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Waiting for it to Get Better

October 23, 2012


I am so thankful to know mom-friends who have children like mine. Yesterday, in conversation, two of us arrived at one of those, “This is so simple! Why didn’t we see this before?!” truisms about raising kids with hidden disabilities:

It is very easy to get stuck in waiting-for-it-to-get better mode.

There are good reasons why we get stuck.

Take God, for example.  We know nothing is impossible with God and that for those who know Him, everything he purposes –including disability–ultimately works together for good. God will ultimately, gloriously triumph over –and through –adversity. (Romans 8) We also know “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things that are not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)

It takes a determined (or desperate) mom to view reaching out for help as an act of waiting upon God.

Or take other people’s opinions. The positive people can be family or friends or professionals. But all of us encounter people who assure us that there’s nothing really atypical about our child; all children can be challenging at times; with love and consistency our kids will outgrow whatever we find so concerning.

It takes a determined (or desperate) mom to buck her support system and get help when others think no help is needed.

Another reason it is easy to get stuck is this: A child’s needs and his family’s dynamics are always changing. A whole family of people growing and changing under one roof in unpredictable ways means there is always hope for a growth spurt or break-through in somebody’s life: the sudden acquisition of a long-practiced skill; new openness in a child’s heart to the  Holy Spirit; new PCAs who better “get it” with less direction; simple developmental maturation, etc.

It takes a determined (or a desperate) mom to reach out today when she can count on something being different tomorrow.

But the most common reason –perhaps THE reason underlying all the other “good” reasons above –is pride.

Self-righteousness is universal. But it is especially insidious when our children come to us via adoption. The fact that we were allowed to adopt seems like the Platinum Stamp of Approval on all fronts. Like, if we were not suitable and were not prepared to adopt, professionals would not have certified our readiness. Like, if adoption wasn’t God’s will for our family, he would have led us down some other road. Or so it seems.

Self-righteousness acts like blinders on the horse in the photo: narrowing our field of view, reducing our options, making asking for professional help a path of last resort. First, we believe, we must diligently read and apply all the books and techniques on the Resources lists we compiled for the home study. Failing at all of those,  we seek solutions and support at church and on the Internet.

We try hard to live up to others’ suggestions and expectations, happy to make the attempt because the possibility that we can make it better makes us feel better about ourselves. Pride again. But that makes us wait until we are at wit’s end–our wit and everyone else’s whit –to dig out that contact number we squirreled away months ago (just in case a friend needed it).

Eight years later, when I hear the suggestion, “It’s okay. Just wait. It will get better!” rising up in my spirit, I reject the impulse to wait. I’ve learned that very moment –say, the moment I feel prompted to hold on to the phone number just in case –means I’m already out of my depth in my familiar pool. That is the moment I need to reach out for help –a long time before floundering, drowning desperation.

I presume upon God when I don’t consider asking for help an expression of faith.

I presume upon outsiders when I make their measure of our reality my own.

I presume upon elements beyond my control when I wait for development to click in some blessed combination.

I presume upon the power of my own sinful human nature when I trust that anything I do on my own will make it better.

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me [get better]. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9)

Our pride may be a bigger obstacle than their brain damage.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Laurie Hinman permalink
    October 23, 2012 11:25 pm

    Oh my goodness…. this is so exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you for allowing the Lord to use you today!

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