Monday, August 1, 2016

A Prayer for His First Day of High School

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From whence does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved,
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade
on your right hand.
The sun shall not smite you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and for evermore.
~ Psalm 121:1-8, RSV ~

Dear Lord,
            He starts high school today. We were told he would never talk, read, or write. But by your grace, today he begins high school. I praise you for the milestones he has reached but I must also confess that I am afraid. I never imagined that he’d ever be mainstreamed at a school with 2400 students. His disability still seems to make him so vulnerable and small to me. Today I am afraid, so I lift him up to you.

            He will probably seem rude or (at best) aloof to his bus driver, please help her see that he is just trying so hard to follow the rules and blend in as best he knows how. And when he becomes irritable and impatient with the excitement and noise of his classmates in homeroom, please remind him that this is how they express their eagerness. To his homeroom teacher, he will be one in a room of dozens. Please give her a heart of compassion towards this boy who needs extra help each day.

            He is really excited about his Digital Technology class, Father. He sees this as a place where he might be able to excel and maybe even formulate a career path. Please prepare his instructor for the challenges he will face when the technology sometimes is slow or fails. Help this teacher see latent potential in an awkward, extremely introverted, teenage boy with a speech impediment. Most people can’t see beyond those things.

            Father, his next class is Reading. He has worked so hard to develop strategies to overcome his Dyslexia, but there is still so much work to do. He is likely to become frustrated with himself and short-tempered. Any noise in the classroom is likely to compound his frustration. It seems so insurmountable Lord, but I place him in your hands. Please handle him gently.

            He has never had a friend Lord, so I know he’ll sit alone at lunch. I know it may seem like a lot to ask, but if someone could just notice him today and connect with him I would be thankful. Assist him with social situations he doesn’t understand and those of which he is unaware.

            At Open House, I saw the way the teacher for Shop/Basic Maintenance raised his eyebrows when he saw Noah’s headphones. Please help this man see beyond the behaviors and into the heart of a boy who just wants to please everyone. The noises in the shop are going to be a challenge and he will barely be able to grip a screwdriver. Despite everything he won’t be able to do, please help this teacher be able to see ability and potential.

            If he makes it through to the end of the day, he faces Pre-Algebra. Oh, Jesus, I first ask the not lose the $90 graphing calculator that I had to buy because I cannot afford another! His mind and nervous system will be fatigued by the end of the day, but I ask that you keep his mind open to take in this difficult subject. Noah said he hopes the teacher will write things on the board and not just teach from his seat. If you could make that happen, I would be grateful.

            Thank you Father for hearing this desperate prayer of your child for her child. Today I cannot walk with him to each building that house each of these classes, but I trust that you will. You will keep his going out and his coming in. I cannot remind the teachers to look past awkward behaviors to his heart, but I believe you can. You are the keeper of his life. I will not be able to sit with him at lunch but you will be there.

            Bring him home safe. Thank you for being at high school today too, Lord. Amen.

- Vangie Rodenbeck

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  1. Thank you for your inspiring blog. I hope I win the drawing!

    1. Crystal, YOU are the winner of our Monday drawing! Congratulations! Please e-mail your street address to to receive your books.

  2.!!! My girl starts middle school a week from today! This is my prayer!!! (Well, with a few minor adjustments).

  3. I have a friend whose son with autism will start high school this september. This post will mean a lot to her. Thanks. :D