I was challenged to write on this subject (many, many years ago) to help bring a better understanding to those who are volunteers in the church who work with children that can be hard to work with due to learning disabilities. It is a story of a Mother’s love for her child. A conclusion at the end of this writing will explain where we are now and gives testimony to the power of God in our lives when we ask Him for help.
I am not a teacher of ADHD or a speaker on this complex subject. I am only the mother of a child with ADHD and a Christian who loves the Lord. My love for Christ and His love for me helps me to stay focused in my life with my child, and also the needs of others. The Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ from its beginning has had a mission. We are to reach the world for Christ, and to tell the Good News of Eternal Life for those who believe in Him and they shall be His children. We are to teach them the Gospel, and show them in God’s word how much He loves us and is with us. In our visions of who we are to reach, do we draw a line? Do we have requirements of whom we want to reach; are they too be models or mirrors of our own life? People we would have a lot in common with and our children too? The book of Luke, chapter 6 verses 32-33 says, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.”
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians chapter 13 verses 4-5 about the most important gift from God when you let His Spirit guide and direct you. Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrong. This definition of love is not possible day after day in our loves unless we have Christ. He can and will give us the power to have this agape love described in these verses. The more we seek Him, and come to know Him and His ways; he will change and teach us how to walk in his love. No human is capable of this love without Christ in their lives on a daily basis.
Many of us work so hard in our churches for our Lord, We all have a ministry for God and He uses our God given talents and gifts, as well as our life experiences. He prepares us all and works through us when we walk in His love. It is “He” that does the work. And this is where I begin to tell you about my experience with ADHD.
This has been a very painful and major struggle in our family. We have prayed for answers and cried many a tears in search of closure (it will go away) and asked God the question many times, “why us?” In my prayers, I have told God many times, “Lord, I have faith in you and by your Mighty Power, heal this situation, by Your Loving Hands. I believe you can take this from us and heal our child.” I lived for about 14 years in frustration, guilt, pain, hurt and lack of understanding. But, in time God showed me He had been answering my prayers from the beginning. I guess I was not listening, because He was not providing answers I wanted to hear. Several things took place in our lives that brought me to my knees, more than ever. I was so mad at God! Didn’t He see I was hurting? Didn’t He see our need for a miracle? Then finally, I stopped telling God what I needed and begin to start listening to what He had been trying to tell me for years. Overnight He took the hurt, pain and frustration and gave me a peace. He changed my attitude and showed me how to see my situation from a different perspective for the first time in my life. His showed me His perfect way. Instead of saying, “why me Lord?” I begin to tell God, “thank-you Jesus for these years of frustration, hurt, guilt, pain and lack of understanding. Through them all, I have learned so much.” I have had every part of myself broken. Where there was no patience; I’ve found patience. When there was no strength; I found strength. When there was hurt and lack of understanding; I found comfort and a peace. It was by God’s power and might. When, I had no help anywhere for me or anybody to fix it, I searched. I sought out man’s knowledge on the subject, from doctors to books. I came up empty in my search through man’s knowledge. Every time I came to the end of a road from some man’s theory or solution. I was disappointed. That is when I would go to my knees for comfort from God, He never let me down and He kept me going all these years. Please don’t misunderstand me about man’s knowledge on this subject. I have learned a lot from doctors and many books on the subject. They have helped in educating us about ADHD and have given us solutions to work with our child to help them learn. But, only God can give you the peace and love needed to help your child. The scripture verse, “My grace is sufficient for your, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. I can relate so much with Paul in this scripture verse. I praise God my difficulties cannot be compared to what Paul went through. But, the harder it got for him in serving God, the stronger he grew in Christ. Because Paul was not depending on his own strength, he was depending on our Lords strength. This is what Christ has done for me. When I have been weak and not been able to carry on, he has picked me up with His power and given me His strength when I had no more strength to go forward.
Though the future is uncertain at this point in our lives with our child, we have peace in knowing God is in control and he will make a way for our child to find their talents. But, for the time being we will keep asking God for direction and try to listen. The reason I say “try” is because we still want to do it our way. Why is that? I don’t know. But, God patiently waits until we listen. I am sure of one thing the Lord wants of us. That is to share with those who are in need of answers and let them know they are not alone. My mission for the Lord is to help those who don’t understand ADHD, and try to educate them; especially workers in the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
I wrote this paper for all workers to see a mother’s desire to help reach ADHD children for Christ. I cannot do it alone. I need the help of the church. I recommend a book for all teachers and parents who wish to learn more about the subject. The title is, “The Hyperactive Child” written by Dr. Grant L. Martin, a licensed Christian psychologist. It is available at most Christian book stores. Dr. Martin begins the book by identifying ADHD using the scripture, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do”. Romans 7:15. There are other books on the market too. (I am sure there are many more since I wrote this) I liked Dr. Martin’s book because of the Christian view it contains in learning about ADHD and solutions.
