It is unusual for the school nurse to be out on Tuesday, but since we had one day's notice about the change in routine, the school counselor and I met yesterday to plan Tyler's back up care, and I was hopeful that all would proceed smoothly. We had a plan in place, and it was under control. Or so I thought.
This morning Mrs. Warneke (the counselor) pulled me into her office to let me know that Tyler's classroom teacher, who has taken the diabetes training, and most importantly, knows how to give the emergency shot if the nurse is out, is at home with a sick child. And the paraprofessional who assists in Tyler's classroom and can oversee his blood glucose checks and snacks happens to be home sick, as well. So despite the hierarchy of "back up personnel" for the days the nurse is not on site, it seems that everyone who knows how to take care of Tyler care at school is not in the building today. When confronted with such a situation, I would usually decide to drop everything and spend the day back and forth to the elementary school managing Tyler's care myself. It would be hectic, but I would make sure he was taken care of, myself. But the last few days of the month are the more intense days for my work schedule. Even though I do not want to, I really need to step back and allow the school to cover Tyler's general care today. They can manage Tyler's care at school, and this will free me to take care of all my responsibilities. I will be able to run up there if there is an emergency, but I need to let go of Tyler's routine care and place it in the capable hands of the school counselor.
Mrs. Warneke is a wonderful support. She already had a plan for today's care, enlisting the help of another paraprofessional who assisted with Tyler's Blood Glucose checks on a recent field trip. They are going to work together to cover the normal BG checks and daily routine. She went over the changes with Tyler, and encouraged him to use his voice and "be persistent" if he needs help and the sub forgets "the signal" we've worked out with his teachers. I am confident in the staff's ability to handle everything, but yet, I am fighting worry. "I'm just a phone call away," I reassured the ladies (and myself). There has been an upset in the way that things usually work, and also in our first contingency plan, and I am finding that fear can easily give way to panic.
Questions pour into my mind like pounding rain. What if there is an emergency? Will the sub know what to do? Will she be able to track down the right people to help? Worse case scenario: What if counselor is out of her office and Tyler has a seizure? Who will call 911?
The principal happens to be covering the office today because one of the secretaries is also out. (And my youngest has a sub, too.) A lot of the normal staff seems to be gone today. There are a lot of variables, a lot of unknowns, and what I am finding is that when something in my life seems out of my control, I tend to attempt to exert MORE control over other areas in my life. I want to frantically clean the house so that something in my life appears to be in order. In such cases, I can find often myself trying to control my husband or children, or the people around me. Or even the cat (good luck with that one!) I recognize the signs, and how I am responding to my worry, and though I feel helpless and out of control, I know that at some point I have to take it all to the altar.
Several years ago, as I was coming to terms with my son having a life altering condition, the Lord drew me to the story of Abraham. The Lord asked him to take his son to the altar; his only son left, for his other son was lost to him, driven away into the desert. Abraham obeyed. It must have been a difficult journey, physically and emotionally, and I often wonder what battles Abraham was fighting in his own mind. Did he have a sense of urgency in his preparations, or did he dread the journey? Did he command his servants with more determination than usual? Did directing his servants in their daily tasks give him a sense of control over something? Anything?
"On the third day, Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance." The Place where his life would be forever altered, in one way or another. God had given him a promise, a promise for his family to be established, a heritage to be passed down. It was a promise that he later learned would come through this son, and no other. Isaac was "The son of the promise." Yet, in order for Abraham's life to be altered, he had to meet God at the actual altar. The altar was a vital part of the journey to the promise. Painful, but imperative.
As Abraham took the wood for the sacrifice and placed it on his son, did his heart break? Did he wish he could take the burden on himself? Did he wish he did not have to make this grueling journey? Did he wish he could change his reality... to control the outcome? To think that he blindly obeyed, without question, is to minimize Abraham's faithfulness, or brush over Abraham's inherent human-ness.
As humans, we battle for control, yet rarely actually have it. When our reality does not look like we think it should, we often try to control others, yet desperately need to control ourselves instead. Especially when it comes to the people we hold most dear. Yet, control is only an illusion. Perhaps Abraham recognized this. In any case, Abraham did not have all the answers, and he surely struggled with the unknown, but yet, he chose to trust God, and to obey. To surrender control and take his son to the altar.
And like Abraham, I will only find peace if I, too, make the journey to the altar and leave my precious son in the hands of the Lord.
Holy Father, it terrifies me to face unanticipated changes. I confess I am afraid of what could happen. I fear the unknown, I fear difficulties and loss. I do not want my son to suffer. He carries such a burden for one so young.
I come to you and I bring all the worries, all the fear, all the heartache, and I place it all on the altar. I surrender my son, my precious child, who I love, into your loving hands. I give His very life to you and I yield to Your plans and purposes for him. I let him go, Lord. I choose to trust in You, Lord, and You alone.