Friday, June 16, 2017

Detoxify

Detoxify=to counteract or destroy the toxic properties of. To remove the effects of poison from.

I'm starting Day 4 of a detox program, trying to help my body get healthier. This morning as I watched a video of a comedian transparently sharing her story of coming to accept her daughter's down syndrome, I was struck by the similarities of the need to be cleansed of toxic thoughts related to special needs parenting.

The past few days, Daniel's limitations have been very much on the surface of life, and I've felt a sadness in my soul.

The school district generously provided summer boxes for our boys with books and activities to stimulate their learning. Daniel's box had a “Bridges” workbook from 3rd to 4th grade. I flipped through it and saw at once that it was way beyond what he could do. But he was so excited about his new book that it felt like I was crushing him to tell him he couldn't start working in it because I wanted to see if I could trade it in for a different one.

Yesterday we picked up a 1st to 2nd grade Bridges book, and he told me he was so excited because he'd waited such a long time for his book. He started working on it before dinner, and I realized with discouragement that almost every page will require instruction, redirection, correction, and more redirection as it's still a stretch beyond where he is (maybe I should have asked for the K-1st grade book). But he's wondering why if he's going into 4th grade does he have a 2nd grade book? I just told him that this one is better for his level and he will be able to do more of the pages. David then pointed out to him that he will probably be the oldest kid at Pioneer next year because most kids are 10-11 in the 5th grade and Daniel is 11 ½. Because he was in the back seat of the van and didn't respond, I couldn't tell how Daniel actually felt about this concept.

The truth is that I don't know the best way to navigate this road of Daniel's growing awareness of the gap. But I feel sure that the key is for me to first accept the gap so that I can better help him accept it and then both of us can help others accept it as well.

David and Daniel came home hot and sweaty from playing basketball at the park yesterday. The first thing Daniel told me as he plopped down in the chair to take off his shoes was, “A boy made fun of me.” That's the first time I've heard him say those words and I felt my stomach tighten. “What happened?” I asked him. He said that the boy was joking about his feet. “What did you do?” I inquired. He said that he just told the boy he'd had surgery and they kept playing. I felt relieved that Daniel had handled the situation well, even though the boy's teasing continued, and that he didn't seem to feel that being on the receiving end of someone's mocking meant that he was less of a person. On the flip side, it was the boy who had a problem of being mean.

I wish that I could protect Daniel from all forms of teasing in his life, but of course I can't. What I can do is help him learn to have a balance of toughness and graciousness. To learn how to speak up for himself, to forgive and let go, and to not internalize insults.

The toxicity that I'm trying to rid my body of is also the toxicity that I want to purge out of my heart.

I can't harbor negative feelings toward insensitive kids who attack and tear down.

I can't dwell on the hurts and disappointments of Daniel's and my growing awareness of the gap between him and other kids his age.

I can't focus on fears of how far he's going to make it educationally, emotionally, socially.

As I drink enzyme-rich, life-giving vegetable juices these days I'm thinking about what I'm really hungry for. What do I crave?

More than delicious food I desire for my gut to be unclogged of years of toxic build up.

More than satisfying my sweet tooth I want to be full of the real Truth.

More than putting “whatever” into my mouth I want to be aware of what I am allowing in.

I believe that the most important truth for me to dwell on and to help Daniel to dwell on is that we are beloved children of God, fearfully and wonderfully made. And that God has a unique purpose for each of us. He enables us to hear His voice and to follow Him. Because only in Him will we find significance and contentment. My "craving" is that Daniel would grow in confidence in how much God loves him and delights in who he is. Fully known and Fully loved. And that he would walk with Him all of his days.


Daniel often talks about being afraid of snakes, but at the library last week he was brave enough to touch a red-tailed boa and even wanted to go back and hang around with the huge snake. He courageously overcame his fears. And so can I.


As I am becoming detoxified, I am trusting anew that
God's work is Unfinished and that He has great things in store.



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