Tuesday, October 13, 2015

IT'S AN ADHD WORLD: Part 3 - The Flury of Expectations

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For I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that will cause me to be ashamed of myself but that I will always be ready to speak out boldly for Christ while I am going through all these trials here, just as I have in the past; and that I will always be an honor to Christ, whether I live or whether I must die.
~ Philippians 1:20, TLB ~

It's an ADHD World, and even more so when you are raising a complex child.  The added demands have our heads spinning in a thousand different directions.  Perhaps this is why Snappin' Ministries is so driven to offer comfort, encouragement, and guidance to parents like us -- The pressure can be utterly crushing.

If we examine the issue of EXPECTATIONS, it can give us a great awareness, which is a critical first step towards help.  When a child is born or first diagnosed with a chronic illness, disability, or special need, we attend the funeral for our own personal expectations.  It is a graveside we will visit over and over again throughout our child's life with each phase and stage.  We learn to let go, often begrudgingly, of dreams for the future, redefining "normal," and things we hoped for that will likely never happen.  Our son may never be that football player.  Our daughter may never be that dancer.

As we walk through the pain, we anticipate that certain people will be there for us.  People disappoint.  We assume others will just know what we need.  We sometimes become indignant that no one steps up to offer us that lifesaver as they watch us drown.  Our thoughts swirl.

In move the expectations of others.  This is where it REALLY gets ugly!  Family often wonders why we don't engage in the usual schedule of events the same way we did before diagnosis.  Friends, neighbors, fellow church members, teachers, medical professionals all add to the mix.  There are the judging eyes thinking, "If that were my child I would..."  Unsolicited advice comes as others criticize, "You really need to discipline that kid," or, "Stop babying him," or, "You are letting her get away with murder."  The incredible weight can be utterly crushing when all we want is love and acceptance.

Now throw in a heaping helping of our convoluted, superficial culture, and our attention darts from here to there in a never-ending mania.  We are not only expected to manage all the difficulties of our child's diagnosis.  The world also looks in disapproval if we don't have the Pinterest-y homes, meals, crafts, vacations.  Our clothing, make-up, and weight are all to be flawless or we are brow-beaten about our lack of self-care.

Is it any wonder we run from here to there, our attention racing from one thing to another as we try to meet the expectations of others, growing ever more bitter that they are not meeting ours?

What if we put a stop to this madness?  It can be done!  The same power that raised Jesus from the grave lives inside those who believe and let Him have the driver's seat.

God is The Lifter of Our Heads.  As we give our full attention to Him, He directs our paths.  He prioritizes our lives.  When we lay all of our expectations at His feet, the hurts of those disappointments can be healed.  We can also be assured that if He doesn't give it, we don't need it.

We can also have a renewed confidence and resiliency as we grow to learn who we are in Christ.  The world's expectations can suddenly fall by the wayside, and we can rest secure in our own holy identity.  I am not suggesting that we run roughshod over others, but that we don't march to any other beat but the beat of our sweet Father's heart.

Let's push back against the ADHD world!  We don't have to be running around like chickens with our heads cut off.  God has something much, much better for parents like us.

PRAY:  Awesome, Sovereign God, may all our expectations be in You alone.

~ Barb Dittrich