(Shared with permission…to encourage parents to “Stop the World.”)

My daughter was about twelve when it happened…again.

One of her closest friends was moving away.

I remember this day well. She and her sister and I were driving to a homeschool field trip, running a little late…being that I am the reigning U-Turn Champ, and all. (Does anyone else suffer from being directionally challenged?)

All of a sudden, from the back seat came deep sobbing. I mean deep. I turned around to see my daughter crying uncontrollably. Through her cries of despair, the reason for her heartache was slowly revealed, “Kyndall’s”… long pause…sniff… breath…sniff… “mooo–(sniff sniff)–ving!”

One of her closest friends was moving to a state far away. This was at least the third time she’d experienced a good friend moving away. Her heart ached.

But we were in a hurry… on a schedule…

What’s a mom to do when her child is brokenhearted, weeping, struggling to catch her breath…and yet she has a place to get to stat?

“Stop the world” raced through my mind. It’s a phrase that signifies putting aside my agenda or the schedule at hand to give full attention to the more important present priority.

I pulled the van over, climbed in the back seat, and just held her. I couldn’t fix her heartache or change the situation. I just hugged her, giving her time to pour out her thoughts and tears. I gently stroked her hair and wiped the tears that streamed down her sweet little face.

Someone had given me advice years ago to NOT be the first to let go of the embrace.

So, I held my girl to share in her sadness… until she let go.

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15

In this case “stop the world” actually meant “stop the van.”

But in your situation, what does “stop the world” look like? Is there a family member with a heavy heart who needs you today? Does something on your schedule or agenda need to be put aside to tenderly care for the heart of your child?

In so doing, you’ll be loving well and demonstrating that their hearts can safely trust in you.

To read how “Stop the World” also applies to disciplining kids, read HERE.

Rhonda wecan’tgetthistimeback ellis


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  1. Leslie

    I regret so many times in distant past when I chose my agenda/schedule over “Stopping the World” for things that now I see really would have made a difference in someone else’s life & my own.

    • Rhonda Ellis

      I think we can all recall times that our pace was way too fast and our schedules way too full. I love how tenderhearted you are, and I know you’re enjoying being a mom, mother in law, and grandmother. 🙂 There’s still moments even with our grown children when we can stop the world and enter theirs, and I’m so thankful for that.

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