Yesterday I got the dreaded “What grade is he in” question.
I have no idea why I wasn’t prepared for it this year. I had to think for a second before responding and in that moment, I felt like I could just lose it. Each year it gets a tiny bit harder to answer. He is supposed to be starting 1st grade tomorrow. Instead, Jacob will be in therapy 40 hours a week learning to talk, sit still, understand questions and how to answer and so on. No, he will not have fun programs for me to go see, he doesn’t have parties that I can attend and he will not be learning “age-appropriate” material in class. I still can’t explain why I am not used to this truth yet. So many families out there can relate, I’m sure.
God has a different plan for Jacob. His path isn’t the same as Jordan’s or Tyler’s and it isn’t the path I wanted for him. I have to keep reminding myself, though, that it is the path that our sovereign Creator has for him and that it is good.
Time and time again I’ve been reminded in God’s word that He sees things differently than us. He uses people in situations that aren’t so great to make his name great. Moses with his speech impediment, the blind man that was healed to show the works of God, when expensive oil was lavished on Jesus and it was thought to be a waste until Jesus exclaimed otherwise. I know Jacob isn’t Moses and I know our situation isn’t as grand as these, but I have hope that through our lives and Jacob’s struggle that we can make much of Jesus and that God will be glorified.
Our family story cannot even be told without telling all the miraculous ways that God has provided for us over and over, showing us that he cares deeply for us and that we have no need to worry. Our new house selling for enough money to pay for a full year of therapy, Cret getting a job out of the blue that he hadn’t applied for with full insurance coverage, Taylor Swift donating $10,000 for our service dog, and the list goes on. I find it fascinating that everything God has done, he has done in a way where there is no possibility that we could take credit for it. It is ALL God’s provision. God has allowed us to see glimpses of His purpose through our struggle when we get opportunities to share our faith and hope despite our sometimes hard situation. God has used autism in our lives to draw our family very close to one another and to Him. Jacob is such a blessing to us.
I just want to encourage all the autism families out there experiencing the difficult “What grade is he/she in” question this time of year.
It may not be the journey that you had hoped for, but God can use your family’s journey for so much more than you could’ve dreamed.
Jacob may not be going into 1st grade, but this past week he went canoeing, swimming in a lake, fishing, and camping. I seriously cannot even believe the obstacles he is overcoming. In my mind, I had all these limits placed on him, but God is crushing those limits. Jacob is talking more than ever. Just today he said, “Mommy, I want to play water slide please!” That’s almost a complete sentence. I am so thankful for these milestones. I love taking the time to sit back and watch God work in his life.
I am looking forward to a great new year with many new milestones. God is good.