We all have our lives together perfectly, don’t we? We are all taught we can do all things. And we all strive to be perfect. A friend of mind a few years ago was excepting her first born. We talked a lot about the coming event. She was so excited, and she shared her dreams for that child with me. If it was to be a girl, she was going to take dance, music, foreign language, etc. If it was to a boy he would be smart, athletic, strong and a leader. It didn’t matter if it was a boy or girl, he or she would succeed perfectly, and be educated in all areas. As I listened to her dreams, I thought back to a time in my life when I did the same thing. All my hopes and dreams for my children; who I wanted them to be. I then begin asking myself “Why do we do that?” Why do we think we can control the lives of our children before they are born? I can remember thinking the same thoughts.
Our society today teaches us that being smart, educated, having everything neatly in order is the only way. And if it is not like the world teaches something is wrong with you. We are to all have students educated in the arts, etc. I do believe it is not wrong to strive for these things. But not everyone can do this. I can remember having all the dreams my friend had, I had them too. But the world is wrong. You cannot control all situations in life. We were not all created to be artist and “A” students.
When our child was born, she was the prettiest in the entire world to us. We had dreams for this child, and their life was mapped out. They would be popular, a good student, college bound, etc. Our family was pleased at the beauty of our perfect child. My obstetrician and the baby’s pediatrician said the child was perfect. Our child did everything other children at that age did as babies. Our child walked, talked, smiled, etc. just like our friend’s children, but our child was a little slow. The doctor was not concerned and reassured us that she was healthy and developing on schedule. He would tell us that “they all develop at their own speed.” Then when our child reached 3 or 4 years of age we noticed something was not right and we cornered the doctors for answers. Our child was not developing socially or academically as children the same age. We begin seeking professional help at this time. The doctors did all kinds of diagnostic tests, and after it was all over they informed us our child had learning disabilities. Our Childs problem was visual and perceptual difficulties, poor coordination and very distractible. They recommended entering school at the age of 6 years to allow more time to mature. When in school, special education classes were needed and main streaming them into regular classed too.
I began to see a problem when our child was ready to enter school. It was so hard to accept because all along we thought everything was okay. Now we were being told our child was no longer perfect, because they were having difficulties in learning. When our child finally started school it was the first time in their lives, they were in a situation they could not control and we as parents could not control and make it better. A recent book I just read, title “Home Style Teaching” describes how the public school systems are set up. It detailed the approach schools use to educate our children. All public schools set in place a curriculum for the “appropriate age” to teach this, and that, how and when. They have over looked the fact that every child matures and grows differently. Just as some babies learn to walk 8 months and other at 13 months of age. Have you ever known a parent who worried about their child because, he/she had not learned to walk or talk at the same time a friend’s child had? In time the child learns and life goes on. It is the same in starting school, some kids are ready, others are almost ready and still others are not ready to start school at all. Our society tells us children must start school at 5 years of age. They must learn this, this and this. What happens to the child that is not ready? We the parent and teachers are telling that child from the very start of school you are stupid and you are lazy, we ask “what is wrong with you?” In our actions we are indicating to their peers that they are different. In another home schooling book, it stated that public education today creates a lot of learning disabilities by forcing children to learn a certain subject when they are not ready to learn it. It’s kind of like this; Let us say I was in control of what everyone was to learn and become. Someone (you) was very talented in music and I decide I wanted you to be a physicist. You did not grasp the subject at all. I demanded you to learn it! I keep telling you, “It is as easy as 1, 2, 3.” This subject of physicist is over your head or it might be your foundation has not been built to understand it (you are not ready). Physicist makes no sense to you. I keep telling you that anyone can do it and so can you. You have to do it. In time you would begin wondering to yourself, “What is wrong with me?” It would probably affect other areas of your life, such as social interaction. Because all those around you are physicists, they are smart. Because you can’t learn it, you must not be smart, the teacher sat with you for endless hours at her desk getting frustrated, and she has shown all your peers how stupid you really are.
