Friday, September 7, 2012

The Test of Trust and Obedience


He established written instructions for Jacob’s people.  He gave his teachings to Israel.
He commanded our ancestors to make them known to their children so that the next generation would know them.  Children yet to be born would learn them.  They will grow up and tell their children
            to trust God, to remember what he has done, and to obey his commands.
~Psalm 78:5-7, GW~

Transitions.  We all have to face them.  And in the world of special needs, much planning and deliberate thought goes into those transitions.  These times of life involve leaving the certainty of what we know, and moving into an often frightening unknown.  Not surprisingly, God uses them to test us in the areas of trust and obedience.

Oh, the stories of God's faithfulness I am blessed to be able share because I trusted and obeyed!  One example was when there was utter turmoil with my eldest child in 2nd grade.  She was crying herself to sleep over spelling.  The teacher's unyielding style was turning her off to learning.  After much prayer and speaking with 17 different homeschooling families, my husband and I stepped out in faith to homeschool both our eldest child and middle child.  I was scared, but we trusted and obeyed.  That test resulted in a daughter who has regained her love of learning, who has a better understanding of math and who hopes to one day have a career where she can use her talent as a gifted writer.  That test also provided a blessing when our son was hospitalized at that time.  The flexibility of the homeschool schedule left him no worse for the wear.  And because I had the privilege of teaching him how to read, write and apply concrete concepts to abstract math, he remains an excellent student.

Certainly, that wasn't the last time I was tested to trust and obey.  After 2 years of homeschool, I distinctly sensed God telling me to put all of my children into public school.  We had never attended public school and had heard many horror stories.  I really questioned God on this one.  I was scared, but we trusted and obeyed.  I am not going to say it was easy.  My eldest had huge social struggles assimilating into a group of 5th grade children who had been together since kindergarten.  Nevertheless, it stretched all of us in positive ways, allowing each of us to be lights in a dark situation.  Our son developed new friendships, introducing a wider world to hemophilia.  Ultimately, our youngest received new diagnoses, excellent support and sound therapies all because we had obeyed God in our children's educational placement.

This school year brings a brand new transition test.  Our youngest child, who thrived under the care she received through her grade school IEP, has now graduated to intermediate school.  At the end of last school year, her IEP was downgraded to a 504 Plan because she had made such progress.  While that was joyful news, it was also frightening.  I was so concerned that she may not receive what she needs in a new school setting with twice as many children.  Yet again, I am being tested to trust and obey.  Thankfully, we have a fabulous relationship with the intermediate school staff because of the intensive cooperation required with our son.  And because we have been put to the test more than once, we feel certain that God is worthy of our positive response.

This I know:  God has never proven our trust and obedience to be misplaced.  Ever.  What He asks of us is not easy.  It requires total dependence upon Him to accomplish it.  But in the end, it is so completely fulfilling, stretching us beyond a potential we could never fathom reaching.  

PRAY:  Lord, help me to trust and obey.  It goes against everything in my human nature.  Yet, I know that You provide Your best for me when I rely completely on You.

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