I don’t doubt God’s providence. In fact, I’m thankful for it. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t hard days. Last week included one of them.
We sat in a near empty local restaurant that is usually overflowing out the door with waiting families. But on this night it was graduation for Evan’s high school. We could have participated, but we chose to avoid the overwhelming festivities. Sitting through an extra long church service or even an especially long restaurant dinner can be asking too much of Evan. So hours on end of listening to name after name on graduation night seemed like a disaster waiting to happen.
Who are we trying to please by forcing him to sit through the ceremony? What “should have been” now seemed unnecessary pomp and circumstance.
It’s still one of the hard days.
My tiny town’s local newspaper has been flooded with picture after picture of smiling graduating faces. And that’s as it should be in small town America. These are the same kids Evan has grown up with, went to kindergarten with. The same kids he high-fives in the high school hallways. These are the kids I see in their graduation gowns on the verge of the rest of their lives.
I am so so happy for them, especially the kids I know personally. But it’s still one of the hard days.
I love my little hometown. But disability is hard here. Or maybe I should say, disability is boring here. There aren’t many options for the special needs graduate. Graduation is a harsh reminder how ill prepared the special needs graduate is.
Like most small towns in America, things have been done one way for a long time here. Change won’t be happening overnight here for those with disability. Options are limited. And the options we do have aren’t working out for Evan.
I know God has a plan. We just have to work a little harder with Evan to figure out what that plan is going to be. But it’s out there.
I don’t like writing about the hard days. I don’t like people knowing about the hard days. I want others to know about the joy of special needs. The hope I have in Christ in the midst of disability.
I want everyone to know how those with special needs are not a whole lot different from those without that label. But just like those without the disability label, there are hard days. This time, what others deem a happy day just happens to be one of my hard days in disability.
I am trying to remember just because it is a hard day doesn’t mean I can’t have joy. It doesn’t mean I can’t have hope in Christ. I just have to work a little harder to find that joy on one of the hard days.
This is mostly about what Christ is teaching me through my son and disability, intellectual and physical. Many see those with disability as the one who needs our help. One of the things I’ve learned is my son has taught me and helped me more than I could ever help him. He is the catalyst that is bringing me and others closer to the way Christ intended us to be. He brings out the best in me, sometimes by weeding out the worst first.
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