One of our prayer requests this month was finding the best school option for Sarah. Currently, she is an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Middle School class at a local middle school. This is a wonderful program and we have one of the most experienced teachers in this field as her teacher. Sarah, if cooperating, swims, cooks, does her laundry and other life skills jobs. When she started this program when she was in the 6th grade, I teased she would never want to come home! We realized this was the best placement for Sarah as she would lose the social interaction of elementary school and Sarah would not be able to handle the hour class schedules of a typical Middle School setting.
Unfortunately, as you know, Sarah hasn’t been cooperating and her behaviors have gotten in the way of her learning and distracting others. Last spring, the teacher asked us to complete an application for a school that could handle Sarah’s behaviors. She said we could decide when the time came if we wanted her to go there, but it would be wise to just get the paperwork started since the school has a year long waitlist. On Friday I received a phone call that a spot is open for Sarah at this school. In our hearts we were hoping that by the time this school called, Sarah would be getting better with her behaviors and it would not be needed. I have nothing against this school; it is just that it is for the more severe, in general. Also, while not set in stone, if you are severe enough to be at this school, you usually don’t leave it to go back to the other programs, say the ASD High School program. If she enters this school, she will be there most likely until she is age 26.
Again, I have nothing against this school, they do great things with their kids; various field trips and making crafts to sell, but in many ways it is a death of a dream. It is the most restrictive school for the entire county. The website states they try if possible to find less restrictive situations before this school is selected. Basically, it is the last option-just saying that is heartbreaking. Friday night I mourned for the loss of another hope for my child.
I know you are praying and we can tell. Her behaviors are improving, but her teacher said they would have to be drastically different in order for her to stay at her current program and if we don’t take this spot now it might not be again available for another year. She said with Sarah’s behaviors she certainly would not be able to go to the ASD high school program next fall. We asked for clear direction and we got one. David and I will be setting up a time to visit the school and if God continues to confirm His leading we will sign the paperwork to make the switch. I thought of the verse in Isaiah 30:21:
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it.”
God is whispering in our ears for the way to go for Sarah. While I cried for the loss of what we wanted for Sarah, He knows what is best. Maybe this restrictive program is what she needs and she will be happier here. Maybe He knows I needed this whisper because I wasn’t willing for her to go here otherwise. I love how He knows where I am at on this journey and He gently leads. Like Hosea 11:4, “He leads them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love.”
I am struggling with this, no doubt about it. I guess I need to stop digging my heels and allow Him to lead us with ties of His love. He has never left us for one moment on this journey. All along He has been whispering in our ears, “I’m here, I’ve got this, I love Sarah more than you can imagine, stop resisting, let Me bring peace to your hurting soul and follow Me.”
So I am giving Him my grieving heart and walking this new path. I will continue to listen for His whisper because He has never let me down yet.
Psalm 14:5-6, “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for He has been good to me!” (Emphasis mine-the verse ends in a period, but I just can’t end that verse without an exclamation point!) Thank you for your continued prayers for us!
19 thoughts on “God Whispering In Our Ears”
My dear friend..I will be praying for all of you and also rejoicing that God is leading you in this journey, it isn’t always easy to do when we can’t clearly see the end of the path, but we know He will not lead into harms way.
Jill, I am grieving with your family as tears run down. I think back to all that you have done and the lengths you have gone to over the past decade to get Sarah the best care and the best therapists and doctors and treatments. I have been amazed at all you have done as a family to support her and get her the very best help to provide her the very best life and most normal life that you can help her have. I understand what you are saying when you say that you don’t want to give up on helping her maintain the most mainstreamed lifestyle you can. I have such great respect for your trust in God, that even as you lay this down and face this possibility, you recognize that God may have a greater plan in mind that will be even better for Sarah. I will be praying that God will make the way very, very clear. I pray that, if possible, her behaviors will make a quick and dramatic improvement so that you can continue at her current school or that it will be clear that the move needs to be made. Today in the Sunday school class i help out in we were talking about Joseph and how he was sold to Egypt but never gave up trusting God and waiting to see what God would have for him up ahead. Our key words to remember the story was “I’m a big fan of God’s plan!” I know that you are a fan of God’s plan because you trust it completely – you trust Him completely. Praying for you and praying for clear direction taht you can follow with confidence. Love and prayers.
