It’s been a crazy few weeks with school closures and offices/businesses converting over to virtual resources in light of the global virus pandemic. And just like that, most of us parents suddenly find ourselves in the position of having to become a homeschool teacher, whether we are trained for it or not. The quarantine/social distancing …
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We’ve wrapped up our first week back to school and the second week is now well under way. Last week, I was filled with relief by a smooth transition back and comforted that both kids seem right where they’re supposed to be, following months of prayers and nervous deliberations about the right school/therapy placements. However, I find myself a little anxious again. The first week “high” is fading and all the little hiccups that naturally accompany two kids with multiple disabilities are starting to surface. The late nights dealing with blood sugar monitor malfunctions, the morning routine resistance when we’re in a hurry, the worries about social conflict and misunderstandings that pop up in autism, and the fight to keep my son in his AFOs in the afternoons are all just a few examples of the challenges that come up. It’s a rather tiring juggling act each and every day.
In the midst of these challenges, it’s hard not to go back to that dark place where I start to wonder and ask myself “why me?”, “why my kids?” over and over again. After a long year of nonstop hiccups last school year, my soul longs for peace. The journey has been long and I’ve been weary from the burden of worry and battle on behalf of my children. New opportunities like homeschooling for my daughter opened this year that have relieved some of those burdens. But, with the special needs life, even when your kids have the right supports, there will always be some hicccups. There will never be the perfect life, free of all problems.
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Though I know I can’t be surprised by problems, the first signs of hazard can bring a sense of dread in a battle-weary mama like me. For a few moments this week, as I lay my head on my pillow, I felt those oh so common feelings of despair creep back in. The “what if’s” played through my mind:
- “What if this year won’t go as well as I hoped?”
- “What if things never get better?”
- “What if my kids fall behind and never catch up?”
- “What will become of my kids when I’m not there to help them?”
- “What if I can’t sustain the help? How long can I live like this? Always fighting? Always trying to keep up?”
Sleep deprivation always compounds these negative thoughts. But, yesterday morning’s “verse of the day” devotional arrived at just the right time:
“And when you pray, do not heap up phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think they will be heard for their much speaking. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you even ask.” -Matthew 6:7-8
For your Father knows what you need before you ask. Yes, He does. He knows my children’s needs even more than I do. He knows where and how to meet those needs. And, I was once again reminded that it is not MY job to meet their needs. It is His job. It is mine to listen and follow Him. I am comforted because I know we have heard clearly from Him this school year. I can rest knowing that we have done our job.
The hiccups and challenges may still come but I can be at peace knowing we’re on His path. A weary traveler may need to take a break and rest from time to time and that is ok. Yesterday, He showed me that He knew MY needs before I even asked: a good catnap! So, I obeyed, even though I had a million things I wanted to accomplish. I woke up refreshed and renewed, at peace to pick up on the trail where I left off. It is easier to hike the path knowing it has what you need along the way and that you have One who has gone before you to direct you upon it. We continue to follow and believe that He who called us will equip us (Phil. 1:6). We may stumble and fall from time to time, but His journey will not fail. I know this because He assured me He knew what we needed before I even asked.
What needs do you or your children have today? Rest easy, friend. He already knows before you even ask.