Sunday, September 13, 2009

A New Chapter

Everyone has a story. Moments of victory, great joy and also times of sorrow and excruciating loss. We are all changed and grow through these things we face. God in his perfection has good plans for each of us though not always comfortable nor our first choice. Our story has had much sorrow. More recently, much joy with the birth of baby Eli and Aaron's much needed stable and decent paying job. Life on many fronts has become more comfortable. The growth we have gained through the times of loss and pain are priceless. They are like treasures never dreamed of nor expected. It's only in distance that I can look back and see the foundations God built for what he had down the road. I have more faith now then I did then......I have SO much to go back too when life gets crazy. The evidence of His grace not only on the cross but in my little part of the world is undeniable. He really does provide ALL I need for life!

So armed with this we move into the next chapter of our story. A place that I do and will need much faith as I walk what He has laid out for this family, my family.

I am bit of a wimp. A controversy wimp to be exact. I started blogging to share, to grow, to write and be encouraged. As I became more involved in the blogging community I began to see that strong convictions and words often were rewarded with criticism and sometimes flames. People due to anonymity were willing to say things they might not be wiling to say face to face. This really bothered me. I wouldn't call myself a people pleaser but I definitely don't like unnecessary conflict so I avoided any topics that might stir the pot. I see the possible conflict involved in this topic as necessary. In order to grow and learn there must be pressure, stretching and yes, conflict. I see this with my kids, my marriage and friendships, even in my relationship with God. I as a parent need to find and give the best I can to my children and train them up in the way they should go. What I am learning has changed how I see some things that I was pretty sure about.

As I have briefly mentioned before our son Isaac has been diagnosised with ADHD and also ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) along with some possible sensory issues. In the Christian community there are many different ideas and thoughts on psychiatric diagnosis. Are they real or just entrenched sin and lack of gospel centered thinking? Is a disobedient bratty child simply due to permissive parenting? If we discipline more consistently and diligently the child will turn around right? Is first time obedience the be all and end all of parenting? If it is, are you a failure as the parent of the difficult child? What is inability to understand the consequences of your actions compared to childhood folly? Could diet really have an impact on behaviors? Do we use drugs?

These are all questions I have been grappling with for along time. In attempt to grow and process I will start to grapple with them here in this little space in cyber world. I do so with some reservation. I can only trust that the differing opinions and conversations would be based on a desire to encourage one another and learn. I don't have all the answers, not even close.

As we start this conversation and I begin to write this chapter of our story, pray for my son, for our family and please share your own experiences. I find such beauty in the sharing that takes place from one life to another. I believe that is part of God's story for man as we await His return.


Mrs. Nepper said...

Wow, Sandi. Thank you for your heartfelt sharing. I imagine that the road ahead will be a difficult one, but I look forward to journeying along with you. I will be praying for you and your family.

One thing that often comes back to me was your honest and gentle parenting style that was so evident when we were in community together (when Journey was 2 ish, so long ago now!). I have no doubt in my mind that you are trying to be the best Mom, wife, and lover of God that you can be.

As for psychiatric diagnosis, I would say its in a similar vein to medical diagnosis. In all of Abbi's heart stuff, we have faced many differing opinions, mainly (sadly?) in the church. Why was she born that way, her sin, my sin? Did I do anything to cause it, etc. Can we pray it away? Should we opt for surgery?

In the end we did go for surgery (really the only other options were to let her die, get a transplant or God would heal her), and I have no regrets about that.

It may seem faithless to some, but one thing I have learned is that as parents we do the best we can. We all want the best for our kids, and that may look very different from family to family. So I know that through this God has taught me more about having grace for others. And I hope that people would show you grace as you choose those things that you feel and God has shown you for your family. No judgment here.


Anonymous said...

I so understand! Time is amazing. Have you read the book "Hold onto your Kids", by gordon neufeld. Goes straight to the heart of parenting.

In looking back I realize that less focus on the learning and milestones and comparison to the norm and the many labels and more focus on loving supporting connecting treasuring the relationship between parent and child (the attachment).

Love you

Mama lee

momma's heart said...

I will pray, Sandi. And pray much. I know God has a plan; my faith does not waver. But when I read about the ODD in this post, I was blown away. ADHD is hard enough. I am sorry about these loads. I will not forget your needs, or your family's, as I go about my day.


Juggling Motherhood said...

I wish you all the best in this new chapter in your life.
I know that with the love and support of his family, your son will florish!
I have always enjoyed books by Stanley I. Greenspan. He just talks about children in such a special way.
All the best in this journey, may God watch over you and your family. Best wishes from New Zealand