‘My life is perfect.’

I set down my wine glass and turned to face Sullivan, incredulous. His wide grin assured me that he was quite serious.

Was this not the same little boy that just a year ago had been completely self-destructing? Pushing down his hurt and rage, then exploding, stuffing, exploding. I have cried more tears over him than any of my children as I’ve watched him grieve in such pain, unable to really communicate it or release it well. And his anger has scared me. In the loss and change of the past years, he went from an incredibly sweet, happy boy to one who randomly punched a classmate, and chased another with a shovel in rage. Only seven years old at summer camp this year, he exploded, tried to run away and had to be physically carried back and held for hours.

I tried again and again to get him help. Somehow, all the doors seemed to close. This therapist moved, that one went on sabbatical, this one isn’t licensed any more, and on it went. All the while, we did all that we knew to do ourselves – and prayed through tears that God would move for him.

Then late this fall a transition began – for no tangible reason I can give you. The bright tender boy I once held in my arms was re-emerging. Something in his spirit had shifted; no circumstances had changed, it was purely internal. He began laughing again, really laughing. He became lighter and began searching us out for hugs, often accompanied by ‘I love you’, again and again. And it has been a consistently upward trend since.

Hearing that spontaneous overflow from his heart today was amazing. I tried to ask him some questions, but as usual he expended few words. He just smiled, quite sure of himself and his declaration.

I so wish I had some formula to extract from this, to tell others of the 5-point way to rescue children from grief. But what we experienced instead with Sullivan, the actual answer and real hope, is even better. Because it is a Person. One who loves perfectly, and knows the path of healing for every single wounded heart, big and small alike.

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