Saturday, October 29, 2011

One Step at a Time

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"Mrs. Groh?" "This is Mr. Philips and I have Nathan here in my office and he is pretty upset."

This is the phone call I received from Nathan's guidance counselor yesterday. He had walked into his first period class and tolerated about 5 minutes of the student's whispers, "You see that kid?" "He's so weird." "I can't stand him."

My stomach tightens and a lump rises in my throat. I listen to the guidance counselor ask, "Can you come in on Monday morning and meet with me, Nathan, the special education teacher and school psychologist?" "We want to come up with a better plan for him."

20 years old. Far too old to be in a class with 16 year olds. Too old to still be in high school. Yet, this is his reality.

Nathan has big dreams for his life. He told me the other day, "Mom, I'm going to work for the New York City Fire Department for 2 or 3 days a week and then I'll be a chef the other days." I smile and nod. How can I tell him that this might not happen. That his dreams may not come true. That his plans require a learning level far higher than his own. An ability beyond his own.

I too long for him to have a normal life. At this age he should almost be through college. Yet, here he is in high school, dealing with things that most 20 year olds have moved past.

"Yes, I can come," I tell his guidance counselor. I mentally remind myself that I made the right decision staying home this year. This is the fourth meeting I've had in 6 weeks at the school. I am available, with both my time and emotions.

My son who has come so far. He immediately went to the right person. He recognizes that he doesn't belong there. He wants more for his life.

God also wants much for Nathan's life. He has a plan for him. He has big dreams for him. I want to trust that plan. Truly I do. Yet, fear grips me at times. I feel overwhelmed and depressed.

Then I will get a glimmer of hope. A taste of that plan. Then the discouragement lifts. We shuffle forward a few more steps.

"I will be there Monday," I tell Mr. Phillips. I have hope. I know the Lord is working out Nathan's life.

I just need to keep moving forward, one step at a time. Even if I can't see the way. Even if I'm surrounded by darkness. Just put one foot in front of the other. God will provide the stepping stone.

Just take one step at a time.