Today we had James’ eligibility meeting to re-qualify him for special education services. The team that surrounds James is amazing and have worked tirelessly to ensure a proper picture of where James current needs are and where he will need interventions in the future. I couldn’t be more grateful. They are amazing.
Once home, I found myself crying on and off. I am exhausted. A meeting that I use to breeze through, was internally so hard for me. The last thirty minutes or so I found myself having trouble paying attention. It was like agony. I just wanted it to be over — isn’t that terrible? I needed to be listening to every word, considering every suggestion and advocating. Instead, I felt my mind slowly turn off. It was, in the end, too much for me. The tears now flow because I know in my heart I am unable to advocate and be present for James in meetings in ways I was in the past. No matter how hard I try, I get to a certain point and my mind just checks out. It is so frustrating to be me.
As Phillip and I drove home I tried to articulate the frustration I was feeling. The word that comes close but isn’t perfect is insecurity. It’s not the type of insecurity young kids experience as they go through growing pains. This insecurity is very different. It is rooted in what was — and now what is. What was once so easy for me — is now incredibly hard. Sitting in that meeting, hearing everyone’s thoughts, understanding their suggestions and formulating my opinion was overwhelmingly difficult. In fact, it is so difficult that I can’t help but question my own abilities to make good decisions for my kids.
I am not sure those in the room perceived my weakness today. I think I put up a good front. Internally however, I was falling apart. I told Phillip I can’t sort out how I feel about the decisions we made — and there in lies the insecurity. Second guessing myself — feeling so though I am treading water instead of keeping up with the crowd — putting up a good front — it all makes my head spin.
I imagine this is how many students feel with disabilities on a daily basis. They work so hard to fit in (putting up that good front), they aren’t always sure of what the socially correct decision is to make (second guessing) they are trying with all their might to keep up academically, socially and cognitively (treading water) and in trying to do so information gets all jumbled up, pressure builds up and then they finally blow (my on and off tears for the past couple of hours). Yes, living with disability in this world is hard and it breeds its own sort of insecurity that makes functioning really, really hard.
So tonight as the tears flow I do not find comfort in the fact that I made it through the meeting without crying or making a significant blunder. I don’t find comfort in the growth of where I was and where I am now. I do however find comfort in the truth of the scriptures.
God in Heaven sees my struggles even when others do not. He understands my muddled mind and limitations. He freely gives his strength when I am weak. Today is such an example of that. When I was confounded, afraid, overwhelmed and confused he helped me to hold it together and to push through. Now that I am home, he has provided a husband who understands and time away to regroup. He hasn’t forgotten me — he hasn’t forsaken me. In my weakness he has come through and proven himself tenderly and yet so lovingly strong. God is good – He is great and He doesn’t require me to be practically perfect to help. No, even in the midst of my struggles He runs to me and is my ever-present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1) Oh yes, being me is not easy right now. There is so much that I don’t like. There is however something that amazes me. God in Heaven sees me, carries me and helps me NOT because I have or can do anything for him — but because he loves me. On a day like today, there is almost nothing that can lift my heart and renew my hope more than the knowledge of His enduring and endless love! My love, Nancy His eyes are on the sparrow
6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7
9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:9