Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher).
John 20:16

I know, I know, it's nearly JUNE.  I started an Easter blog post at least six times, and my thoughts wanted to go so many differing directions, I found it completely overwhelming.  True, this past Sunday marked the first Sunday in Pentecost, but the message of Easter is just as important for me to reflect upon today as it was a few weeks ago-- perhaps even more so!

I look out my window and, though later than expected this year, spring has finally chosen to arrive!  My rhodies are in bloom, flowers and tiny starts of wild berries adorn the pasture, the chickens are digging for worms in the morning dew ... it's all quite wonderful out there.  Here, however, in my little home, there are lists, schedules and charts on every wall and door imaginable.  It doesn't feel Spring-y here. 

We've talked to the experts, done the testing, filled out the paperwork and now ... now we attempt to completely change our lives to better the lives of both our children.  No biggie, right?  

I had a direction we were headed, and I was quite pleased with it.  My oldest, neurotypical child was thriving, happy and plugging about his business with a positive outlook.  My youngest child, though autistic, was progressing daily.  He walked, he talked, he hugged me, he had a few friends some people actually asked me if he had "recovered" around this time last year.  After over a year on the waiting list, we had weekly appointments with "Mr. Micah," our beloved psychotherapist.  He helped with some big hurdles in Wyatt's emotional development and gave wonderful support to the rest of the family.  Yes, life was looking up.  Change, however, came into my family's life like a tsunami, crashing into my little utopia.

We discovered that my oldest son (you know, the one I wasn't worrying about?) had been battling anxiety for quite some time; a phenomenon that happens quite frequently to siblings of children with special needs.  As the oldest child, a natural nurturer and the first family member Wyatt formed a bond with, he was becoming overwhelmed by his constant worries, fears and the need to "fix" someone anytime they were unhappy. 

Wyatt's regression had taken root, stealing skills, coping mechanisms and, at times, any joy from Wyatt.  Then the tics came.  Facial grimacing, twitches at the neck and incessant blinking would come in waves-- at times, without a rhyme or reason.  

Where was my happy little family?  What was my purpose?  How on earth could I parent both hurting kids, manage my health, attempt to maintain a decent marriage and occasionally sleep?  Life, as I had known it, had been altered again, rocking me to the core.

I think of Mary Magdalene on that Easter Morning.  She didn't wake up and think to herself, "Oh, hooray!  It's Resurrection Sunday!"  No, she woke up planning to finish the burial preparations for Jesus.  Because of the Sabbath, she had been unable to finish caring for the body of her beloved teacher, healer and friend.  

She had lived the life of an "outsider" for much of her life-- Jesus had changed that!  We don't know if she needed forgiveness alone, if she had been possessed by a demon or had been afflicted with a seizure disorder of some type; we only know Jesus made her whole again.  She had found a great purpose in her life-- to follow and serve the man she believed was the Messiah.  Suddenly, the man on whom she had based her reason for living was dead.  What now?  

Mary was heavy-laden with unimaginable grief.  So much so, that she couldn't find hope in the empty tomb.  In her state of despair, she couldn't remember what Jesus had promised about rising three days later.  In fact, she was so downtrodden, when the Risen Christ came to her, she thought he was the gardener.  When she looked up, however, her life had changed once more!  

I love the name that Mary exclaimed: "Rabboni!"  That name, used only twice in the New Testament, is a beautiful combination of teacher, master and someone of whom your deepest affection and highest respect is placed.  

In the words of my buddy, Pastor Paul, "It's like daddy for teacher."   

That is who Mary Magdalene looked to for strength long after Jesus ascended into heaven.  And now, as I wade through paperwork, new parenting techniques, Tourette's medication (while attempting to balance it all), that is where I find my strength as well.  

I have been blessed to live in an area of the country where Autism support and assistance is readily available.  I have pages and pages of recommendations.  I want to help Wyatt, while not slighting Alan.  I want Wyatt to be challenged, but not frustrated.  I want Alan to feel secure and heard, yet not allowing him to rule the roost (which would just cause more anxiety in him, anyway!)  I have no shortage of information and recommendations.  What I find a shortage of, however, is ME!  

I find that I often want to curl up into a ball and avoid all of the new changes we are implementing in our home.  At a time when so much is changing, it's hard to get the simplest of my everyday tasks accomplished.   In my own strength, I just can't take it all.  

But when I stop looking around me and look up, I remember that Jesus conquered sin and death.  The God whom I serve has dealt with the worst this world could throw at Him, yet He rose above it all! My God is bigger than Autism, anxiety, therapy schedules and yes, even bigger than the pile of dishes in my sink! I can't forget the trials of this past year, but I can look up to my risen Lord and cry out, "Rabboni!"  In the midst of my stressful situation, I can still find joy in knowing that He who began this good work in my family will complete it!  

Jesus, you know that a lack of writing this year does NOT mean we didn't have a journey together!  Guide my path in the coming year, that I might draw closer to You each day! 

Still Praising Him in Pentecost,