I had today’s post all figured out. My husband and I surprised my 2 eldest children with a Winter Weekend Road Trip! There is something about the freedom of a road trip that just speaks to my heart. My soul sang; my heart ran free with arms wide open as I drove my family up north. It was what we were designed to do, to be. FREE, full of JOY. No wonder my heart and soul longed for it so! And rejoiced when I found it – I was FREE!
But then today, I re-entered life. And my soul got bogged down. My heart grew heavy. And I realize, now, that I cannot write about the freedom in the open road. Not right now. It wouldn’t be honest. Or real. It would be planned.
Instead, I am going to share a piece of my heart. A glimpse into my journey with my sweet boy-child. This journey is difficult and beautiful all at once and I pray that it finds you, that it speaks to you, and that you find encouragement from it.
MY SWEET BOY-CHILD
Today I had an appointment for my sweet boy-child. His role in our family is: child 3, lego-lover, sister’s friend, cuddle-giver, and screamer. He is a sign of GRACE to me each and every day. His beautiful smile can make anyone’s heart melt, and it frequently does mine. He also is a special needs child. At the age of 2, he was diagnosed with Developmental Delay. (Early intervention began our assistance for Sweet Boy-Child. The growth he had in the year of EI, was amazing. Please, if you live in Illinois, please take a few minutes to write to your state representative to save Early Intervention!)
Today’s appointment was the second of five total neuropsych appointments. And today was the first appointment with my sweet boy-child.
In the last 7 months, my husband and I have found community. Real, true people who are in this life with us. These relationships have given us the ability to truly see our boy-child. We are now ready to learn what he needs, how he processes information, and how we can better help him. So we find our self here – at neuropsychologist appointments, filling out piles of paperwork, and praying.
This appointment was 2 hours of testing, Boy-Child pointing at pictures. He did amazing, and once more, I was amazed at all he has learned since we began this journey a year and a half ago!
But even in the rejoicing over an amazing appointment, having a gracious friend care for the other children AND bring me coffee; I still felt overwhelming sadness. Sadness for what, I am still not certain. Perhaps, it is a loss, of something not yet known.
Last night my husband and I sat down and filled out more paperwork to prepare for today’s appointment. Each time we go through these steps, it is emotionally draining. It never lessens. The heartbreaking, gut-wrenching action of documenting your child’s negative, hard, and ugly traits with hardly any (if any) focus on his amazing attributes – the parts that make him so much more than most can even aspire to be. It is taxing.
But last night, I thought it would be different. I thought I had already come to terms with all of this, all of the ugly. I have filled out piles and piles of paperwork, gone through EI testing, meetings, and therapies; IEP meetings, testings, and progress reports. Yet somehow, after today, I just felt empty, broken, and sad.
THE LAST STRAW
My mantras, as of late, has become: “It’s all great.” “It is fine!” “This was an amazing appointment!” While all of those statements are true, my heart is not quite there. I am still carrying this load. And today, today was the last straw. I just cannot continue to carry this, these appointments, this journey. And truthfully, I do not want to.
I thought I had already gone through this. I have already laid it down. Just a few short weeks ago, when I made these appointments. I laid all of it down, at the feet of Jesus. I chose to lean on Him. To allow refinement. I have chosen a heavenly perspective over an earthly one. But today, oh today, I feel HEAVY. Those decisions, those choices, they all seem far away.
So today, as I write this, I am realizing that I need to do it all again. I need to continue to lay this journey down, these burdens, these heavy appointments. All of it. I need to choose it all again. I choose LIFE, COMMUNITY, ETERNITY, and GRACE.
I am BRAVELY choosing to lay my journey down at HIS feet. I am choosing to be COURAGEOUS. To allow myself be FILLED. I have FREEDOM to feel and to cry.
Will you join me on this journey – to courageously lay our burdens down, and to choose joy?