When I was asked by a few people to start doing this blog, I knew I wanted this to be an open place for me to be real about what we were all feeling. During the struggle with Ellie’s behavior I was not in a good place with my relationship with the Lord. I was so frustrated when prayer after prayer appeared unheard. Although I knew in my heart that God had a divine plan for Ellie’s life, I was trying to solve this by myself.
I believe that there are two responses to suffering, to run to God or run away from God. I felt like I was somewhere in the middle. In my case I never thought God had left us or didn’t hear my prayer. I was just impatient. My struggle is more that I don’t know the plan the Lord has for Ellie. For those reading this that know me personally, know I am a fiercely independent person. I grew up as an only child and because of that I want to fix things myself. But, every time I tried to make a change on my own it failed miserably. I needed to get back into the word and back to church to and let him carry me through this. Although we watched or listened weekly to our pastor’s sermons, not being able to attend and worship with the body of Christ had more of an effect on me than I realized.
Because I tried so hard to keep Ellie from situations that set her up for failure, we just didn’t go to play dates and birthday parties. I tried talking to my closest friends, but its hard when they don’t really understand. I was withdrawn in all aspects of my life. My friendships and marriage suffered because I was so worried about Ellie. I holed myself up in the house with Ellie and quit going to events. I was mourning my idea of what family events should look like. I ended up looking like a lunatic chasing Ellie around so stressed that I was short tempered and super impatient with her and others. I was just sick with worry about her and it showed.
There is nothing scarier than something being wrong with your child, but I believe that God uses these moments to draw us back to him. The fact is that God does give you things you can’t handle. There are tons of examples in the Bible of people who were given challenges that they couldn’t overcome. They needed Gods help to get through those impossible circumstances. I knew how amazing and mighty God was, and that he could move this mountain for us if he chose. What I needed was to be okay if he chose to make it immovable. Once I realized I couldn’t do this on my own, I fell on my knees at the cross begging for help. Once I gave this to God, things began to change for the positive.
Ellie began to see an occupational therapist two days a week at her school, got a buddy to help her through the hour of church. There was also some relief at school. They recently hired a teacher, Marisa Rodriguez, who happened to be a behavioral consultant as well. Marisa also has SPD and opened my eyes to what I was truly dealing with. Only after meeting her did I begin to understand what Ellie’s world was really like, what she was experiencing and how to begin to help her at home.