Lay Down Your Weapons

By Anna Valdez, Back2Back Monterrey, Mexico Staff

I serve on a team at Back2Back Monterrey whose mission is to provide a support system for caregivers in children’s homes. Ultimately, we train caregivers to help children from hard places heal from their past.

“God has provided the healing balm for children’s hearts,” says child development expert, Dr. Karin Purvis. The truth behind this statement presented during training continues to impact me each time I hear it. Whether I am studying, teaching or listening to the material, I am continually reminded that God is our healer. When it’s not my turn to teach, I enjoy sitting in the back and focusing on the other teachers, my friends and co-laborers, who also have experience being caregivers in a children’s home.

One morning during training, I heard my friend say, “Puedes dejar tus armas.”

“You can lay down your weapons,” she implored us to tell the children. As the Spanish r’s rolled off her tongue, my breath caught momentarily as the deep truth of her simple statement resonated deep within me.

She continued explaining how children from difficult pasts use manipulation, control, aggression and sometimes violence as weapons to protect themselves. But when we care for them in a way that encourages healing, we are giving them new tools to deal with the world around them.

I could not keep it together. In that moment, I understood that these behaviors are actually the children’s weapons. They are scared. They are only trying to save themselves. I wanted to look each child in the eye and whisper, “Lay them down. I will help you. Jesus will protect you.”

As we continue to train other caregivers how to help children heal, my hope is they will be agents of change in the children’s lives. Then, one day they can cry out to the children, “The war is over! You can lay down your weapons!”

Anna Valdez resides in Monterrey, Mexico, where she serves with Back2Back Mexico. In her free time, she enjoys using creative writing to share how God is working in the lives of the children she serves.