Sarah just had her eye exam and it is always difficult to know how this will go. The doctor has used prisms to check Sarah’s eyes (How the Light Made a Difference, 16 Feb 2014) or Sarah has read from the screen that is across the room. Reading from the screen can be difficult because we don’t know if she is just saying letters or if she really is trying to tell you what she is seeing.
This year was no different. The doctor had to use both prisms and the screen to find the prescription Sarah needed. Yet, we ran into some issues. Sometimes Sarah called out 8 letters when there were only 5 letters on the screen. Or, saying letters that were nowhere close to the letters displayed, for example saying “Y” for the letter “N”. I looked at her and back at the screen wondering what she was looking at! Other times she read the line perfectly. That was until Sarah’s little secret was discovered.
The doctor put smaller and smaller font sized letters up on the screen. Sarah began to struggle. She put her head down and made a moaning/cry noise. This is a coping mechanism of hers if she wants to disengage from the situation. It is quite common for people with Autism to do this. Basically, I think for Sarah it is ‘if I don’t look at it, then it doesn’t exist’ and ‘if I cry you might let me get out of doing this’. She would then looked out the corner of her eye put her head up and say the letters perfectly. The doctor changed the screen and Sarah did the same thing.
Was Sarah taking a moment to process things? Was it a sensory overload and she needed to look away to cope? I was proud of her for working through this and saying what was on the screen. I thought we were going to get an accurate diagnosis for sure. Then the doctor started to laugh.
“Sarah, are you looking at my screen?” The doctor had a small monitor that faced her that she used to take notes. On the bottom of the screen was an image of what was projected on the screen across the room.
Sarah looked down. She put her fingers to her throat so she could feel the vibration as she moaned once more.
“Sarah, are you cheating?” teased the doctor.
That was it. Sarah looked at me and sheepishly whispered, “Yes.” She then burst out in her hyena type laugh.
The doctor and I roared in laughter!
The doctor turned her monitor so it faced her more and we started the exam over again. This time we got the right prescription for Sarah.
There are times I am like Sarah. I come up to a roadblock or a challenge and I want to disengage, complain or moan to the Lord about it or find ways to get around it. Sometimes I don’t want to exert the energy or time that is needed to invest in it. Have you felt this way? We need to give ourselves a mental pep talk and spend a lot of time in prayer before we face what lies before us. And we need coffee. And we need chocolate and caramel, preferably together. (Okay, maybe those last few ones are just me.)
Last week, I was watching a devotional video from First5.org. The speaker, Whitney Capps, spoke about when the 12 tribes of Israel made it to the Promise Land, a few of the tribes decided not to cross the Jordan River and wanted to stay on the side they were currently on. The land around them looked good and even though God had given them the land on the other side, they didn’t want it. (Numbers 32) They settled for the easy. They settled for the “good enough” and years later they were the first to be attacked and taken off to captivity (I Chronicles 5:26). Could it be that they were an easier target because they did not have the Jordan River as a natural defense? (23 Jul 2016 ‘Don’t Stop Short of God’s Best’ www.first5.org)
I have a feeling that you are with me that we don’t want to settle for the “good enough” instead of what God has planned for us. While difficult at times, I would rather struggle through it and come out in the end with what He has planned verses me looking for shortcuts. Cheating doesn’t help and like Sarah will give us the wrong thing we need. If we went by what Sarah said when she was cheating, we would have left with a prescription too weak to be any benefit to her. She also would have found herself later on frustrated that she couldn’t see and possibly physically bothered with strained eyes and headaches. How true in my own life! Taking the easier way leads to frustration later down the road. No, the temporary discomfort of a roadblock is worth the exhilaration of making it to the other side and all that we learn through the process of it.
Thank you, Sarah, my “Little Cheater”, for reminding me it serves me no good to look for the easy way out when life gets tough. With a deep breath and a lot of prayer, I move forward on this journey.
Hebrews 12:11, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
*My basketball coach in high school made us memorize this verse while we ran laps. We ran a lot….. 🙂