It's been a really, really long time since I last posted on this blog. I promise you it was not for lack of desire or lack of ideas, but we have been so, so busy. Not "I only have to time to watch one episode on my DVR" busy but more like "I have four months of magazine subscriptions sitting by my bedside untouched" busy. Regardless of the reasons, I have stopped tonight to write because I want to capture a truth that was recently revealed in my life. I want to remember it in times to come when I find myself back in the place I have been lately.
The last month or so has been really challenging for me in regard to our middle guy, Grant. His SPD symptoms seem to be moving more into the background of our lives, but at the same time the emotional and behavioral challenges related to his disability have reared their ugly head. Usually I take his challenges in stride, but as the holidays approach it becomes more difficult to accommodate and/or ignore the issues. While many of you enjoy the hustle and bustle of the season, hopping to and fro to holiday parties and Christmas get togethers, we spend our time evaluating whether or not we can successfully participate in said activity without meltdowns, sensory overload, or disrupted routines. More often than not, I find myself politely declining an invitation or avoiding typical activities like Christmas shopping with the family.
This past Tuesday, I had reached a breaking point. We struggled through Grant's therapy sessions, fought with him over the afternoon schedule and tried to avoid a tantrum in the sporting goods store. (Yes, I am THAT mom with the screaming 4-year-old...pretty much every time we go shopping.) Driving home I was feeling pretty crummy and lamenting about being the mom to a special needs kid. I was having my own whine-fest with God....
Why? Why do I have to have the kid that can't do anything normal for the holidays? Why do I have to miss out on the fun festivities? Why do I have to think through every decision down to every stop on my list of errands and whether or not I can handle it with my kid tagging along?
Pretty soon I came up with the rational (I thought) argument as to why it was completely unfair. You see, I know about giving things up. As a Christian I actually have chosen in my life to make sacrifices. As a missionary I have missed out on all sorts of events...births, weddings, funerals, holidays...but I chose that for my life because I chose to follow God's will. But my argument was that I did not choose to have a special needs kid. That was just my lot. And it is a pretty unfair one. I don't want to miss out on these fun things. It's not by choice. I'm stuck with not doing what I want because I don't have the choice. I... I didn't choose....I didn't choose this... And it seemed like a pretty viable argument until God gently spoke a truth into that miserable moment on the car ride home.
You did not choose a special needs child, you chose to follow Me and I allowed this disability to be part of your life.
Oh, my. Suddenly my selfishness and ignorance and stupidity was glaring me in the face. I ask myself...Why do we easily surrender some parts of our lives, but fight so desperately for control in others? Do we lack the faith required to really trust God to hold every part of us? I can see how God's plan is at work when my family moves across the ocean to serve in full time ministry, but I cannot see His plan when it is disrupting the sanity of my daily life? In moments like these I am so thankful God's gentle supply of grace.
As we walk through these days of Advent, I am reminded of Mary and her complete trust in a divine encounter. How challenging the days before her must have seemed. But she did not waiver from the path God laid out before her. She accepted it willingly. I am thankful that we still have divine encounters today. And that I can trust in God's path for our lives without wavering. Even when it would seem the choice is not ours, may we always remember to choose God.