I have a 3 year old daughter, my life revolves around Disney references. (Ok, I love Disney too. Having a daughter just makes my references more acceptable at my age. Besides, her favorite movie is Brave, not Frozen.)
I mentioned in my previous post that these past two weeks have been stressful for us. We’ve had to make some difficult, but necessary, choices for our family. I thought about not writing about them; however, felt that was hypocritical since I confess to be an open book. Our lives aren’t all sunshine and rainbows, we all go through difficulties, especially as parents dealing with decisions for our children. It is a tough go and it helps me feel better knowing that someone out there is struggling in the waves of motherhood and life too.
Sometimes, I think God puts us in difficult situations to give us that nudge to “move on”, “let it go”, “close the door”, or “go through a door He has opened”. (How ever you want to phrase that.) God definitely nudged us, or more like, slapped us in the face and said MOVE. I often become frustrated and wonder where my daughter’s lack of listening and obedience comes from; then I look at my relationship with God. I am the same way. God gives me a little nudge by placing a thought or discontent on my heart, then He makes a situation uncomfortable for me to give a stronger push, that escalates to God creating a stressful situation where I feel like the door is closing on me (& that’s because it is, forcing me out), and all the while, I stand there in my discontented, uncomfortable, lonely bubble of familiarity because I don’t want to listen to God. It will be new; change scares me! I don’t greet God’s will for me with open arms like I should, although I’ve been praying for it. So that is where I will start.
For months now, I have been praying for God to lead me to do His will. I’ve prayed to God to lead me to a group where I fit in, that will give me the support and knowledge to grow in Him. Lead me where I can make a change and show His grace and love. Each time I saw an opportunity, I thought, “Oh hey, God’s leading me here.” Then, the door closes without me. Long story short, I’ve been trying to find my niche in church. A group of friends, a volunteer area, and a fire for God. Yet, all I’ve found is discontentment, loneliness, and a dwindling relationship with God. Two weeks ago, God put some action into motivating me to “let it go” and “move on”.
I’ve been open about my daughter’s minor sensory processing disorder. Chaotic, noisy environments tend to scare her or over stimulate her. She either responds by shutting down, needing a moment to herself, or by becoming hyper and overly bouncy with others. She had been receiving occupational therapy through a free program for that. She aged out of that program with this birthday. She was re-evaluated for another program; to which she was denied for her intelligence. Basically, because her disorder isn’t affecting her learning; she isn’t qualified for therapy through this new program. Her pre-school, still unhappy with her lack of socialness with others and overexcitement response to chaotic stimuli; which can make her frustrated and lash out by hitting at or throwing toys, has been punishing her with timeouts. Totally acceptable and what I do at home. Then, when she wouldn’t stay in timeout, they would mechanically restrain her in a unapproved restraint device. (Which was told to me and 2 other third party individuals, it was needed often and effective.) A very serious, dangerous, and illegal act. When we found out about this, we researched, talked to family and friends, and other professionals that work with kids. All agreed that this punishment was inappropriate. I decided to keep this peaceful and have a meeting with the pre-school about it and how to work with one another to work with my daughter’s issue. I was met with an unapologetic, belittling demeanor. The husband and I decided the school was no longer for us. We feared for her safety and the possibility of the school singling her out for more punishment over other kids. Unfortunately, the school is also our church. We were devastated with how this situation was playing out. But we still had our church to support us, right?
No, this week, after a bible study, I was taken aside to discuss my political viewpoints of possibly owning and carrying a firearm for protection. That made the individual “uncomfortable to know a dangerous thing was near her, children, and others”. The conversation totally out-of-left field for me, left me feeling angry, judged, and unwelcomed. (Common feelings from this group, which I have discussed with this person.) So, while normally, I would have calmly explained to the person her false judgments and not to worry about a firearm with me, I lost it. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. I was Miranda Lambert in Kerosene and I lit the match to watch it burn. I was hurt that an individual would think so lowly of me, that I would put others in danger (although her pre-conceived notions are false regarding firearms. They don’t spontaneously discharge without someone/something pulling the trigger).
That was it. We ended our relationship with the school and church in a matter of two weeks. I realized, what if all of this was God’s way of slapping us in the face, and leading us to do His will. We had been talking about looking at different schools (too late now) and looking into other churches where we might feel more comfortable. Yet, we had been ignoring God’s gentle nudges of discontentment and discomfort to stay in our familiarity zone; all the while praying for His guidance. Well, He guided loud and clear. I look back on so many “closed doors” within my life and see that God was there leading me to somewhere else. You would think by now I would listen to His nudges. You would think my daughter would listen to me tell her not to jump on the couch, before it escalates to me yelling at her and timeouts. All with hurt feelings. But, no. We are sinful and stubborn creatures.
Now, I am faced with homeschooling our child for PK3 (because all the pre-school’s admissions are filled)…with a newborn, mind you. Not an ideal situation. God has something in His plans for us. We are dealing with this for a reason, though I can’t figure it out. And probably won’t until the kids are grown and God reveals it to me and I’m like, “Ah, God, I see what you did there. Thank you! A very late thank you!”