A New Year!

I am in the process of uploading LOTS of updates and pictures about the family as it's true, I have fallen behind. But I thought I might share something that I previously have shared with my MOPs group, as I write the newsletters and often share personal stories. I haven't shared this particular story with many people outside of my MOPs group. It's a story that has reminded me as this new year begins, that there is HOPE in things that bring us challenges. There is HOPE in fear, hurt, relationships, as well as those near and dear to your hearts. Some of you may already know the struggle we had a little over a year ago with our oldest son, Landon. He was facing some challenges that neither Chris nor I could help him with and it broke out hearts. You wouldn't know it now, because he has come full circle and we have ALL learned so much. This is a true story and as I rewrite it, I hope that I too can be reminded of how I can not take life or the people in it, for granted.
"The Ride"
I have struggled with how much of this story I wanted to share because it may expose things that I’m not comfortable people knowing about my child. But, there is a piece of this story that has been on my heart to share as it gave me a wakeup call that in the midst of trials, when we are desperate, God IS there when we least expect it. My husband and I were recently faced with a struggle that we were not prepared for. We’d been dealing with some outbursts and unruly behavior from our five year old son. Probably just a phase? Aggression and extreme back talk and disrespect were happening on a daily basis. Next, we would notice him crying in the back of the car and when asked what the matter was, he “just had something in his eye”. He started wanting to be by himself, didn’t want to leave the house, couldn’t find anything positive in any situation; couldn’t even agree that it was a beautiful day outside on a crisp, blue sky day. Things kept getting worse and to protect my son's innocence and character, I will not revisit some of the days in our family that were days I am glad have come and gone. This is the most difficult challenge I’ve had thus far as a parent. When your child no longer can feel what “love” feels like. When your child is cold and empty inside. When you look at a picture of him and it’s as though he’s looking through the lens of the camera into a world no one else can see. Things got very dark for him and he was begging me to “fix his brain” to be like mommy and daddy’s. Asking me to help him, all for me to regret that I couldn’t. I felt hopeless and lost yet I had to put into perspective that if I was feeling that way, how on earth was my little boy feeling inside? He was becoming physically and emotionally exhausted. We knew the next best thing to do was to seek out his pediatrician. That was the beginning of a huge game of circles and referrals and “I can’t help you”… I have learned to pray for my children daily, because I can’t predict the struggles they may face in their young lives. Prayer is something we all look to in our roughest of times and you better believe I was praying! We were waiting and waiting and waiting to get in to see a Psychiatrist as we were informed that our oldest boy was dealing with depression, anxiety and OCD tendencies. This was a blessing to hear in a way because in hindsight, it explained SO much. My husband had been traveling A LOT and after getting in late from Germany on a Sunday evening, he decided to take Monday off. We dropped the kids off at preschool, went to breakfast, ran some errands and were headed back home. We turned the corner to the last main road that would take us to our neighborhood when we see this lady running up the street in her high heeled boots, waiving down the city bus that had just picked up those that were at the bus stop waiting to be taken to their destinations. She was nowhere near going to make that bus. I rolled my window down and asked if we could give her a ride. She hopped in and I moved to the back and quickly sat in my daughter’s car seat as we had literally stopped traffic behind us. Out of breath, she was so appreciative that we offered her a ride. My husband asked where she was headed and she told us “the library”. Chris is great with small talk and begins asking basic questions. She told us a bit of her story: she is a mom of a 6 year old boy with autism. She was let go from her job that she took public transportation all the way to Spencer. The job she had, used to pay for the special education her son required and now it was going to have to be covered by insurance who wanted a ridiculous amount of money per month. She was headed to the library to do some research on job hunting. Chris asked where she used to work. She named the company, we’d never heard of it. “It was a company that provided services in mental health.” Chris and I made eye contact in the rearview mirror. Chris asked what she did there and she said, “I provided counseling for children dealing with depression and anxiety”. Chris and I made eye contact in the rear view mirror only this time, he’s a blur because I have tears welling up. Chris said, “huh… Our son is dealing with depression and anxiety.” It’s silent for a moment and she says, “I had been praying that I could find a ride this morning”. You can’t plan things like this and you can’t make these things up. God was present and that’s the only explanation. What a wakeup call that in the midst of ME trying to fix my son and ME trying to do it all on my own, God has his own way of making himself present and remind me that only He can provide when the timing is right. And there was no better time than for us to give this sweet, kind lady a ride because she missed the bus. There are many things that I want to work on in this coming year. There are people that I need to invest in with my whole heart, there are relationships that I need to let go, there are personal changes I need to make within myself. But through it all, I'm reminded that there is HOPE and that "someone" is listening to our fears and concerns. And that in His time and with our hearts wide open, change can happen. This year, I need to be quiet and listen. Happy New Year to you all and may this in some way remind you to be quiet and listen because there is an answer... and your answer just might be in something as simple as giving a ride to someone that has missed their bus...(wink)!

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