Okay, here goes. I tried really really hard to come up with a clever intro to this post. I scoured the internet jungle for some sort of fancy quote. I even tried to create a fiction-type beginning. Didn’t work. Then I realized sometimes you just got to be real and raw. So here it is.
Last Wednesday was awful.
Thank God it didn’t stop there. We journeyed through the ugly, tangled frustrations, and at the end of it…grace shone. Here’s what happened.
First off, I woke up with a headache. Never a good start to a day, but manageable, right? During breakfast my little miss seemed a bit edgy, but again nothing to pull our hair out over. But then came…school time.
(For those unaware I homeschool my daughter. She was diagnosed with autism when she was three, but she has been like a breathing miracle for all the obstacles she’d conquered through God’s grace.)
Here’s what went down. I spread out coins for her to count. We’ve done this more than a billion times. She knows how to count change. In fact, in first grade she was better than her big brother with counting money. But Wednesday, she struggled.
What was so simple to her before, at that moment was insurmountable. It was not that she didn’t want to do it, she couldn’t do it. Like some dark cloud muddled her ability to think. She couldn’t even identify which coin was which. Tears filled her eyes, because she knew that she knew this. She was fully aware that she had mastered this skill, and now she just…couldn’t. A meltdown then commenced.
Sure, we’ve had plenty of days like this before, but this time it hit me differently. Maybe it was the sadness filling her eyes as tears spilled down her cheeks. Or the sag in her tiny shoulders.
My heart broke.
Then the devil came and sat on my shoulder. See, you can’t teach her. This is too big of a task. You aren’t helping her at all. Never mind, I taught her to read. Forget the fact, that even though it’d been a long process she could add, subtract, and multiply, and much more. Right then failure flooded my mental processes, pushing condemnation to the forefront of the situation.
So with the circumstances, I did what anyone would. I shuffled the child into the car and we stuffed our mouths with McDonald’s. I didn’t force any more school. I prayed. I encouraged my daughter, enforcing that one bad day does not define her intelligence. Anytime the nagging voice called me out, saying I was a failure, I prayed some more.
Here’s the beauty of it. The next day, I spread the coins out on the table, and she got it all without even a hiccup. I made a more difficult combination, and she got that one too. Simple and spoken with clarity. And friends, all I did was pray. I didn’t turn on educational videos (though I have some that are great!) I didn’t break out the flashcards. I prayed.
Through this whole journey with my daughter, I have learned a lot about her, a lot about me, and a whole lot about God. We’ve trekked through some rough spots with this whole home-educating pursuit, but He’d been faithful every step of the way. Giving me ideas to help her understand. Supplying me with patience when I felt depleted. And showing me that He hears me when I pray.