I started my annual Read through the Bible on the 1st as I do every year. Sometimes the old stories are so familiar that I completely miss actually “seeing” them. Such was not the case when I read the story of Noah this time. Yes, Noah, a.k.a. Russell Crowe. The one of whom a movie was made in 2014 (which I did not see.) You would think he would be a household name in any home in America.
Here was what struck me as I read this story this weekend and how it applied to my life as a special needs Mom.
There have been many floods in our journey as special needs parents. Well, we will call them mini-floods… Not truly catastrophic to the point of world devastation but certainly sufficient to feel devastating to our family. We can start with the growing crisis leading to diagnosis. This journey didn’t just last 40 days and 40 nights. It lasted 2 ½ years of wondering, questioning, trying everything we knew, and finally leading to the diagnosis. Diagnosis led to the season of grief and then finding the way through to a new normal.
Then there were the countless school crises. Consider 17 IEPs, 5 triennials, innumerable meetings, dozens of teachers, 3 special needs administrators, 2 superintendents, and 2 weary parents.
We are now at the college stage where we have encountered all the normal challenges of sending a child away to school plus a few special ones for our unique journey. We are no longer under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) but the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and are learning a whole new language and way of doing things. As with the earlier K12 struggle, we have professors/administrators with varying degrees of knowledge, interest, and concern.
We had the challenges of finding medical and therapeutic expertise and then dealing with changes outside our control as doctors and others to whom we had become attached moved on with their own lives. We have also recently gone through various changes due to our son reaching the age of majority and having to move from pediatric specialists with whom we have worked for many years to adult specialists with whom we must start anew.
Here is the deal… God has always provided for us through each mini-flood. He has always given direction and insight for the immediate needs. He has brought encouragement from surprising sources. He has changed us into more compassionate and patient people. He has allowed us to serve others with similar challenges. He has sustained us in our weariness.
And I was so struck by what Noah did when they came out of the Ark – that ark of protection and provision from the devastation of the flood – Genesis 8:20 says this: “Then Noah built an altar to the Lord….”
I was so struck by that. God brought them through the devastation and Noah’s response was to worship. And I was moved. How often I have come through various situations and just been grateful they were over.
Noah worshipped His creator, provider, protector.
And so should I.
As I look at the New Year I do so with some trepidation. I don’t know what the year will hold – what joys, what challenges, what grief. But I am so comforted to know that the One who has brought us through the many “mini-floods” is the same one who will walk with us in the year to come. I take great comfort in that. He is so good.
Grace, Peace, Love to each of you as you enter this New Year.