Sunday, October 15, 2017

Making A Way

Have you ever been on a carnival ride with endless spinning and find yourself in somewhat less of a  neutral state? You can't say you hate the ride because the darling next to you is wide-eyed and giggly, but the spinning is quite annoying, your heart is a little panicky, and your eyes are closed, begging for time to hurry and dump you back to a place that is more comfortable.

This is the scenario that best pictures how our life has felt over the last several months and prompted an unintentional departure from this space. 

In the quiet moments, I know the truth. But...quiet would only be heard in this house if someone was jumping on the sofa shouting it with all their might. And disorder has a way of unraveling me...quickly...and causes me to wonder why on earth God picked me.

There was a moment, last spring, at the end of an IEP (special education) meeting for LJ that I let the chaos win and fear bludgeoned my heart. I barely held my sobs as I ran-walked to the car. 

We were failing LJ. 

For the first time in my adult life, I ran away. I, quickly, sent a text message to work, but otherwise didn't tell anyone how I was feeling or where I was going. I just ran. I gave God a list of jobs I would have been exceptional at and presented different scenarios that would, presumably, have been better for LJ. Because he's a gentleman, he didn't interrupt. I went on and on and on. I cried for five hours straight and only stopped long enough to try on and purchase a new pair of Nike sneakers. That helped a little.

As I pulled back into the parking lot of the school and shut the car (and by car, I mean bus) off. The Holy Spirit delivered his one liner.

God did not pull LJ from disaster just to fail in your family.

So true. And I knew it was true. I held my breath for a few seconds and let it sink deep into my heart before the door opened and I had to let all the little people back in.

I don't want to bore you with days of details, but I have to tell this story.

LJ's clinical labels include emotionally impaired, ADHD, ODD, and some OCD. 

School is an ever-living nightmare. 

The meeting I attended was to recommend LJ for special education. Our school is amazing and the plan was strategic, but there was one huge problem. We live on a two county district line. Our current school is in our city, but we are assigned to attend school in the neighboring county. When we found the perfect country home to fill with more babies, we understood the special education risk, and chose to attend school as a school of choice family. It was a part of our story that we were sure about.

Fast forward four years and we had a weighty decision to make in 10 days. If we signed and accepted the IEP recommendation, LJ was going to have to switch districts and attend a different school than his brothers. If we didn't sign, he could continue on, but it would be without the services he, desperately, needed.

We prayed and cried and talked to every person that would listen. I even wrote a raw-heart letter to both superintendents begging for them to make an exception in our case. When our request was denied, Ben held my hand and reminded me that the Knower of all things, knows LJ best. We wondered if sending LJ to a district on his own might benefit him in surprising ways and tried to settle into the summer without thinking about it. I couldn't think about it; sending the boys to different schools ripped my heart in two.

Two weeks before school started, the principal of our school called, and opened with, "You must be praying hard. I've never seen anything like this in my career." 

Legislation specific to our predicament was passed in our benefit, weeks before, and required the two districts to join a cooperative agreement. The principal was calling to tell me that LJ would receive full special education benefits as if he was an in-district student. And I didn't have to do anything.

This was an Ebenezer raising moment for us. God made a way for LJ where there was NO WAY. He cares so much for his son, he cleared the necessary debris and changed legislation for him. Equally as significant - his way was on its way, while we were walking through the mud. 

This was not a coincidence or act of man. 

It was a miracle that I hadn't even thought to ask for. It's the sort of thing that begs consideration...what else haven't I asked God for?

I don't know if school will ever be less of a challenge for LJ. I don't know if he will learn to control his emotions or recognize his triggers. What I do know is that he is worth the investment and God will never fail him. Or me.

Even in the disorder.


  1. I have missed your writing so much! This story brought tears to my eyes. We serve a BIG God, and I needed that reminder this morning. I will be praying for LJ, and I will be praying for you.

  2. I often come here and check in on you and this space. I love to read your story to see how God is moving through you. What a wonderful miracle, I am glad LJ will get what he needs and gets to stay with his family at school. I hope everyone else is doing well too!

  3. You are a great mama Rebekah! you are entitled to check out and run sometimes. I'm so happy that the school miracle was answered. I keep your family in my prayers and hope only for the best for LJ (and all of your littles!) Thank you for reminding us all never to lose faith.

  4. I ,too, needed this reminder. I will continue bring a family situation to the throne of grace. God is able! May God continue to bless your family.

  5. Have you talked to anyone who specilizes in attachment? We work with many counsellors, doctors and agencies that have an attachment focus as our girls were neglected and then lost their first significant attachment (bio mom and dad). Often times attachment issues present as other disorders. My older daughter was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD, my youngest ODD and PTSD. They also function lower socially. It doesn't make the problems go away but it helps look at them through a different lens and helps me realize that these are things we will over come. Lots of hugs to you, it's not easy.

  6. I've missed your writing! I kinda figured deep down that things may have spun out of control because you'd been absent. You deserve a break and it's so beautiful to see that prayers have been answered ❤

  7. Rebekah, thank you for writing. I'm just a freshman in college, and I've been following you for so many years. I think it was right before Francisco and Edith moved in. Thanks to your writings, a few other blogs, and God, I am majoring in early childhood and special needs education. Your words inspire me.

  8. So glad to see your post. Praying for you!

  9. What an answer to your prayers. Special education is wonderful and difficult at the same time. Find a support system or other special education families to go to when you have questions.

  10. ALWAYS a treat to hear from you, to catch up and glimpse into your heart. HE is more than enough. And He can show off bigger when we are weakest.

  11. Update would be nice.
    Longtime reader