I’d been living in so much fear the last few months, it really wasn’t pretty. I knew it was the wrong way to approach life, but I just wasn’t sure how to change.
The inadequacies of Michael’s and my situation just seemed to face me everywhere I turned around. He wasn’t doing well in school, and I was afraid that the school district would start to harass us as a homeschooling family. His physiological situation wasn’t improving, which meant he wasn’t getting physical control of himself and moving through his remediation program, and I was afraid that he was just never going to improve (it hasn’t been our greatest year for that). I had been so awfully bogged down with my first trimester in the fatigue and nausea, I was afraid Michael was losing critical time with homeschooling and therapy. I was just so afraid that this year was setting us back in so many ways. Everything I could see going on around me didn’t promise much hope for the future.
It’s a terrible way to approach your kids, doing things only out of fear. Expecting the worst of the future every time you think of it. I wanted to stop, and yet I couldn’t pull myself out of it.
A few weeks ago, God sent me a pretty strong and encouraging message to get me looking at Him again. Our pastor preached from 2 Kings 6, the story of when an enemy king was coming to get Elisha and surrounded the city with his army. Elisha’s servant saw the siege and was afraid of what was coming next. Elisha prayed that God would open his servant’s eyes, and the servant then saw the heavenly army there too, just waiting to protect them. Pastor called it facts versus truth. Yes, there are some pretty serious facts about our situation. Maybe there’s an earthly army surrounding us, maybe we’re sick, or our kid’s situation isn’t improving. We’re not making stuff up, and it’s a reality we have to live in. But it’s not the truth of our situation. The truth is, no matter what we’re facing, God is not only greater than it, but present in it as well, working His miracles and purpose through it, if only we could see with eyes of faith.
I think I cried through the whole sermon. I’d stopped looking to God to speak His truth into my circumstances and was paying attention only to what I could see with my human eyes. I was literally clinging to worst case scenarios in my mind on a daily basis, and it was time to let that go and remember all the things that God has promised me about my family and all the things He has done for us in the past.
Our situation’s not vastly different, but there have been rays of hope throughout. Michael’s still not doing well right now, but the calmer, more attentive him did break through for a few days and prove that he has been learning some of the things he’s been taught in homeschool and is making some good, slow progress. He was able to relate in a few therapy programs, even if only for minutes at a time. A meeting that I had been dreading with the school district actually went well and ended positively. While a nasty sinus infection followed on the heels of my morning sickness, I had a couple of days where I managed the household and started to catch up on things and actually parent from my feet again and not from the sofa.
It all culminated this weekend. Nate had an accident with a power tool that injured his hand and rendered it pretty useless for the next few days. A few hours later, William fell from a chair and couldn’t walk. As I was driving him to the ER, my brain was starting to spin down that worst case scenario road again. Here we were, entering the holiday season, which I love but always brings lots of extra work and effort, and I was going to be pregnant, tired, and carrying around a baby with a casted, broken foot until January. I could feel myself tensing up, blaming myself for the accident, and playing the if-only game, when I could feel God just stop me. He reminded me that nothing that had happened this day had caught Him by surprise, that He had provided and cared for us in difficult times before and was certainly capable of doing so again. Knowing that, and knowing that friends and family were praying for us and already offering help and support brought me peace, and as usual, God provided.
William got a clean bill of health, and with the aid of some painkillers started running around like nothing happened. While Nate’s hand has been very sore, it seems to be on the mend as well. My family came together yesterday at a birthday party in our home and helped us through all the household chores that Nate and I just couldn’t do between all the injuries and sickness. I felt so blessed. God keeps reminding me over and over again that He knows my situation and can handle it.
It’s a good reminder to have at this time. As those of you with special needs kids know, this time of year is never easy. All the breaks from routine and excitement from the holidays can be disorienting and overstimulating, bringing everything from meltdowns to regression. I hated that I was starting to dread my favorite time of year. But armed with some great tips from Michael’s therapist, and the proof that God indeed is getting us through all our things, big and small, I’m able to let go of a lot of the fear and try to let Him work through us and our situation.