Dealing with the Long Chapters of Life

“There will be many chapters in your life. Don’t get lost in the one you’re in now.” -TobyMac #SpeakLife

I saw this quote my dear friend posted on Facebook and it was as if the words I have been searching for months finally materialized and were staring right back at me. I feel so lost right now when it comes to Sarah.

Since the fall we have hit a rough patch. Very rough. Sarah’s behavior has been defiant and, at times, aggressive. Her occasional nose picking has become constant. This would cause her nose to bleed all over her face and clothes. She would then blow her bloody nose without a tissue on the table or bathroom vanity. When we try to redirect or stop her, she becomes angry. In her frustration and anger she threw everything off the table and/or kitchen island and sent things crashing (and breaking) to the floor. She was slamming her bedroom door so hard that the decorative wood trim on the door fell off. She would then pound on the door (it wasn’t locked) so hard we thought she was breaking it. Moreover, the screaming was non-stop and the nose picking continued. We were at our wits end.

Late November, the doctor adjusted her OCD meds and we have seen improvement in the aggression, but we are still dealing with the nose picking. We are faithfully spraying saline drops in her nose and that seems to help. Her school has a behavioral plan in place and having her earn rewards if she can go a half hour without nose picking.

If there is a limit of what I can handle, I am reaching it.

Sarah’s behaviors seem to be a very long chapter in my life, and I have felt lost in it.

Isaiah 41:13, For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you.

I have been thinking about this verse. I image that I am trying to follow the Lord, but I am lagging behind and I have fallen. The Lord immediately stops and turns around and comes back for me. He smiles at me as I am sitting on the ground. I laugh as I shake my head with tears in my eyes; frustrated that I find myself once again on the ground. He offers His hand and with my right hand I grab His and He lifts me up. He looks me in the eye, with no condemnation, no disappointment in me, only love. He reminds me not to fear, that He is here, He will help me and He goes before me on this journey. With that, it gives me the push I need to keep going.

One of the ways the Lord has helped me was through my parents. We were planning on going away over Christmas break but with Sarah’s behaviors, we knew we couldn’t. All the kids said they did not want to go if Sarah was going to come. Her screaming would be too much for the car ride. My parents offered to watch Sarah and we jumped at the offer. I think my mom barely hit ‘send’ on her text to me that I responded back with a ‘YES!’

It was a break we desperately needed. I came home refreshed and renewed to care for Sarah. It was just the help we needed. I am so grateful for my parents!! It was the helping hand I needed to get back up on this journey.

**********

This year our family is reading through the Bible together. This past week I read Genesis 15 when Abram questions the Lord of His promise when Abram has no heir. In fact, all the wealth he had acquired was to go to Eliezer of Damascus, his servant.

At this point, Abram just couldn’t see the next chapter. Abram thought, how can I be the father of many nations when I have no heir? The Lord gave a covenant and promise to Abram that he would have a son. While Abram didn’t know what came next, God does.

I find peace and comfort that my Lord knows, not only knows the chapter I am in right now, but also knows the next chapter, and the chapters after that. And while I would love to peek ahead (like I did with books when I was little and I wanted to know how the book ends), I am thankful He is with me, picks me up when I fall, gives me the help I need to face each day and reminds me not to fear.

This book is not over yet…and while this is a long chapter of my life, I don’t need to peek ahead. My God is already there and promised me it has a great ending.

1 Corinthians 13:12, ‘For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.’ (ESV)

14 thoughts on “Dealing with the Long Chapters of Life

  1. Janet

    So glad you were able to get away and refresh. So thankful for your sweet mom and dad to give you the break you so needed. Im praying for you in this chapter of your life. You are such an inspiration of someone who seeks joy in all circumstances. Love you my sweet friend!!

  2. Life can be so hard. We suffer trauma, affliction and loss; and often can’t make sense of it. I look forward to being with Jesus and know he will make all things right. Ps. 19:7-9 gives 6 promises that don’t leave anything out.

  3. Pam Harrison

    We too find ourselves in a similar chapter of life. It seems like we’ll never reach the next, but I know my God is faithful and will see us through it all. We don’t understand “why” but trust in His unfailing love and pray for His wisdom as we walk hand in hand along this journey. Praying for all of you!!

  4. Cathy King

    I don’t go on Facebook very often, but tonight I think I was guided to it. I hit my app and there you were. Jill, you have been very heavy on my mind, now I know why. This chapter of your life will come to an end and another will take its place, but you can handle it. You are one of lthe strongest people I know! You deal with so much every day, but you always have time to talk, listen, offer suggestions and give strength to others, myself included. You have gotten me through so much in the past and you still do now. I’ve been having serious issues with Kevin for the past few months and through it all, I think to myself, how would Jill handle this. You are an amazing mother and you will get through this. Keeping you, Sarah and the rest of your family in my prayers. Love you❤️

    1. Thank you my sweet friend for your kind words! This has been such a long journey for both us! I am so deeply thankful we have kindred hearts as we navigate through this. You encourage me and are such a blessing! Love you, too!! ❤

  5. Carol Butler

    Jill, My Heart aches for you, along with your family as well. The Lord knows our needs! Praying that the Lord will give you the strength and understanding . We can’t do it all by ourselves! Time for you to have a little time just for Jill! Aunt Carol.

    1. Thank you so much, Aunt Carol! You are my faithful prayer warrior and I so deeply appreciate your love and care! You are such a testimony to me! Thank you for your encouraging notes and find newspaper and magazine articles for me. I am so thankful for the insight and autism news! Love you dearly!! ❤

  6. Janet Eagan

    Jill, I just read your blog. I cried all the way through. Your life is so hard, but your hope is in God. You have been such an inspiration to me. Praying for you and your family and especially for Sarah. May God’s strength and peace flow over you my dear. Love, Jan

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