|photo credit: pixabay.com|
The phrase that has echoed through my head for the past several months has been, interrogate your assumptions. The trick is to notice then I'm acting out of a belief (which is all the time) and to ask myself, 'Why do you believe that?' Pausing to ask a question gives some space for a sacred moment, an opportunity to reframe and do something different. I've been challenging my assumptions about my son, his capacity, what he'll understand and engage, and have been pleasantly surprised. The sadness of it is that my prior expectations, based on these assumptions, were so low. So my assumption interrogation muscles are being developing on that front.
The last week of school is coming up. That means it's almost time to meet new school people and figure out how we will get along. I'm learning some new things about J. (communication potential, motivations, etc.) that could inform his upcoming IEP discussion and found myself becoming dejected and somewhat adversarial at the thought. As I inventoried mental 'evidence' to support my potential requests to the school district, I became aware of the now familiar tap on my spiritual shoulder. What are you assuming? That brought me to a pause. Apparently I'm to flex my newly developed muscles towards the staff in J's new school.
I'm not really sure what this means in relation to school officials. I think my negative assumptions are founded. My defensive behaviors are designed to protect my really tender underbelly that has been pummeled these 17+ years of life with autism. What if I open up and share my honest desires and beliefs about my son and experience the undercurrent of disrespectful dismissal mixed with an excessive 'one of these two sizes fits all' mentality, yet again?
Standing stuck in that moment prompted the Holy Spirit to another shoulder tap. 'A me name God!' (I hear it in the Jamaican creole in those moments. Translated weakly 'I. Am. God. !!') Then, as He often does with us humans, He rolls out a scroll with His resume highlights and reads His own press clippings. I have done this, and I do that and I will do this. Remember that? I did it, and since you've forgotten, that too, that was me. Psalm 46 reads like that to me and in humility I acknowledge that I forget. I forget that the real reason I must challenge my assumptions is GOD. GOD will be in the IEP meeting, and who knows what He will do?
The shoulder taps provide the opportunity to 'be transformed by the renewing of my mind' (Rom. 12:2, NIV) My renewed mind is freezer to believe and dream and hope and trust. My load is now His load, and it is lighter.