Earlier this month we celebrated Senior Night. It was the last home game where each graduating band member, cheerleader and football player was presented on the field with family while the announcer spoke of their future goals.
This was a very big deal for my senior.
Big brother even flew in for the occasion to surprise him on the field and be at his side. Lan posted on Facebook it was one of his “happiest times!”
Celebrating that moment reminded me of all those years I was so preoccupied with the future I couldn’t enjoy my “present.”
I vividly remember stressing about making it through elementary school and his passing a bunch of standardized exams. The same cloud hung over middle school as well. A less than enthusiastic county psychologist and fear for the future kept me in a constant state of exhaustion.
For any parent, looking forward is natural. Yet, if we are always looking forward to be “done” with a phase, we blind ourselves to our blessings in the here and now.
It took me years to figure this out.
These days, I only need the occasional reminder to enjoy my “here and now.”
I could be stressed now about the upcoming ACT, not knowing for sure which schools are best for Lan, let alone figuring out how to pay for them!
We all go through our “somethings” in life that inevitably have the potential to turn us into better (or bitter) people. To say I’ve appreciated every “growing experience” would be a lie because many of them were quite painful.
Nevertheless, I give thanks that God allowed me to not only survive, but in some manner, thrive beyond those uncertain times.
My current “hot pot” causes me frustration for sure; still, I am determined not to allow my challenges to overcome me as before.
Watching Lan deal with autism and his determination not to be defined by it, has taught me how to better deal with my own frustrations. It has most certainly helped me put them in perspective.
Through Lan, God has taught me how to take joy in small victories, not dismissing them while waiting for larger breakthroughs.
Lan has also taught me that hard work pays off and hard times eventually pass.
I learned goals keep us focused on the gains we strive to make.
I now see God’s grace in the little things.
Every day we “hang in there” is cause for celebration.
Labels only limit us when we allow them.
Angels come in all colors, shapes and sizes.
God is ever-present!
Senior night reminded me of family and friends who have been there for us every step of the way.
That evening also demonstrated the better side of humanity when students in the stands cheered loudly as Lan crossed the field.
I give thanks for teachers, counselors and administrators who worked with us to push Lan toward his very best.
I graduated school decades ago, yet I’ve learned more about God and myself these last years of “high school” than ever before.
I suspect I’m not the only one Lan has taught a thing or two…
Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong 1 Corinthians 1:26-27 NIV