Thursday, June 2, 2016

My Top 7 Bible Passages to Remember When it's IEP Time

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens...
Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV

It's time for our daughter to transition to middle school.  More so than moving from Wisconsin to Nevada, this transition is taxing on my mental state.  I mean, I'm a substitute teacher, and I SEE the difference between elementary and middle school every day!!!  So, the fact that God has me simmering on some very comforting verses at THIS particular time has been quite helpful and has kept me CLINGING TO his promises.

Here, in no particular order, are my favorite pieces of scripture to remind me of God's love and faithfulness during IEP season and times of transition...

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. 
 Psalm 139:14 NIV

Yes, we are ALL wonderfully made by an all-knowing, all-powerful God.  That means my daughter is his perfect and unique work of art, and I have been gifted with the opportunity to parent her here on earth.  All the challenges, all the appointments, all the therapies, all the meltdowns have been woven into her story, her tapestry.  There is nothing WRONG with my child.  This is hard to remember during IEP season because we focus on the deficits of our children; the weaknesses for which we need to make, careful meditation on our children's Creator and purpose helps to balance out the "yuckiness" of all the tests and reports.

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. 
James 1:19 NIV

This is pretty obvious; why it is important to remember in an IEP meeting.  I just know that my blood pressure can raise when I feel misunderstood or threatened, and then I go into fight mode.  So, meditating on the fact that we are instructed as Christians to "slow to become angry" is quite helpful for me.

I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things. 
 Isaiah 45:7 NIV

Especially when I'm beginning to think that "bad things" could happen, I need to remember that God has already written my daughter's story; He already has a plan for her life, and that even what I may perceive as BAD, if it be HIS will, is good.  It gives me peace just to rest in HIS will and to know that in doing so, I am pleasing my Creator.

Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done. 
Luke 22:42 NIV

Even Jesus asked God to remove his burden from his, it's okay for me to pray for that as well...but, ultimately, it must be God's way and not my way.

Even as the words were on his lips, a voice came from heaven, "This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. 
 Daniel 4:31 NIV

Yeah...Nebuchadnezzar had forgotten HOW he had gotten to such a high and mighty position; he'd gotten too big for his britches, and God took him down to the lowest of the low.  I need to remember that whenever I start to feel too proud or too powerful.  I need to remember that everything I have; any advocating abilities, any modifications written into my daughter's IEP that maybe I had to fight for, any time people say, "You are such a great mother-" ALL THAT I AM AND ALL THAT I HAVE are a reflection of God's love and mercy.

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”says the Lord. 
 Romans 12: 17-19 NIV

This verse is important for me to remember on many levels. As a student in middle school and high school I was picked on, and these verses helped me to remember to respond in love as much as possible. So, if or when my child is picked on for her differences, I will speak these words over her and help her set them to memory so she can have them running through her head when she is at school as I did when I was her age.

It's also important for me to remember that sometimes, we won't get our way, and we MAY even wind up with enemies.  God tells us that is a part of life, but that we should try as hard as possible to get along with everyone.  Sometimes that means giving up our own rights in order to let someone have their way...I don't have to spend every day stomping my foot down and saying, "No, I will not move until you give us what we want."  We glorify God by saying, "In the name of Jesus, I will walk away from this for now.  This is God's fight to fight; if He wants this to happen, it will happen."  We must call upon the Lord for wisdom and discretion in these types of circumstances.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
Romans 8:35-37 NIV

That's what it all boils down to, right? WE HAVE ALREADY WON! We are already conquerors in Jesus Christ so the things that happen here on earth are not going to earn us any special medals when we get to Heaven.

Now that you know MY favorite scripture verses for IEP time, what are yours?  Share them in the comment section below!

Pray:  Heavenly Father, you have written a unique story for each one of us, and that means IEPs and evaluations and 504s...but help us to know that you are in control-Help us to be at peace with your will.  You are our God and we submit to your sovereignty, grace, and mercy.  Amen.

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