“So, we’re all in agreement here?” Nods all around the table.
“Ok, Mom, then can you sign here that you agree to the fact that your son has a disability? And then we’ll move forward with this process and you can come back in two weeks to discuss Mason’s IEP.”
I took the paper from his hand, signed my name, and checked a little box and agreed to labeling my child disabled.
This was not news; I already knew he had a disability. The blood tests 4.5 years ago confirmed his extra chromosome. And I’ve watched him struggle to learn how to do things like eat and walk and communicate effectively. Even though I know these things well, hearing the words and signing an official document from the school system still stings a little.
The word disability in reference to my son has always brought with it a lot of fear. Fear about his health, fear of the struggles he will face, fear over what people will think of him, fear of having more children, fear that I will be incompetent as his Mom. Now that we’re facing the reality of school, I find myself battling fear on a different level.
The thought of sending Mason off to school is wonderful. He will love it and I know it’s going to push him in so many ways, which is a good thing. We want him to catch up with his peers in every way, including educationally, which is why we’re choosing to place him in preschool now.
I think what frightens me the most is the fact that I won’t know what Mason is doing all day and there is nothing I can do to control his environment. When my children are at home with me all day I am aware of everything that happens and I also choose everything about their day. Our schedule, our food, our activities, the input they receive, relationships, etc, all are determined by my ever watchful and careful Mama-heart.
When I picture Mason at school, I imagine the fun he’ll have, but I also fear that he won’t eat his lunch, make friends, be understood by other children or be able to communicate with his teacher. I fear his safety on the swings or the jungle gym knowing that he’s not always sturdy in those situations. I fear that he might try to run away from his classroom and cause problems to his teacher. I’m fearful that his teachers won’t push him enough academically and stick to his educational goals.
As I struggle with these fears, I’ve discovered that my fears are rooted in a desire to be in control. Not wanting to release that control probably means that I’m trusting in myself and my abilities as his Mom. Who am I to think that I have control over any of these things anyway? I don’t. But, it’s so easy to fall prey to believing the lie that I am enough.
Fear of losing control exposes my bent toward self-sufficiency.
The very things that I think I’m controlling end up controlling me instead, and before long I become a slave to my fear instead of walking in the freedom that comes from trusting the Lord and believing that He is enough.
He is the One who goes before me in all things. He knows what is best for me and for my children and He always does what is best for my good and His glory. Sometimes that might mean circumstances that I don’t like and situations that I’d rather not experience. Sometimes it looks like living in uncertainty for a time–maybe a long time. It might mean that I have to let go of something precious in order to realize that Jesus is worth every sacrifice He requires.
Trusting Him in the midst of my fears always means releasing my desire to be in control and surrendering myself to His perfect and loving plan.
The life of faith in Christ is just that. It’s faith. Faith in the midst of fear, uncertainty, anxiety, sorrow, doubt, and even joy. Faith is believing God, taking Him at His Word, and then doing it over and over again.