Those of you who had the awesome privilege of being a 90’s teen totally get the “this one time at band camp” reference. It’s from a highly inappropriate movie…funny…but very inappropriate…totally wouldn’t recommend it. But it makes me laugh, and thankfully my this one time at band camp looks a little different…
So…this one time at band camp…I totally shed some proud happy tears over how amazingly polished and handsome my Ryan looked and acted. He’s just flat out awesomeness. It’s hard for me to express the feelings I have when I see him do something that seems simple for other kids – going to camp, getting dressed up, and performing at a concert – but for Ryan, it’s a big deal. At times life is tough for him. He thinks different, processes slowly, has next to zero working memory, and his impulse control is pretty much non-existent. But times like this, he pushes past all of it and blows my expectations out of the water.
Now before you go thinking, she has the perfect special needs kid, I want to fully and completely assure you that I do not. I cannot even begin to explain the things we have experienced with Ryan over the past year, and especially the past few weeks. Things that disturb, worry, and totally freak me out. Big scary things.
And it turns out, the gap between my fear and my faith is much smaller than I first thought. I have been very very afraid.
But here is what I am learning…
Blind faith can be damaging. I’m talking the stick your head in the sand, stick your fingers in your ears and yell na-na-na-na-na, basically avoid the reality of what is going on kind of mentality. I think well meaning people do this because they know God truly is all we need. And they are right. But He also didn’t make us stupid. We have to balance out blind faith with a little healthy “fear”.
I put fear in quotes, because I’m not certain it’s the right word. Maybe it’s more like healthy concern. There are situations we must do our homework and everything we can practically to manage risks and outcomes.
And I’ll be the first to admit, there are times I have used my “faith” as an excuse to ignore things I didn’t want to accept. I chose not to look at them, telling myself God would take care of them, when in fact God really needed me to take some healthy initiative. But here’s the thing…avoidance and laziness is not faith. Faith is active. It is moving. The Bible even says faith without works is dead. We have to combine our faith with cognizant, decisive, wise God fearing action.
So this one time at band camp…God showed me that because I have taken some difficult but active steps with Ryan… because I have pushed him to do things he thought he couldn’t do – he experienced huge success even amidst difficult circumstances. And because God gives me faith – I will choose to continue in action, believing that the outcome can be far greater than what my psych textbook or an article on the internet might say.
So hear me friend who is wondering how in the world God can redeem this mess…
Lean heavy into your faith. God is far more powerful than any action you could take. But don’t let faith be an excuse or reason not to fight, especially when it comes to your kids. Sometimes you need to put up your dukes and say not here not now…this crap doesn’t get to win. Sometimes your kids need help balling up their own fist and showing their circumstances who’s boss. Sometimes you need to see a doctor, a psychologist, a therapist, a pastor, or a whoever to help you figure out positive action steps to take. And all the time, you must take the most important action/battle stance of all…for you and for your kids…and that is down before the throne on your knees.