Following the IEP

Ever at the forefront of our mind's as the parents of children with special needs is the Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Those three letters: I - E - P, conjure up a plethora of feelings within each of us: anxiety, anger, release, struggle, liberty, entitlement, law, obligation...

We are told by many people how to prepare for our IEP meetings, we are asked what is IN our IEP, we are encouraged to ENFORCE our IEP, we are told to RELAX about our IEP. 

We have teachers who baulk at our IEPs and say they are impossible to follow because there are not enough funds, not enough people, and not enough time in the day. 

But, while I was out walking the other day, I started thinking about another "document" (if you will) that many of us find difficult to follow, regardless of how important it is in our lives. 

The Bible. 


We WISH all of our children's teachers would read and KNOW our child's IEP, right? It was written to protect our child, to give our child the tools he or she requires to succeed. It was written by people who KNOW the child; know both the strengths and weaknesses of the child. The IEP is written in order to help the child navigate his or her way through this next step in life. 

Was Scripture not written by the God who created us? Was it not written as a way to help us get through life? Was it not written with rules that would protect us, and help us learn about our strengths and weaknesses? 

So, why would we treat the Word of God as any less important than our child's IEP? Why would we let it sit on a shelf rather than reflecting daily on its guidance? Why do we not read it and familiarize ourself with God's character, when we WISH our educators would remember daily our own child's character?

What happens if someone isn't following our child's IEP? We get mad, don't we? People start throwing around advice that includes words like "legally binding contract" and "due process." 

And what happens if we stop following God's Word? According to Romans 6:23, the punishment for sin is death. And, 2 Corinthians 5:10 tells us we are all going to appear before the judgement seat of Christ and hear about how we have behaved or misbehaved while in our earthly bodies. 

So, again, I wonder: Why do we so quickly look to our child's IEP as such a critical document which must be followed to a T, while in our personal lives, we allow God's IEP for us go untouched, unexplored, and unfollowed. 

We live in a world which is so quick to pound its fist of entitlement that we forget what we truly deserve...WE ARE ALL SINNERS, we earn ourselves the wrath of God on a daily basis. Yet, one man came and redeemed us. Christ promised us enough finances, enough workers, and enough time for us to fulfill all that God asks of us through the power of the Holy Spirit. But, we have to read about it in order to remember that! 

Yes, I really, REALLY want my daughter's IEP to be followed. But isn't our eternal salvation more important than what happens at school this year? God has been laying on my heart that our rights and entitlement come secondary to Him. I need to follow HIS IEP for my life first, then I can work on the IEP for my daughter.