Most children with learning disabilities out grow most of their problems. It’s just that they are slower in developing in some or many areas. What we do as adults, teachers, parents and peers destroys many before they mature to a point of understanding. The material that seems so elementary to us is like doing Physics for an average student. Children are not born lazy, they become lazy when frustrated. God gives everyone a talent. The educational world created for society has everybody’s life mapped out from the time we start school at the age of five and sometimes younger (in today’s world). These children that are slower at learning and maturing, when made to do something they don’t understand grow up thinking they are stupid and lazy. With their frustrations of trying to fit into the world’s system, many never find out what their talents are. Seventy years ago many of these children would not have been labeled as they are today. For many, to graduate from high school was an accomplishment back then. Our country was comprised of farmers, merchants and families trying to make a living. Children had too at times sacrifice school to help the family. Many kids were taught to read and write at home. I think it is great we have come a long way from those days. But we’ve over looked and are hurting the children with learning problems.
What are learning problems, these children have? There are many and each child’s problem is so different from the rest. This is one reason it is so hard for the school to teach them. The professional have many diagnostic names for the ADHD child. They are also labeled LD children which stand for learning disabled. ADGD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. Some call it ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder. Whatever the label, each child’s problem can range from 1 to 10. For example, a child could be dyslexic with certain letters and another could be with all letters. Or a child could have a deficit disorder. Sound confusing? Well, try to teach 15 students with a variety of these problems and see if you have patience. Before I go further let me define some of these terminologies so you know what I am talking about. Dyslexia- or called Specific developmental Disorder (SDD for short). The most troublesome disability contributed to reading problems, reverse letters. Attention Span Deficit Disorder; poor impulse control, poor planning, and judgment disorderly and disorganized. Attention Deficit Disorder; can be broken into many labels. Hyperactivity is one, Impulsivity-mood problem, organizations, and hot temper. Auditory Processing Deficit; children who have normal hearing, but have considerable difficulty listening to or paying attention to spoken instruction. As I stated before the child’s learning problem can range from 1 to 10 in one area, a few areas or many to all areas. Most children will outgrow, overcome or be taught to handle their learning problems. It is a life time commitment of the parent, siblings and child.
It is really sad to look over the years in seeing all the lives of families and the child being destroyed before the child reaches adulthood. There are many reasons why it happens. The parent’s denial anything is wrong. Not facing up to the problem does not help the child. It is like a child missing a foot. Would you get them an artificial one and teach them to walk with it. Or would you deny they were missing one foot and let them limp all their life and struggle with one foot. When parents are in denial, the child with a learning problem will limp and not understand why. Another reason for a child not to succeed is teachers not wanting it to be their problem. Believe me there are a lot of them out there including professional teachers and those who are not career teachers include teaching a craft, Sunday school, Scouts, sports and etc. Their peers not understanding and treating them as outcast, adults not understanding and treating them as out casts. Believe me it happens. I’ve known several adult workers in the church who show concern in the church for these children, but don’t practice what they preach at home. They make commits in from of their kids about these children. Then their children treat them terrible because they are different. We as a family have made many mistakes with our child. The number one reason we make mistakes, is because we’ve had to live and learn. This was new to us and at times we felt like a ship lost on the sea, not knowing which direction was land. I know that if we had not had God in our lives we would not have made it this far. We have at times been like turtles and closed our shells living in seclusion because of people’s remarks. So many do not understanding and some do not want to understand. We’ve had highly educated people make the dumbest remarks. We’ve learned a lot of them did not want to hurt us or our child, but they are ignorant of the facts. One time in our lives we stopped going to church because the Children’s Church leader asked the question, “Why will your child not sit still?” If they had only known how hard we were working on it at home. With that one remark, fear of people talking about our child was an issue for us to overcome. Then there was the fear of our child being singled out in Sunday School because it could not grasp the work. I believe our family has struggled more than we should have, because we did not go to church. I feel guilty in not being bolder and not worrying about what could have happened. We should have never stopped going to church. It was our only life support and we ignored the support that God can give to his children when we come to His House. It leaves me with this question, how should we as parents of these special children fit them into a church? Where it is taught, we are children of God. We all fall short of him, and all of our talents are from Him. We are all equal in the Body of Christ. In our church programs the children who are recognized are the ones who do their lessons well. What about the child that can’t? The child who is not at the level of his peers, tries in his or her best ways? They work, but don’t meet the standard of the text. You as a teacher in the church are telling that child they are dumb just like the world tells them. They loose interest and stop coming to church, because they are struggling in school as well and they ask themselves, “Why struggle in church too”? What if you as a teacher praised that child on his abilities even if they are poor in your eyes? Just maybe that praise could reach them and show them how Christ loves them. When they grasp Christ’s love and that Christ lives in them, they have the mind and heart of Christ with them. Christ mind is better than any PHD the world has to offer and his heart is a love that can encourage you to keep going. Teachers of the church I ask you, “how do we do it?” How do we reach them? My child has ADHD and I know there are a few that go to my church. Some are regulars, some come a few times a year with their families and some have been visitors. How do we reach them without singling them out?
