As soon as I entered the room I knew something was wrong. All eyes around the conference table turned to me as the principal asked, “Mrs. Anderson, where have you been? Our meeting was supposed to have started half an hour ago.”
I was dumbfounded. Really? 30 minutes? Because I had been waiting for them the past half hour in the front office! (All the while, a very confused secretary had apparently kept us waiting on each other.) Definitely not the best way to begin our first IEP meeting at my son’s new school.
Mistakes. We all make them. Schools make them. Doctors make them. We parents make them. It seems to be the human condition to mean well but to bump along our journey making this wrong turn and then that. And no matter how much we promise ourselves that we will “do better next time,” life just seems to have a way of throwing us curves.
When I first started my blog several years ago, Divine GPS, it was to write about this very thing—this journey of life that seems so hard to navigate, especially when you add in the variable of special needs parenting. We take one winding road after another in our search for answers, cures, and therapies, but like little kids in the back seat, we often find ourselves impatiently asking God all the while, “Are we there yet?”
The trouble is, that is the wrong question. And yet, after 19 years of travelling on this journey, I still forget that life with God has never been about “arriving” or finally getting everything fixed. Patched. Corrected. Or problem free. That is an illusion I fight to this very day with every new treatment or behavioral modification that seems to dangle that tantalizing promise of a solution.
Because even if the therapies did work, even if autism left our home for good, it wouldn’t change the fact that life with God has never been about perfect steering. It’s about our faithful, continual, daily reliance on Him, and learning to trust and let Him take the wheel instead of presuming to be a backseat driver. It has never been a question of “Are we there yet?” but rather, who are we relying on each day of this journey toward Home?
The other morning, realizing I needed yet another attitude adjustment, I came to Psalm 135. When I read verses 3 and 4, it was the reminder I needed to calm the internal storm after my latest IEP snafu (and the several parenting mistakes I’d rather not mention). God encouraged me with the words, “…for the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself, Israel for his own special treasure.” (Italics, mine.)
Jacob? The lying, cheating, manipulating man from Isaac’s dysfunctional family? Yes. That Jacob. Jacob (now Israel) was God’s own special treasure, complete with a limp, a tangible reminder of a profound turning point in his life.
God loved him and called him his own, but not because he suddenly became a perfect son who now obeyed without question and got everything “right.” In fact, we know from the rest of the story that Israel (Jacob) continued to still get many things wrong.
But here is what he did do correctly: He wrestled with God and held on for dear life. He wouldn’t give up. We should be no different. No matter the circumstance, we need to hold on to God, wrestling with Him if we must, as well as wrestling with ourselves and our families in an effort to keep following Christ, even though we may limp in the process.
So why does this matter?
Because on days when my children seem to choose self-destruction and I feel inadequate, ignorant and even “bad” as a special needs parent, God reminds me: My Abba Father is not done with me. He is holding on. He points me daily to the source of my wholeness, Christ, and He is able to do it even through my “Jacob-ness”. Through mistakes, sins, situations out of our control or caused by us, we are still His special treasure. He has chosen us for himself and He will not give up on us, or our families. He is in the drivers seat and we can trust Him day by day on this journey until we finally make it to our eternal Home. Allelujah!
–Kelli Ra Anderson
Question: Are you making time each day to “wrestle” with God and to allow Him to calm your fears, connect with your heart and assure you that He is still in the drivers seat?
Latest posts by Kelli Ra Anderson (see all)
- Calming our Anxiety in Special Needs Parenting - August 24, 2015
- Victory in the Seeming Loss of Special Needs Advocacy - June 22, 2015
- Retreating in God’s Hands: respite for the special needs parent - May 25, 2015