“The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me besides still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”(Psalm 23:1–3)
Every now and then people tell me that I am a really strong mom. I laugh and shrug and say thank you or try to explain that I'm really not. But in all seriousness, I AM NOT STRONG! Weeks like this past one literally bring me to knees. I have crying fits or little freak outs every single time I am blind-sided by new challenges with autism.
Then I find myself faced with a decision. The decision to linger there or the decision to turn to Christ. Every single time something comes up I go through this. Every. Single. Time.
So, I have to pick myself up and beg for God to give me peace and wisdom. I have to remind myself…scream to myself that God is good. Then I have to put my money where my mouth is. Will I trust that what God has planned for us is ultimately for our good and His glory, or will I not? When there is literally nowhere to go, will I wait on the Lord and trust? There’s only one way that I know to fight my freak out thoughts and that’s with truth.
Yesterday I finally got to bring Jacob to a local ABA clinic to let him try out a social skills class. Upon arriving I immediately knew that the class wasn’t right for him. It was kids ages 6-12 that were all verbal and walking on their own and making decisions. I told them they may need to drop him down to the lower class, but they insisted on taking him in to try. Not long after, they let me know that the director had brought him to the 4-6-year-old class. After attempting to participate, they let me know that he needed 1 to 1 and couldn’t be alone in a class like that. These were not classes with typical peers, but classes for kids on the spectrum. My heart sank.
It’s not a huge surprise, although it was gut wrenching. These classes are for kids on the spectrum, but he isn’t able to participate. He still needs 1 to 1 ABA therapy to learn how to attend to a lesson, how to follow through with commands, how to be social, and especially language skills.
However, the clinic that Jacob attends (that is 1 on 1 ABA therapy) is drastically cutting his hours. He is in a clinic that goes up to age 10. His therapist told me that because he is so old, there aren’t opportunities for him to learn from kids that are higher functioning there, so they feel that he needs more. The problem is that there isn’t a place for Jacob.
A public-school class is too language driven for him to understand it and a special education class wouldn’t move as fast academically as he needs. Jacob learns skills very fast when he is shown the skill, but his language is severely lacking. It’s a very difficult thing to explain. The clinic that he needs to be at still has a 18-24 month waiting period. So here we are stuck in this weird place with nowhere to go, no classes that fit his need, and a huge reduction in ABA hours that 3 different clinics say he needs. It may not seem like a huge deal to others, but for me, realizing that we haven't come as far as I assumed we were and realizing we probably are not at the school where we need to be, is a really hard pill to swallow.
Last week we dealt with severe panic attacks at the clinic from rain, Jacob trying to rip a lightbulb out of a fixture and cutting himself, then finding Jacob in his bedroom with a huge bloody face with no known reason and he can’t verbalize what happened and now this huge cut in hours at the clinic. To top that off, he can’t participate in the social skills classes I have been waiting and hoping were right for him.
We are at a point where there is nowhere to go. At least, I have no idea what to do for him right now. So today, I am praying this to myself.
“The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me besides still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
In the past, I’ve only ever read that as a sunshine and roses verse. God does great things in our lives and our lives will be so happy and pretty and perfect. But, that isn’t the promise from God. In troubled times, God is my shepherd. What more could I want than for God to lead me, to still me, to calm me, and to guide me into His will and for His purposes, even if I am in troubled times?
Ultimately, Jacob’s treatment is not what I need most or even what Jacob needs most. We need Jesus most and we need to glorify God most. So, I pray today that God gives me wisdom to know how to use this time of stand still to honor Him, reflect on Him, to love him deeper, and to trust in Him more. I am thankful that God gives me so many hard and challenging opportunities to realize and feel my great need for Him. I shall not want, because the Lord gives me everything I need for my good and for His glory, not everything in this moment to make me or Jacob comfortable and happy.
If you are struggling with current circumstances, I encourage you take this time to grow closer to God. If you do not know God and want to have a relationship with the Lord please know that you can.
The Bible says that God is the creator of all things. He is holy, that means he is perfect. He has never sinned and will never sin.
Romans 1:20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
However, the Bible says that man is sinful and in need of forgiveness from our rebellion against God.
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
The Bible says that the punishment for our sin is death; separation from God here on earth and for all eternity. Because God is holy and just, our sin literally cuts us off from Him.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death
But God loves us so much that he didn’t leave us here in our depravity. He gave us a way to reconcile our relationship with Him. He gave us a way to be made holy in His eyes. He sent His only son, Jesus, to come and live a perfect life, die on the cross to pay the punishment for our sin (past, present, and future) and conquer death by rising from the dead on the third day.
Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
If you believe this and confess Jesus is Lord of your life, you will have salvation. You can be made right with God and have a personal relationship with God. Confess your sin, repent and make Jesus the boss of your life and you can have salvation!
Romans 10:9-10 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.