Flashback to 2006:
Today I have an appointment for Early Childhood professionals to evaluate Judah in our home. Personally, like his brother, I think he is autistic. Seven months ago, Noah was diagnosed with autism. “He needs a weekly forty hours of therapy,” the pediatric specialist matter-of-factly informed us. “He’s quite severely affected.”
“But your clinic is out of state. Our insurance won’t cover anything, and that’s thousands of dollars!” Hopelessness gripped my rapidly beating heart.
“Then find ‘Early Childhood’ in your area. Push for forty hours per week. Consider yourself lucky to get thirty. Be happy for twenty. But don’t expect much more than ten to fifteen.” I obeyed.
We received one hour. Now here we are facing the same possibility with Judah. This is an appointment I cannot miss! Urgency weighed heavily in my chest, crushing my lungs.
At the age of thirty-four months, Noah now attends Discrete Trial at the public school in the mornings. Just dropped him off, and I’m running into Walmart to quickly grab some diapers for the boys. Thirty minutes until my appointment. Gotta hurry. Grab a cart. That’ll be easier.
Back to my car. The keys…where are my keys?! Panic. Peering through the window, I see my keys sitting on the seat. Looking at Judah, a loud sigh of frustration escapes my lungs as my heart beats double-time. Fortunately, Neil doesn’t work too far away. Will I make it?
Finally, I can see our driveway from the road. Did I beat them to our house? What’s that stuck to our mailbox? A note. “Sorry we missed you. Will call to reschedule.” How can words scribbled on a sticky note pack such a powerhouse punch? I wanted to grab the mailbox and throw it across the lawn.
After fuming for an hour, I prayed, “Lord, I am still so irritated! How could You let me lock my keys in the car?!” God was going to answer for this! I waited for His answer.Then memories began flooding my memory banks and play on the movie screen in my mind. I began recalling more missed appointments, only these were mine. “How many appointments during the course of a day have I missed with You, Lord? How many times have I been late because I had to finish ‘just one more thing’? And unlike the ladies from Early Childhood, You’ve waited for me. Not five or ten minutes, but You constantly, faithfully wait for me. I have no excuses.”
So, here I sit, humbled, with my Bible and journal. I’m ready. I’m not missing this appointment, Lord. But here comes Judah. Looks like he wants to play. Disappointment and guilt for past appointments missed overwhelm my emotions. Sigh. “Sorry, Lord. Judah needs me. It looks like another appointment missed.”
Then His sweet voice breaks through my barrage of emotion. “No. This is our appointment. Our times together, scheduled and unscheduled, may look different than what you expect. Enjoy these moments with your son, and take pleasure in the different ways I’ve given you to know Me.”
“Lord, I’ve been busy. Let’s reschedule. How about now?”