Unwanted. Alone. A little on the sad side. Am I an inconvenience? Is my family too much for others? Are we demanding and taxing on people we love?
Being a family with special needs is hard sometimes. Everywhere we go is an event, and we never know how people will treat us. Sometimes these events are daily, weekly, or monthly.
A gorgeous morning. The air has that fresh-right-after-the-rain smell permeating every fiber of my senses. The view through the windshield is a vast blue sky smattered with puffy, white clouds that remind me of mashed potatoes. Although it’s late in the autumn season, the trees are still mostly green and the leaves look like lace against the sky.
As the road bends and curves, I feel my husband’s hand slip softly over mine as he gently guides the small car with one hand on the wheel. My stomach tightens as I silently whisper that familiar prayer, “Lord, are we where You want us? Are we in the right place –the center of Your will?” I hear nothing. But moments of clarity return to confront my ill-feelings with truth. The feelings remain, but I need to trust Him and stand on truth.
Minutes later, we arrive. Feelings are tucked away for now as I force myself to the surface to face the crowds. Escorting Noah and Judah to their perspective destinations, I’m greeted by a young lady standing on the curb. Well, Noah and Judah are greeted, but she may as well have rolled out the red carpet for me.
“Hey, Noah! Hi, Judah!” She reminds me of fresh apple pie, all warm and inviting. I’m choked up as I direct Noah to her greeting and prompt him to say “hello”. Then she looks at me. “I saw them and wanted to see if Noah wanted to sit with me.”
“I’m going to drop Judah off. Noah and I will meet you in a few minutes, okay?”
Moments later, Noah and I enter the room full of laughter and drama. My eyes scan the backs of heads looking for a nearby open seat. Then I see her. The young lady. She smiles and waves. I pull up a chair next to her for Noah. I’m moved by her compassion to be his friend. Freeze frame. Noah is wanted here.
As I sit directly behind the two, I watch, wondering how this will play out. My muscles tighten as Noah’s arms begin flapping and his sound effects grow louder. Then she turns and whispers, “Shhh…it’s ok, Noah. Calm down.” She smiles at him and turns to look at me. I wink and mouth the words “thank you”.
There it is! Community begins. Oh, Lord, how long have I asked for community for Noah and Judah? Community is taught, but it can’t be forced. It’s a heart-thing.
As I relax my back against the chair, I see Christ in this girl. She flashes a quick smile my direction, and in my mind, I hear the words, “That smile is from Me. You are exactly where I want you.”