Aargh! You just want to plug your ears sometimes. Either that, or punch someone in the face (which is not a good thought especially as a Christ follower).
When you have a child with special needs of any kind (Not Quite What We Thought), doctor visits become the norm. Along with that, typically you visit one therapist after another. Your days are full of “experts” telling you just what your child will be able to do – or not.
For us, negativity definitely seemed to rule their comments. For our son we’d hear variations of:
- Jeffrey’s never going to be able to walk
- Jeffrey’s never going to be able to use his hands properly
- Jeffrey’s never going to be able to speak clearly
- Jeffrey’s never going to be able to live a normal life
Problems start bubbling to the surface when one doctor contradicts what another doctor says; or the therapists the school district provides contradicts what private therapists tell us we must do in order for our special child to get stronger.
On and on sometimes they would go. What about just trying to give us something to be positive about? Where was the hope? When we finally would find a doctor that gave us any sort of encouragement, we just stuck to him like glue.
Sweet Jeffrey used to get so confused. Sometimes he would come home from school after seeing one of the therapists and tell me, Miss _________ at the school told me I needed to start doing _________ every day.
But then we’d go see our private therapist and let them know what the school therapist said, and she’d tell us she didn’t agree. Instead she felt we should be doing something totally different. So what were we to be working on? What was best for our son?
I remember one day Jeffrey came home from school with a pile of laminated 8″ x 10″ sheets. Each sheet was filled with small pictures. The pictures were of all sorts of things – food and miscellaneous other stuff. When I asked what they were, he said his school speech therapist had told him we needed to cut them all out and put them in a “easy-to-flip” small notebook so that Jeffrey could just point to something he needed or wanted instead of trying to say the words.
I’m embarrassed to admit I went totally ballistic over that one. First off, I definitely didn’t have the time to get all those pictures cut out and arranged (plus I absolutely hate anything crafty); but most importantly, wasn’t the speech therapist supposed to be working on his “speech?”
Like a lot of special needs children, Jeffrey’s speech is difficult to understand – at least until you get to know him. He often speaks with a stutter; and the majority of people feel uncomfortable waiting for him to work so hard to get a word out. Yet he can do it!
My anger over the laminated pictures unfortunately didn’t dissipate overnight, so the next day I went marching into Jeffrey’s school and confronted the speech therapist.
It didn’t go over well, and even today I’m filled with remorse of how mean I got. I tried to mend the relationship over the next couple of years while Jeffrey was still at that school, but there was always a wall between us. I definitely was not following the principle stated in John 13:34-35 where Jesus tells His disciples that people should be able to see our love of Jesus by loving others just as He loves us…
So how do we stop the negativity of “perceived” experts ruining our peace?
We need to remember Who is ultimately in charge – and it’s not us!
Isaiah 26:3 says that God Himself will keep us in perfect peace – but there’s a condition: Our eyes must remain on Him.
I’d love to hear your thoughts!