This morning I dropped off Nick at his first day of the new school year. Although he is 19 and we’ve done a lot of first days, this one still has some new elements. First, he is starting a new class with a new teacher. His school, which is exclusively for students with cognitive disabilities, has four classrooms and this year he starts the final one: “Transition Class.” His school also requires all students to eat cafeteria lunch, unless medically unable. It’s a great policy for overcoming picky eaters and provides a well-balanced lunch for every student, but this year we are opting out. Nick will take his lunch to school every day so that he can maintain a gluten-free diet which we started over the summer.
The 15th First Day
As a momma, the first day of school for a 19 year-old is a really complicated emotion to describe. We’ve been doing first-days for a long time. No other 19 year-old in our circle of friends is going to school today; they’ve all graduated. This is now my 15th round of goal-setting and skill-assessing for Nick, and if I’m being honest, the most basic skills still have not been achieved.
But as I drove home from morning drop off, I heard the song “Glorious Day” by Passion. My favorite lyrics of this song are from the bridge:
“I have a future
my eyes are open
‘Cause when you called my name
I ran out of that grave
out of the darkness
into your glorious day.”
I am reminded that as a believer, I know that the future isn’t set by what the prognosis or diagnosis says, it isn’t hopeless based on the past. No matter how many times letter recognition or counting have remained elusive skills for Nick, I can enter a new year with a fresh hope. I open my eyes fully to see God’s glory and the ever-present potential for miracles.
Encouragement and Hope
Today I want to encourage you in this area. All of us as special needs parents are at the base of some new mountain that needs climbing. No matter the age or ability of your child, a new season is dawning if you can have the hope to expect it. Don’t get weighed down by what hasn’t yet happened and slip into the comfortable complacency that it never will happen. We have a hope and a future. We know the biblical truth of expectancy, seeking and knocking.
This could be the year that my son learns to read, because with God all things are possible. And if I get to June 2020 and he has not yet learned to read, I won’t be sad or disappointed. I will be glad that I approached his school year with hope and a full heart that is expecting great things. What a blessing to have a momma who believes in him no matter the odds. I am so thankful today that God gives us new and fresh mercy, that He renews our minds to be like His. Full disclosure, by June I’m often worn down, we skip homework, and we are barely making it through. But praise God for today! And praise Him for a new hope and a fresh start, and the ability to see through His eyes that He can do great things.
Bring on the New!
Bring on the new school year, the new mountain to climb, the new challenge. This is our season to start fresh and believe big! Your child can tell the difference. Be confident that your child will achieve everything that God has in store for him this school year, and he will benefit from your confident and secure heart through it all.