Where do you go when you’re hurting? … Where do you hide your heart?Lyrics Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith
I first realized that parents teach places to hide hearts after I watched wounded adult relatives either run to Disney World or long for Disney World. One cousin openly spoke of her desperate need. I was confused until I remembered her childhood vacations to Disney World when her family’s’ life was in turmoil.
After that revelation, I recognized similar patterns. I looked back on my sons’ responses to difficult times or adjustments. With one exception, they consistently headed outdoors. The exception? Libraries.
Along the way, I learned that I had unconsciously taught my sons a physical place to hide their hearts.
Our family camped and hiked and biked and ran in the woods behind our house whenever we could—unless we were hanging out at the library a few miles away. I didn’t realize I was teaching my sons that libraries and the great outdoors could be safe places when hurting or in need of rest.
Where do you run to hide your heart? Where do you want your children to run?