Thursday, May 29, 2014

What I SHOULD HAVE Said....I have TWO okay boys


My TWO Okay Boys
“If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?  But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.”  Psalm 130: 3-4, NIV
Realizing that I am at the very least grumpy and at times downright bitter and weary sure isn’t fun.  Especially when God is doing so many good things at my home church currently when it comes to those who are differently abled and their families.  Our church has Buddy Breaks (monthly fun times for kids/teens with special needs and their siblings to attend on a Saturday morning while the parents and caregivers get a three hour break) as well as a support group/Bible study for parents and caregivers.  And for many years there has been a special needs Sunday school room that my son Luke, who has autism and is mostly non-verbal, enjoys.

Yet some of these have taken years and years to happen with some special families leaving the church after banging their head against walls for too long with no results.  The Buddy Break program and the support group came after a group of us from church met regularly--with one of our pastor’s attending each meeting—for over a year.  I co-led these meetings and felt after almost every single one that I was leaving a piece of myself behind.  Emotions ran high (at least mine!) and tears were shed.   Now that we are at a better place why can’t I just relax, let the past go and be thankful?

Don’t get me wrong.  I am thankful.  But it’s the other lingering thoughts and feelings that can trip me up so that I fall flat on my behind.  In my head I know this is all minor compared to what many people go through.  And especially compared to what Jesus has done for us on the cross.  But yet too often I find myself with this residue of bitterness.  Can anyone else relate?  What have you found that helps with this?  I’d love to hear.

I can offer a couple things that I’ve realized but I need more counsel and help, that’s for sure.  An encounter at the park recently showed me that I have a long way to go myself when communicating about disability.  Another woman was at the park with two young children while Luke was doing his usual laps around the play equipment.  He is always moving!  Her children tried to say “Hi” to Luke and so I told them he doesn’t talk much but how about a high five?  That led to a discussion with the other mom.  I told her Luke had autism, and although he doesn’t say much, he understands a TON.  She asked if I had other children and then when I said yes, “was my other son, okay?”  Our conversation was stilted due to a language barrier, and I said that my other son was okay and that he didn’t have the same “brain disorder” as Luke.  And guess who had stopped running and was standing right next to me when I said it? Yes, my beautiful 9 year old Lukey heard the whole conversation and I had just said that his brother Brandon was okay but not him and worse still that he had a “brain disorder”. Why didn’t I say that his brain works differently like I usually do?  And I shared all this just after I told her that Luke understands what we say and what is going on around him!!  SHAME ON ME.

What in the world did I do?  And how often do I do that??  If I can’t always get it right and I live with my boy day in and day out how can I expect other Christians outside the disability family to notice and do things correctly all the time?  I need to have more patience and more grace.

And the only way I can have more grace is by asking God for forgiveness for my own wrong-doing, and receiving His forgiveness and grace in my time of need, so that I can pass it on to others.  Maybe then I will have less time to be grumpy and bitter.  I sure hope so anyway.

PRAY:  “Lord, thanks so much that you forgive us.  Help us to move on from bitterness to thankfulness.  We need your healing touch so much.”

--By Deb Abbs

2 comments:

  1. It's so easy to get caught up in the language of others and reflect it back to them. Been there done that. It would be great if words came with retractable cords. Times like that make me so grateful for grace and forgiveness.

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  2. Lorna, I love that idea--retractable cords for taking back words!! Good to know I'm not the only one:)

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