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  • Writer's pictureDani Hatfield

Building Brave Families: Christina’s Story

Updated: Oct 8, 2021

“I specifically remember the day—it was September 11 of last year. Logan texted me, and she said, ‘Mom, I can’t stop crying.’ I asked her what happened, and she said, ‘I don’t know. Can you please help me?’”

Christina Holling recalls the difficult moment last fall that she and her 12-year-old daughter Logan realized that Logan’s empathy and emotions ran deeper than most pre-teens.

“She was just broken—hurting so deeply. When they're little, you can hug ‘em and put a band-aid on their booboo, and that fixes it. When they're adolescents, it just doesn't work like that.”

As any parent would, Christina wanted to remove the pain her daughter was experiencing. It was a difficult realization that she couldn’t.

“That was the beginning of a season that I realized I didn't know what I was doing. I've been a mother for 27 years, and it was something I had never experienced before.”

And not only could she not remove Logan’s pain, Christina felt as though they were trying to navigate this anxiety alone, despite a loving and caring community of friends and family.

“In the journey with Logan—that season—I felt like I was in the wilderness. I asked, ‘How are we going to get out of this?’ It was a very lonely place.”

Christina says she clung to God’s promise in Deuteronomy 1:30-31. “The Lord your God is going ahead of you and he will fight for you just as you saw him do in Egypt. You saw how the Lord your God cared for you all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness. Just as a father cares for a child, now he has brought you to this place."

“Even though I was in one of the scariest times of my life with my own daughter, I couldn't ignore that there were other parents going through the same thing. I know that it's a very lonely journey. It's a very scary journey. It's a very difficult journey—especially in this day and age. There are a lot of children who are hurting, and it's hard to get help.”

In fact, today anxiety is a childhood epidemic, affecting one of every five children. That’s why Christina came to Nebraska Lutheran Outdoor Ministries (NLOM) with the idea to bring together parents with children who experience anxiety to learn and grow alongside one another.

“My hope is that these retreats will give parents an opportunity to get some information and some knowledge to help them with whatever they're navigating in their parenthood journey with anxiety—while also meeting other parents and knowing that they're not alone.”

On Saturday, October 16, NLOM is hosting Building Brave Families: A Retreat for Parents of Children Suffering with Anxiety. At this day retreat, Sissy Goff, M.Ed., LPC-MHSP, Director of Child and Adolescent Counseling at Daystar Counseling Ministries in Nashville, Tenn. will be presenting “Raising Worry-Free Kids.”

“I genuinely want other parents to know that they're not alone… that there are many of us that understand. And I want us to link arms together to help raise our children working together for God’s kingdom. I know that there is such beauty that is going to come out of this, but that we need to be vulnerable with each other, link arms, and walk forward together.”

For more information about Building Brave Families, click here.

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