If you have seen the movie, Alexander and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, you may be able to relate.
The movie is an expansion from the children’s book of the same name, and of course, a rather funny embellishment of the story. The story begins with a family, arriving at their home, opening the door, and encountering a crocodile in the entry way. Which of course happens every day…
But, as the movie begins, we find out that the crocodile was only the cream of the crop on a day filled with excessive poopy diapers, dead car engines, a job interview with the baby (who smeared his face in green marker), a failed driving test by the teenager, who wrecked the family van, and more.
The movie does still leave you with the sense that despite all of the absurd examples (They could happen!), that perhaps, bad things do happen, and that well, God does restore.
We had our own no good, very bad day at church the other day.
While it wasn’t filled with all that kind of excitement, it was one of those oh, so bad tantrum days. No, we didn’t have car trouble, and my son is no longer in diapers. But, right in the middle of the church patio and in the hot sun. It was one of those reminder days of just how bad everything can get and yet, just how far we have come…The tantrum ended with the arrival of the ambulance, a ride to the hospital and a medication adjustment. Some days I wonder why we have to go through all of that just to find out a simple solution. Don’t you?
We spent the week finding peace from chaos, while my son napped quite a bit.
But, it left me with a picture of the Body of Christ.
You know. The image in 1 Corinthians 12 of how the parts of the Body need to function together, because everyone carries their part.
In our one incident, we had people to help restrain my son, keep him contained, attempt to calm him, call for the ambulance, direct the ambulance, drive my car to the hospital, and then keep my son busy while I spoke with the doctors.
All that for one little boy.
We are blessed to have had such support.
And, of course, he is completely worth it!
Grief comes easy in Special Needs Land.
It remains very sad to me to witness my son completely break down and then ride in an ambulance with him. No parent wishes that for their children, special or typical. But, it has gotten easier. I don’t find myself in complete grief for days on end. There was a time, when I struggled to pick myself up off the floor with his tantrums in public places; but, the day was still not an easy one.
Yet, what surprised me, perhaps because I have witnessed other people’s callousness over my son’s tantrums, was the love and response of others over my son’s behavior. I have been doing this tantrum thing for several years now, and as a special needs parent you know, there are many daily difficult decisions to make; but, when the Church rises up and assists, it is a beautiful gift.
Yes, the grief is still there, but help makes it easier to swallow.
This has not always been the case for us.
In Special Needs Land, it is true that it takes a whole village to raise a child.
While not everyone has an extensive support system to care for a child, typical or special, in special needs families, we must reach out to find dependable support until we find it. If you are there, pray and trust for the Lord to bring you redemption in this area. Then follow Him, as He calls you. We cannot always stop the impending crisis from occurring, and be prepared. The planners of the world will tell you otherwise, but I say, follow the Spirit if you can’t.
Our kids need everyone from medical, church, therapeutic, willing helpers, family members and more. Yes, we have to be cautious in who we choose, but I see all too often the expectation that one parent, usually single moms, must take care of a special needs child all alone. Honestly, it is too great of a burden for anyone to bear, but happens all too often. Jesus will shelter us with our children, if we pray and reach out.
Our kids will melt hearts of stone.
This is how we can be confident in finding the right people. As parents, we need to find willing partners in this special needs journey. Trust me, our kids will melt their hearts with their smiles, their innocence and genuine enthusiasm. Yes, there will be some who still turn away, or even run away, but in the end, if we persist with God, we will find what we need for our families.
We, the Special Needs community need people to rise up in love, just as our church did, we need them to rise up and step in where they can. Won’t you join me in praying for the Lord’s best for us all? The harvest is great!
Love is patient,; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
The Lord’s blessings to you and your family~Kim