Welcome to my Wednesday feature God is So Good
. Here I will share stories - true and fiction, mine and others' - of the Lord's presence in the midst of trials, struggles, and difficulties.
I wrote this about three and a half years ago, when things were tough, and I was just beginning to see some of the ramifications of my son's developmental struggles. It absolutely flowed from my pen (yeah, I wrote it longhand) then, and I DID post it on my blog before. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that some folks likely hadn't read it - and that some who had could use to read it again. I know I could.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33b
NOT WHAT I EXPECTED (Sept. 27, 2008)
My son’s voice, almost a
scream, decreases in volume as he speeds away on his too-small bicycle. I
look up from my clipboard and smile at the streak zooming away in the
distance. “Hi, Andrew."
Probably too late to buy him a
bike that fits for this year. October is only a few days away, and the
rain—and eventually the snow—will prevent him from riding much if at all
before the spring thaw, and who knows how much bigger he’ll be by then?
He’s not complaining, anyway
Fall has been so slow in
coming this year. Here it is, September 27, and I’m in shorts and a
t-shirt. It’s probably in the upper 70’s, if not 80. I’m usually
drinking hot apple cider by now, but currently a glass of ice cold
lemonade sounds much more appealing.
Yet, the autumn
signs are upon us. The kids are back in school. They have been for
nearly a month. The local grocery store has had Halloween costumes and
bags of miniature candy bars at the front of the store for weeks. And
the oak tree in front of our house is beginning to put on its fall
colors and drop its “clothing” onto the grass below
survey the school playground from my vantage point under a small shade
tree, I notice that my oak isn’t the only foliage beginning to display
its seasonal beauty. The branches above my head, last month covered with
a lovely green, are beginning to include tinges of yellow. The grass I
sit upon has been sprinkled with those same yellow leaves, along with
some brown crinkled ones. No matter the temperature, fall is here,
meaning winter is closer than I’d like to think.
up to find Andrew has left his bike by me (where his helmet is nobody
knows) and is now playing in the sand with his younger sister Annika and
two other kids who, from here, appear to be about Annika’s age.
makes me think of my own childhood. When I was in elementary school, I
would always feel more comfortable with younger children. Sure, I had a
few friends the same age as I was, but if given the choice, I would opt
to play with kids a couple of years younger. I liked their games
better—the simplicity of them, I suppose. My step-mother would
discourage it, but it certainly didn’t change my preferences. It wasn’t
until I was in my mid-teens that the majority of my friends were of my
own age group.
I wonder what kinds of struggles Andrew
will have as he grows up in a world where he doesn’t quite fit. What do
his “second grade friends” think when they see him acting immaturely? Do
they whisper about the fact that he’d rather watch “Dora the Explorer”
than “Spiderman?” Do they shy away when he’s too demonstrative? Does he
understand—will he ever
understand— that his awkward movements, his inability at times to
control his energy and emotions, are likely to make him a “less than
ideal” social companion to some? Does he realize that some people are
laughing at—not with—him?
Will he ever be able to think abstractly—beyond the rote memorization where he so excels? Can he truly
understand the salvation message? Will his sister, nearly three years
younger, soon advance emotionally, intellectually, and socially beyond
him? Will that bother him? Her? Me?
As I sit beneath an
autumnal tree on this summerish afternoon, I am reminded that life
doesn’t always happen the way you suspect it will. Sometimes there are
snowflakes in May. Sometimes it’s 80 degrees in autumn. And sometimes
your child isn’t exactly what you were dreaming of when the doctor first
told you that you were pregnant.
But just because life
isn’t predictable doesn’t mean there is no reason to rejoice and thank
the One who put the world, and every “off kilter” part of it, in motion.
It is all from Him: the summer snow, the autumn heat, and my mildly
autistic son. And though life may be hard and, yes, unpredictable, I
know Andrew and I will both be richer for it, and that my son will (and
has!) bless me and others in ways that he never could if he were
“normal.” And because Andrew is undoubtedly my gift from God, I know
that he is right where he is supposed to be.
I love you, Andrew, just the way you are.
Father, thank You for meeting me under the tree in the Kettle Lake
playground this afternoon, through my own pen. I praise You for working
in me to think and pray through this issue I didn’t even know I had.
Help me, Lord, to trust You, and to turn my wonderful, special son—and
my concerns about him—over to you as many times as I must until I really
mean it. Thank You, Lord for knowing all and for being in control. And I
thank you especially today, dear Lord, for my precious son. In Your
Son’s name I pray. Amen.
|God is SO good - isn't He?|
Do you have a story you'd like to share about God's goodness in your struggles? Drop me an email and we can talk!
Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength
I didn't realize this is part of your life story, I know you are blessed beyond measure with your son:)) You have so much to share with others. I love how God uses you.ReplyDelete
Joanne, I may have said it before but I'm saying it again. You inspire me. Truly.ReplyDelete
I'm wiping my eyes at the moment, not because of your hardships per say, but because of the beauty you find in God and what He's blessed you with.
When God reveals His personal love and they you convey them to us, the power in them is swimming-up-current strong! They moved me. Deeply. Thank you.
You do have your plate full!ReplyDelete
I always dreamed of getting married and being a stay at home mom. Neither ever happened and I remain single.
But then I never would have been available to take in my then 10 year old niece. I'm sure she would have ended up on the streets had it not worked out that way. So yes, God's plans are so much better than our dreams!
I really resonate with your mother's heart today. You may or may not know that my son has some learning issues. He also struggles to make friends, keep friends. Just today, he came home with a new idea about fitting in with the rest of the kids. It broke my heart. I know that Jadon will be a great adult someday, even as he is a great kid today. It's just so hard to walk that journey from kid to adult, is it not? Some days, I still struggle.
Prayers for you and your son tonight.