So here's the thing about remodeling - it's not the same as redecorating. As I look over the journey I've taken regarding the physical parts of this temple I realize that it was mostly redecorating. It's the exterior. I'm not saying it's been easy or that I didn't have to destroy some seriously false beliefs and thoughts along the way, but it was really just redecorating. Paris has been wanting to redecorate her room. We told her we can redo her room for her 8thb-day (next summer) and she's is enjoying coming up with ideas for that. Currently we are considering dark purple and hot pink and perhaps some words written above her closet - Rock n Roll. She's a hoot. Redecorating with her will be fun. If we started knocking out walls and such though - well it could get pretty messy.
So, if I'm going to stay in the remodeling process, it's time to talk about why it's different than just changing the shell. Remodeling often, if not always, requires some kind of demolition. Demolition hurts. It's ripping out walls, changing the floor plan, adding rooms. It's cutting, nailing, sawing. It's noisy. It's messy. BUT, if you have the right contractor it all gets cleaned up and put together and looks great on the other side of the mess. My belief is that when the Master Carpenter is in charge of the remodel, it actually turns out better than you planned. But the demolition still hurts.
This week I've been coming to terms again with the fact the my children's future isn't going to look just like I imagined when I gave birth to them. In reality I guess no child's future is exactly what their parents pictured on day one. When Tripp was diagnosed on the autism spectrum a grieving process began. Though God has faithfully brought me through that initial pain, I know that I will continue to grieve the loss of what I thought his life was going to be. Now don't get me wrong, I know that God has big plans for my little Monkey. I think Tripp is going to grow into an amazing young man and will be capable of having fulfilling relationships and a job that fits him perfectly. But it's going to be a challenge. And it isn't going to be the journey I pictured in my head when I found out I was having a baby boy. Different isn't necessarily worse, but we still grieve the loss of what we thought life would be.
This week I feel like a new room is being demolished. I took Paris to the doctor on Wednesday to begin the process of having her evaluated for...something. We're honestly not sure what. We've considered ADD, Dyslexia, Depression, and even Asperger's Syndrome. We had our "initial interview" this week and I think this huge part of me wanted to hear our doc say "No, I don't think this is a spectrum deal. Let's look more closely at ADD." I didn't hear that. What I did hear was that we need to do some formal testing and look really closely at this. Asperger's is clearly on the table. It is a real possibility that another of my children will diagnostically be placed on the autism spectrum. Do you hear the walls being ripped apart? This. Hurts.
Now, in reality, it's doesn't matter what label Paris winds up carrying around. I love my daughter. She's struggling right now and I will do any and everything in my power to make life better for her. But my power only goes so far and that's the scary part. When it comes to ASDs you can only do so much and then you just have to see how it goes. I don't like the unknowns. I don't like the life-long part. I don't like seeing my child in pain. I don't like any of this.
I do like knowing that the Master Carpenter is in control. I like knowing that though it's not easy, when I submit to His work the end product is more beautiful than I could have imagined up on my own. I like knowing that my children are His children and His love and mercy and grace are bigger than I can fathom. Yes, I know that He will see us all through no matter what the outcome of these evaluations are. The floor plan may be changing, but the temple is still His, and on the days that it feels like the floor is being ripped from beneath me I take comfort in knowing that He is simply adding a new story - a new level of our relationship. Going deeper takes digging. Remodeling often requires demolition.
Father, I submit to Your work. In me and in my children. Please give me peace as we walk this new part of the journey. Thank you Lord for not asking me to walk it alone, but carrying me along when I can't go any further. Thank you for sweet friends and an amazing family that hold me up when I am tired. I am so richly blessed Lord. I love you. Amen.