The two weeks leading up to Easter were full of challenges, tears and uncertainties. A full-blown spiritual battle that left me weary. Good Friday rolled around and we headed to church, a little nervous because Jackson wouldn’t be attending his normal class. Changes in routine are hard for him, but we were hopeful the children’s director’s plan would work so that we could enjoy the Easter service.
I’m beyond thankful for our church – a place that has fully embraced our family and the challenges we face. I’m thankful for the volunteers who invest in Jackson week after week, love him and teach him about Jesus. They see beyond the Apraxia and Sensory Processing Disorder, to the amazing kid he is.
I know not every special needs family was able to walk through church doors this past weekend.
Church can be a hard place for a child with special needs.
I’m thankful that Jackson loves going to church. That he bolts through the doors and can barely hold still long enough to print his name tag before heading up the stairs to his classroom.
Friday we walked through the doors and Jackson headed straight towards the stairs. We explained that Ms. Billee wasn’t there and he would be going to a different classroom. That sort of ticked him off and he spent a few minutes on the floor kicking out his frustrations. The children’s director, Krista, promised there were trucks in the new class and that made the transition much smoother.
We dropped him off with the five-year-olds, thanked the volunteers and made our way to our seats. I sat down, breathed a huge sigh of relief and said a quick prayer that things would go smoothly.
A few minutes into the service, John’s phone buzzed and we read this text:
In that moment all the hard moments from the past two weeks faded away.
Sure, there was almost a meltdown in the church foyer, but we made it over the hurdle.
It’s these little moments (which are really big in our world) that remind me of God’s faithfulness.
As I sat worshiping, I heard His familiar voice reminding me of what matters most: that Jackson knows how much Jesus loves him.
Everything else is secondary.
We didn’t go to church as a family on Sunday. I didn’t even get a family photo.
I went to Sunrise Service with my parents while John and Jackson slept in.
Sunrise service has always been one of my favorite Easter traditions.
As we drove in the dark to my parent’s church, I thought of the similarities of sunrise service and my faith.
Light overcoming darkness.
The hope of a new day.
I went to two very different Easter services this past weekend.
Good Friday was filled with lights and music.
Easter morning was overlooking a pasture waiting for the sun to rise.
Both services left the same impression on my heart.
My parent’s preacher asked us to reflect on a dark area in our lives where we needed Jesus’ light.
As I bowed my head I thought of the dark moments we encounter on this special needs journey.
I fought back tears and silently prayed: Lord, the most important thing is that Jackson knows how much you love him. Everything else is secondary.
Yes, we’ve faced some hard and dark days; we will likely face many more.
But light always overcomes the darkness.
There is always the hope of a new day.
He is the light.
He is my hope.