Please, Lord, take it from them and give it to me.

I’ve prayed that same prayer many times over the nine years I’ve been a mom.

I’ve prayed it with tears streaming down my face in a rocking chair at 2 a.m. when colic was in full force.

I’ve prayed it when they cried on the first day of school because I couldn’t stay.

I’ve prayed it when they’ve had a cold or the flu.

I’ve prayed it when friends have hurt their feelings.

I’ve prayed it when they’ve felt invisible by classmates at school.

I’ve prayed it when they’ve told me they felt nervous about something. 

I’ve prayed it when they’ve felt let down or disappointed by someone.

I’ve prayed it when friends have broken their hearts with their words.

I’ve prayed it when they didn’t make the team.

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I imagine I’ll pray that same prayer for as long as I live because that’s what we want to do as mothers when something is bothering them, we want to take it from them. We are willing to carry that heavy load, whatever it may be, as long as they don’t have to.

I’ll pray it when the first girls break their hearts.

I’ll pray it when they make mistakes and feel like it’s the end of the world.

I’ll pray it when they feel lost in this big world.

I’ll pray it when they feel betrayed by someone they loved or trusted.

I’ll pray it when any burden they carry feels too heavy.

I know that prayer will never be answered the way I pray for it to be.

I won’t suddenly just magically have all their burdens or sickness or heartaches and have it be wiped away from their shoulders, but I’ll still pray it.

I know it can’t work that way though, no matter how much my mama heart wishes it could.

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I’ll still pray that prayer with tears rolling down my face when it needs to be prayed.

I’ll sit with them right there in the midst of whatever they face, and I’ll still be praying it was me and not them going through it.

And even though I’ll never be able to face their battles for them or carry their burdens or heartaches or whatever comes their way, I’ll let them know they won’t have to do it alone because I’ll be right by their side. Even when I’m not right there, I’ll always be praying them through it because the truth is they may outgrow my arms and my lap, but they’ll never outgrow my prayers.

Nikki Pennington

Nikki is a stay at home mom to three, high spirited boys. Three years ago she became a motherless daughter after losing her own mom to terminal brain cancer. When she is not playing the role of referee for the boys, she spends her days trying to encourage and inspire others that are on the grief journey. Read more from Nikki on her blog: