The Healing Trees (chapter 7)
Mrs. Thompson sat down next to Maya and prayed. After a couple more minutes, Maya turned and said “Thank you. I’m sorry to keep having to call for you, but I don’t know what else to do. I get so scared.”

“It’s okay, Maya. You never have to apologize for asking for help. You should ALWAYS reach out when you need it, especially with panic attacks. I agree, they can be very scary, and it can feel even more frightening if you’re all by yourself.”

Maya hugged Mrs. Thompson. “I just don’t understand why this keeps happening. It just started out of the blue. I’m scared. What’s happening to me? Why won’t God make it stop?”

“Maya, let me call your mom and let her know what happened, and then we can talk. Okay?”


Mrs. Thompson reached into her pocket and pulled out her cell phone. She dialed Ms. Bennett’s number and listened as it began to ring. 
“Hello? Ms. Bennett answered.

“Hi Ms. Bennett, this is Mrs. Thompson. Do you have a minute?”

“I do. Is Maya okay?”

“Yes, she’s fine now. She had another panic attack during her math test, and Mrs. Wright paged me to meet her outside. I’m with her now, and the attack is gone.”

“I'm so glad to hear that. Thank you for helping her again. Do I need to come get her?”

“I don’t think that will be necessary, unless you feel better having her at home. I don’t want to pry into anything, but Maya has so many questions about what may be causing this, and I’d love to be able to help her. I don’t want to overstep, though. I’ve had my own experience with attacks, and I know how scary they can be. I want to help in the best way possible, but again, I don’t want to step outside my boundaries. I’d actually love to talk with both of you if I may, perhaps this afternoon?"

“Oh, Mrs. Thompson, I’d love that! I have questions, too, and I thought about taking Maya to see a counselor, but I’m a bit nervous having her see a stranger about what’s going on. I’m not sure if that would be good for her, or if it would make these attacks worse.”

“That’s a hard decision, for sure. Are you free at 4:30?” 

“I can make it work.”

“Great. Please come to my room, 333.”

“Will do. Thank you again, Mrs. Thompson. I’m so grateful for you.”

“My pleasure. I’m happy to help. Is it okay if Maya and I chat while we wait for you?"

  “Please do. You can fill me in when I get there.”

“Sounds good, Ms. Bennett. I’ll see you at 4:30. Bye for now.”


Sliding her phone back into her pocket, Mrs. Thompson turned to Maya. “We should probably get you back to class, but first, do you remember when I told you what causes panic attacks?” 


“Great. I’m going to ask you a question, and I only want you to answer if you feel comfortable, okay?” 


“Have you ever experienced anything that was hard or traumatic?” 

Maya looked down to the ground and sat in silence. A minute later, she began to cry. 

Mrs. Thompson sat there, listening to Maya whimper as tears flowed down her cheeks. God, please help Maya. I don’t know what she’s wrestling with, but you do.

Maya wiped her tears and apologized. “Maya, it’s okay to cry. Whatever you’re battling inside you, it’s okay to release the hurt through your tears.” Maya jumped up. “I have to get back to class.” She walked quickly to the door, yanked it open, and stepped inside.

Mrs. Thompson sat there, afraid that she offended Maya or somehow opened up something she shouldn’t have. Please forgive me, Lord, for overstepping. And please, whatever Maya is struggling with, heal her heart.

Maya entered the math room right as the bell was ringing for next period. “Are you feeling better now, Maya?” Mrs. Wright asked. “A little. I just needed some fresh air. Thank you for calling Mrs. Thompson.”

“You’re very welcome. I’m glad you’re okay. When you come to class Monday, we can discuss a time for you to finish your test. Have a great weekend.”

“Thank you. You, too.”

With that, Maya grabbed her backpack and headed to 4th period.

The next three classes found Maya’s mind racing all over the place. Thoughts of her dad leaving. Her mom taking them out of church. Her friends she missed like crazy. The panic attacks. The sadness and anger she felt about all of it. Why did Mrs. Thompson ask her that? Now it’s all she could think of. I can’t tell her what happened. She wouldn’t understand. Or would she? 

Back in room 333, Mrs. Thompson did her best to focus on helping her lead teacher, Mr. Anthony, as he taught their English class. She walked around the room and offered help to those who needed it, but she couldn’t stop thinking about Maya.

The rest of the day went pretty quickly and without complications, and Maya was grateful. At the end of 6th period, she headed to her locker to grab what she needed for the weekend, and then headed down the hall to room 333. I hope she doesn’t bring up that question again. Maybe I should just call my mom to come get me now.

Maya pushed the thought away and continued down the hall. Stepping into Mrs. Thompson’s room, she placed her backpack on one of the chairs in the front row and sat down. Mrs. Thompson approached her.

“I’m sorry, Maya. I should’ve realized that question might be super uncomfortable and open up deep wounds. Please forgive me for overstepping.”

“Thank you. I forgive you. I just don’t want to talk about it.”

“That’s fine. What WOULD you like to talk about? We have an hour till your mom gets here.”

“I’m not sure, because the only questions I really have are what’s causing this and how to make it stop, and I’m guessing the answer has something to do with the question you asked me earlier.”

“I have a feeling it does, too, Maya, and that’s why this is so hard. I want to help you, but I don’t want to push you to talk about something you’re not ready to talk about.”

“Can we just sit here or maybe go outside and get some fresh air? I’d rather just sit and not talk if that’s okay.”

“That sounds like a great idea. Let’s go outside.”


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