anxiety · autism · christianity · special needs · teachers

Successfully Completed A School Year

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Psalm 9:9

As the school year winds down, I think back to this time two years ago. It seems like yesterday, but also an eternity ago…

I have always loved the end of the school year, both as a student and a teacher. The excitement in the air as the year winds down and the summer winds up is like no other time of year. The fun of field day, pizza parties, and movie days (when really we should have been learning, but hey, who cares?) It is one of my favorite times of the year.

I have journeyed
Through the long, dark night
Out on the open sea

Two years ago, at this time, I was far from excited. Two years ago, I was grasping for breath during each second of the day. My baby boy was not living with us, he was at a residential treatment center. He was eight hours away, and I could only talk to him for a couple of minutes a day each day. 

I was fighting insurance every day. I was spending 2-3 hours a day on the phone with insurance trying to keep them paying for his treatment, while they were giving me reason after reason why he should come home.

Chad, the younger squirrels, and I were living in an extended stay hotel. We were traveling to Virginia so much that we were unable to afford a house when we moved here.

We traveled to Virginia every other weekend for 4 months. While there we might or might not get the chance to take D off campus. We would have family therapy and many times it ended in such chaos that we left with the littler squirrels shaken, me in tears, and Chad trying to hold it together for all of us.

Oh how broken my heart was as we were traveling to Virginia, but all of the other kids I knew were excited about the end of the year activities and upcoming summer fun.

By faith alone
Sight unknown
And yet His eyes were watching me

Two years later, we have come so far. We still deal with a lot of anxiety, especially with regards to school. We are still not turning cartwheels about field day, game day, and party day…but we are turning cartwheels! 

We have, for all intents and purposes (with only a handful of school days left), successfully completed an entire school year! Yes, the first in three years! It has now been successfully completed! Don't get me wrong, academically, he has always been ok…but my poor baby has been so overpowered by his anxiety that he truly could not get out the door to school.

We have still had some days of anxiety that most people cannot fathom, We have still had more days than I can even begin to count where we celebrated because he got to school…even if it was 10 o'clock. Who cares? He made it!! He made it even though he did have a presentation and he was terrified of making a mistake. He made it a whole school year!

I have fallen on my knees
As I faced the raging seas
The anchor holds
In spite of the storm

The two previous years were unimaginably difficult, but God's hand has been in it the whole time. He has been with us every step of the way, and his divine intervention at the beginning of this school year is what has gotten us where we are now.

God reached down, plucked an amazing woman out of the ~4875 teachers in the county. This teacher, who saw D as an opportunity for success, a woman who saw him as a child, a little boy who wants to do well. This teacher was handpicked by God and has been a blessing beyond blessings this year.

On days when I thought I would not make it through the morning, days that my phone rang and I was afraid to answer, days that I took one breath at a time…this teacher held my hand, she held D's hand, and she refused to give up even on the hardest of days. God blessed us with a teacher who loves D enough to insist on his very best. A teacher who loves him, even when he is not easy to like.

God picked this teacher just for D and because of His love for D, this teacher and her hard work, we are successfully finishing a school year.

But it was in the night
Through the storms of my life
Oh, that's where God proved
His love to me

The anchor holds
Though the ship is battered
The anchor holds
Though the sails are torn

I have fallen on my knees
As I faced the raging seas
The anchor holds
In spite of the storm

Complete lyrics for The Anchor Holds, by Ray Boltz, can be found here.

Two years ago I had no idea how I would make it through the next breath, tonight, I am praising God for being my anchor, for loving me, and more than anything, for loving my son enough to know his days from beginning to end and lead us through this crazy thing we call life!

And those who know your name put their trust in you,
for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.
~Psalm 9:10


One thought on “Successfully Completed A School Year

  1. Again, you always write the perfect words for me to hear. Thank you!! I love you and reading what you have survived with your family and where you are today gives me hope for the future.  I'm not ready to have dreams yet, but one day I will be.  

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