When Preston was four, he went through an amazing early childhood program. I was a little nervous at first, but came to love this program. His teachers said it would be his “bloom” year. And they were right.
This school was where he needed to be. When my LIttle Dude entered the program he had very little original speech. He was highly talkative and very verbose but he only spoke in lines from movies or TV shows. Everything he said was scripted and sounded scripted. By the end of the year, he no longer relied on scripted speech and his conversations lengthened and became more natural sounding. He was even starting to show interest in relationships with his peers. This seemed miraculous to us!
My husband and I commented many times on how this program had done so much for our son. By the time the school year came to a close, Preston’s growth was so amazing that I couldn’t imagine him going to school anywhere else. We knew that socially he wasn’t ready for Kindergarten even though academically he was WAY ready. I was nervous about a mainstream classroom preschool class and wondered about the challenges of that program. The early childhood program was so safe, so visually based, so perfect for him. I asked (begged) the school district to let him stay. I really wanted to give him one more year in this safe and enriching environment.
That was my best plan. It didn’t work out. We found our “Plan B,” a local park district program where he could have an aid in the classroom. Today, I can say with confidence that my best plan then would have held my little boy back in this season. I was trying to hold onto an old thing when God was trying to do a new thing. I am so glad I didn’t have it my way.
Little Dude entered a mainstream Pre-K class this year and struggled at first. It was a long, tough transition. I wondered if this was really right for him. He kept trying. I realize now it was the perfect amount of pressure. Not enough to break his desire to try but enough to push him and help him see how much he is capable of. I have to say, even though this year has been challenging for him, I have seen him grow more this year than even last year. He is needing his aid less and less. He is forming relationships with other kids and demonstrating some pretty amazing social skills. And I realize now that this was God’s best, and I almost kept him from it.
My plan would have been less of a transition, less struggle, less hard. Yet my plan would have yielded less growth, little progress, and few lessons learned.
We are faced again with a few options for school next year. So as I approach decision time again, I do so with new perspective. Open to God’s best, I will try to lay my plans at the feet of the one who made my son and knows the right path. I chose to accept his best regardless of the circumstances he brings. I place my son into the protective hands of the one who decides when programs or therapies get old and when it’s time for a new work in my child’s life. After all, I am not writing my son’s story. I am only a small piece. So I peacefully give our plans to God, the Author of life.
So what about you? Do you feel like your plans aren’t working out? Do you feel like you are holding onto an old way of life because it’s safe? Has something served it’s purpose for a season? Do you sense God is moving you to something new in your life? Perhaps time to let God lead you to the next chapter in your life …