Friday, August 28, 2015

the one where our hard has been fought and won

I'm naturally a people pleaser. I don't want to rock the boat. Whatever you choose will be good (and I'll deal with it if it's not). I avoid confrontation and well, I try to avoid "hard" if at all possible.

Yep. And I have a counseling degree. Albeit a school counseling degree, but nonetheless, I once took courses in counseling. You'd think I'd be better at navigating difficult.

Well, I'm not. But I'm having to learn how to be.

Our sweet Waybe turned 3 at the end of July (which reminds me, I gotta write a birthday post)! And at the age of 3, Way graduated from TEIS, our early intervention program in Tennessee. Which means, all of the therapies Way has been receiving (OT, PT and Speech) will now be paid for out of pocket. It also means that he is able to transfer over to the big-boy school system (if we choose to do so) and he gets an IEP, or Individualized Education Program, which is an education plan for a student who will need special education services.

And in July, before Way turned 3, we had to have our first IEP meeting.

I'll keep it short and say the meeting didn't go well and had to be continued. I was told I had to sign some papers or that someone in the school system would get a "bad mark." I didn't sign the papers. I rocked the boat. I didn't let them choose and I didn't avoid confrontation and I didn't avoid hard. Though I wanted to, so badly. I didn't though, because I am Way's advocate and I am his Mommy. Way, unlike our others boys, needs us to stand up for him in ways we don't have to for his older brothers. And some of that has already happened, but it was game on once the IEP meetings rolled around.

Our IEP meeting was finally finalized yesterday. And while I wasn't angry or frustrated yesterday at the meeting, I was very much disheartened. Nothing ideal happened and really, nothing good happened either.

I found myself following the rabbit trails of "What-if's." What if he doesn't get x service? What if he can't ever go to such and such school? What if we can't afford to send him to this and that school? What if we have to move? What if he still isn't walking in a year? What if he falls through the cracks? What if this? What if that?

And let me tell you, the "What-if" game isn't fun.

But, by the grace of God, and after a few tears, I felt peace. I had family and friends praying for that meeting. I knew that their prayers wouldn't guarantee a rosy outcome. I asked them to pray for my peace about the entire thing and for wisdom in my role as Way's advocate. The Lord delivered my peace.

I want to live my life with the big picture before me, His big picture. I want my life to radiate with an eternal perspective! It's a fight, for sure, in this culture we live in. Our culture is dominated by success, money, drive, the best education, the best school, the best, the best, the best. I'm not immune to it. But, I want to be.

I've realized if I'm not living my life with an eternal focus, there truly is no point to this life. He has gone before us and fought for us. He has told us, in His Word,

"that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." --John 16:33
So, life isn't easy. But, the Lord has already won! That doesn't mean that the things of this life, like IEP meetings or decisions about schools, work, houses, health, etc. don't matter. But it does mean, we shouldn't worry. The Lord has also told us he will take care of us. He knows our needs, He loves us and He will provide for us!
"The Lord is my shephrd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever. " --Psalm 23
 I'm so thankful the Lord is Way's Shepherd!


As He Leads is Joy said...

So thankful that you know who is there is guide you along the way. It is not easy but so much easier knowing the Lord is with you. None of this is a surprise to God. That has been my biggest comfort through the years. God knew that where my daughter would be born and that she would need surgery. He provided and continues to do so. Keep trusting him each step along the way.

lindley said...

Yes, Beth! Thank you for your encouragement! He knows!! We just need to trust in Him!

Simply LKJ said...

Keep your focus on Him. He has already planned a path for your sweet boy. I know my girls would totally understand. One Special Ed the other Speech Path!!

Molly Witherington said...

Proud of you, Lindley. The Lord has blessed Way with great advocates/under-shepherds in you and Chad!

Unknown said...

Hi Lindley! (I'm an old 2PCer who moved away 5 years ago, but I stalk your blog to see how everyone is doing!)
Thank you so much for this entry and for sharing your heart. Our son was just diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and I'm in the process of scheduling his first IEP right now. The thought of trying to get all of his therapies set up, and not have him labeled as some difficult child, and all of the other anxieties I'm experiencing are daunting. I am also haunted by 'what if's' constantly. Thank you for the reminder to have an eternal perspective; I need that reminding daily!

- Megan H.


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