Test to Testimony
How many of you read or watched the Hunger Games series?
Well let’s think back to the moment Katniss and Peeta first get lifted into the arena. They have to stay on their platforms till the buzzer sounds, and in front of them is a cornucopia of weapons to fight and defend their lives with and behind them is the safety of the forest.
I have found this to be a great picture of parenting. I do say this laughingly, because this parenting thing is hard stuff. I know as parents we never know when the battle is coming and it is different every day. Some days we battle well with the sword of truth and other days we hide in the bathroom.
But I’m not here to tell you how hard it is. I’m here to let you in on a little secret. But again I need to paint you another picture.
There was a child born in Texas
A bright-eyed joy for the new Mom and Dad
A new baby boy
He made the sweetest sounds
He walked for maybe a day before he began to run
But he was just a boy.
He gave the biggest hugs and didn’t like tickles
Struggled to share and listen with care
But he was just a boy
But five years ago, we moved cities then things started to change
Emotional explosions , misbehaving at school and we could no longer call him just a boy
He was our boisterous, creative boy with Sensory Processing Disorder.
If Sensor Processing Disorder or SPD is a new term for you, it is best described as a traffic jam of information, or for sci-fi fans a system overload.
We are taught from a very young age that we have five senses. Touch, Sight, Taste, Hearing, and Smell, but we actually have eight senses. We have the five we are taught and then Vestibular (our sense of balance), Proprioception (our sense of where our body is in our environment), and Introspective (our body telling us about our need to eat, use the restroom or drink water).
When the traffic jam happens, the child feels out of control. They can’t focus and filter their world so they either want to shut down and avoid the overwhelming situation or they embrace the craziness inside and get louder and appear hyperactive.
A diagnosis like SPD, or even ADHD or Autism is new territory, a lot like the arena of Catching Fire. A ticking clock that is giving you different challenges at different times, except the pattern isn’t as linear as a clock. The challenges are based on feelings and environments that are completely uncontrollable and sometimes unknown to you and to them.
When we were diagnosed with SPD my heart ached. And I clung to a MOPS talk and a piece of paper given to all who attended. The paper says Worry, Control or Trust,
and in the talk the speaker said it’s our choice.
I had to make a choice. I could worry, fret, and try to find someone or something to blame, or I could trust God is good. It still is a daily battle.
Our children are little pieces of our hearts walking around on the outside. It is only natural for us to hurt when they hurt, want to fix or fill a need or go into Momma bear mode when someone is mean to them. And when we can’t do these natural things the Momma guilt is substantial.
We want to protect them from the world that surrounds them. Keep them safe. Feed them the best, so they will be happy. But we can’t protect them from everything. We can’t make them happy. That is a choice they will have to make.
I say all this with encouragement. Take a deep breath with me. Your precious ones will get sick. They will get teased and hurt. But listen to this from 2 Corinthians 1:8-9 “For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.”
Sensory processing disorder is not a disease my son caught, or a random condition, it is something God gave my son. It is his challenge and one day part of his testimony. In order to have a testimony, you have to be tested. Look at your own come to Jesus moment, its strength is in the hurt, pain and pit you had to enter to see your need for a savior. And isn’t joy in eternal life, better than happiness in this one?
This is the secret I’m here to share, God has a story to write for each of your children. And as in any story there has to be hard times, struggles internally and externally in order to grow. They have to come to the bottom of themselves in order to know they need Jesus, and that’s what we all want. We all want our kids to know, need, and desire Jesus in every aspect of their lives, even as we come here today in the desire to learn new ways of Jesus entering our motherhood.
I don’t say this to weigh you down but to push you forward and look differently at the trouble and challenges you and your children will face. I don’t have a blasé attitude that God’s got this and I don’t have to do anything. But check your hearts sweet parents of God. Don’t read the Bible to keep them from exploring other faiths. Don’t go to church every week to fill out some good Christian to do list. But press on in order to train them in truth before the storm hits, so when it does they will know where truth is even in their darkest moments.
Training is hard, arduous work, not just songs and crafts. You have to press on toward the goal with perseverance. 1 Corinthians 9: 24-25 “Do you not know that in a race all runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes in to strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”