I’m a big fan of God’s plan…Love it!
Jill, this was beautiful and heart wrenching to read. My mother’s heart mourns with you at the death of a dream for your precious, made-in-His-image child. At the same time, it is so encouraging to see how God is leading you, sometimes dramatically but always tenderly, as you walk this parenting journey with Sarah. He *is* so good! So good to love us, to care about everything that concerns us (even school!), to direct us. I am thankful that you have peace in God’s direction, and will pray for you all as you make this change. In some ways we are also experiencing the death of a dream (completely different situation) so this has greatly encouraged my heart to wait upon God and listen well for His words. Thank you!
My heart cries for your loss of a dream, but rejoices as God leads and brings comfort to you.
You’re teaching me to really “listen” to God, knowing He knows best and is good and faithful. God bless Sarah and your family! Continuing to pray for peace in this situation.
Thank you so much for your encouraging words, they truly mean a lot. This is one of those ‘working out your faith’ times. I am so richly blessed by wonderful friends that cheer us on! Thank you, love you!
We love you so much and we will be praying! It is so hard to be so far away and not be able to run over and hug you today. I love you, Kristine
I often have to challenge and remind myself of listening to and following what God says with this verse, but you are clearly living it out through these school decisions…Isaiah 48:18-“If only you had paid attention to My commands (**like David and Jill are now**), Then your peace would have been like a river,
and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.” Continuing to pray for you.
Wow, David and Jill. I thoroughly enjoyed (through the tears) reading what you had to say. I can readily see how you must feel disappointed about having to leave this school Sarah has been going to. BUT I also know that the Lord knows what’s best for everyone and am glad that you are following His direction in this even though it doesn’t make sense to us. Blessings on you ALL. Much love and prayers.
Thank you, Kristine, Heidi and Judy.for your loving support. As I told the ladies who commented above, thank you for cheering us on. I think the Lord knew I needed some “Hang in there!” from my loving friends. So deeply blessed by you!
I keep thinking about Elizabeth Elliot’s common phrase that she quoted to herself when she faced deep and disappointing waters…”God knew all about this…” and He did, didn’t He? He knew what you would face this week long ago – and has prepared you with everything you need for this hard decision. I know, because I know you and David, that you will do what is right for all of you…even if it is the hard thing. Your faith is strong and you lean hard – always have. So, my dear sweet “jilly”…keep leaning. And know that we all continue to pray strength and peace into you in the name of Jesus.
Thank you so much, Donna! Beautiful, encouraging words!
Jill, tears are streaming down my face. I continue to pray for Sarah but I want you to know how much your newsletters touch me and inspire me. I see God’s hand in your words and feel your love drawing you near to him. You are a light for others. Listen to Him. May God bless you.
Thank you, Karen!! You are a sweetheart! Thank you for your many years of praying for Sarah, bless you!!!
HI Jill and David, I can only imagine the heartbreak that you are feeling with this loss of your dream for Sarah. It is as if a dream has died, and you need time to grieve…and that’s okay. Be sure to allow yourself to mourn this loss, but also know that as you all step down this new path, that you have so many friends and family who love and are praying for all of you!!
Thank you, Charmagne!!
Dear Jill and David, I can’t begin to understand what the Lord has in place for you folks and for Sarah. Yes, I saw a big difference in her this summer than I did 4 yrs. ago. This new classroom might take some of the frustration off of her trying to keep up with the others. Only God has the perfect plan, and I’ll continue to pray that He will give you peace and understanding. I love you guys soooo much, and I know it breaks your heart to see your daughter struggle so much with her life. Love, Aunt Carol
Thank you, Aunt Carol! Love you!!!!