, having been diagnosed with severe anxiety. The amount of anxiety and worry he felt was overwhelming at times. These feelings were triggered by many things, including darkening skies signaling an approaching storm, testing at school or going into an event/environment that was unfamiliar. And his reactions ranged widely from simply being in a bad mood, to fits of rage where his actions and words were scary and hurtful. Lisa and I walked on eggshells every minute of the day hoping not to do or say anything that would cause an unwanted response. Many tears were shed during this roller coaster ride, but also many, many prayers were whispered and shouted. Of course we would never wish to have this happen to our precious child, or anyone else’s. But, because it did happen, the three of us have faith and trust we wouldn’t otherwise know. And for that I am truly thankful.
Next month we are going to Kenya for the second time as a family. And we couldn’t be more excited. This nearly 14 year-old who was completely stressed about us moving to a new home fifteen minutes north is now enthusiastically awaiting our 8,000-mile journey to another continent. The amount of peace and confidence Jaxon exudes is evident every day. His easy smile is a testament to me that the Spirit is at work in him.
Did our hugs and encouraging words help? Yes.
Were the hours upon hours of counseling beneficial? Absolutely.
But, only God could help Jaxon conquer his anxiety and overcome the dark thoughts that clouded his mind. He still has times when he gets worried and stressed. But, they are in the “normal” range now. And he knows the One he can turn to in times of need. Thank you, Jesus.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Galations 5:22, 23