Our child is in High School now and it breaks my heart to see what has happened to the majority of these children. The kids in special education started out as good beautiful babies when brought home from the hospital. As they grew; their parents, grandparents, peers, siblings, schools, churches, and society has separated them and told them they are different, stupid, failures, etc.. Many of these children in high school are on drugs. They are angry. They fight constantly. Where they cannot find love, they enter into relationships that lead to sex without any commitment or boundaries. If you don’t believe me, go sit in a High School Special Education Class, not a class for self-contained, classes set up for the LD child. It is very sad. We home school our child now, because we feared her safety. We can’t send our child to private schools because they can’t meet her learning needs. We are in one of the best schools systems in our state, so it’s not that we are in a poor district. Before we pulled our child out and made the final decision we prayed for her protection every morning. We felt at times we were sending her to war. God was faithful and kept her safe until we found another way.
I heard a preacher speaking about his protocol he enforced before he would marry a couple. Before he married any couple, he would counsel them for a year. At the closing of that year in counseling, he would ask them this question. Why do you love each other? If they could not answer it correctly he would not marry them. The correct answer was, “I have no reasons to love them.” I remember thinking to myself that sounds odd. As he expanded on the subject, God really spoke to me about love through this message. He explained when couples marry today, it’s for many reasons. For example: I love him for his eyes, quiet temper, wonderful job, and great personality. Or, I love her for her great smile, we have so much in common, and her beautiful figure. But he went on to say, these are not definitions of love. A marriage is supposed to be until death do us part. As the years pass our tempers aren’t always quiet. With life’s difficulties, we might lose that wonderful job. With life’s heart aches, that great personality might not always shine. As we grow, our interest might change and our beautiful figures may go away. But if we get to a point and have the love of God for each other it will last forever. The preacher pointed out that it is not written one time in the scripture, why God loves us. He does not have a reason. He did not choose us or love us for the works we do for him. He does not love any person more than any other. If your talent is playing a piano for the Lord, and your friend sits on the pew on Sunday, He loves your friend no less. That is really awesome. Agape Love! As I listened, I could relate so much to this message. The message was not for couple getting married, but for the teachers, parents, siblings, and friend of ADHD kids. God’s love is so great, he has no reason. If only I could get this point across to people that deal with ADHD. The message brought to mind how we all are. It’s so easy to love and reach out to those who are like us. It is God’s love when we can reach out to those who are different. Children with ADHD are a true test for each of us to see if we really have God’s love. I challenge you and your church to find a way to make them feel like “one, a person loved” in the Body of Christ. Teach their peers to be sensitive and help them to understand ADHD difficulties through your examples. Jesus is the Groom, and we are the Bride. He has the perfect love. He loves us all. Do we as his bride, are we an equal partner with him? Luke chapter; 9:46-48, An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand by his side. Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me: and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the greatest.” Do we as teachers, pastors, parents and Christians when a new child comes into our reach get excited when that child plays an instrument, does well in school, well behaved and in our eyes will help our church shine? Do we get jut as excited when an ADHD student comes our way? What about the child that excels and does well? What if that child was in an accident and lost the ability to perform as he once did? Would we love them less and not accept their limitations? I don’t think so. What about the children that comes into the church that has no talents in our eyes, that do not seem interested in learning, or they don’t fit in, they will not sit still, they are constantly starting fights with other kids, they will not pay attention. Do you think there might be some talents in them, God given gifts and talents that are just waiting to be revealed? Are we trying to make them feel good about themselves and trying to make them feel like part of the Body of Christ? These kids are loved by the Lord, just like you and me. They are a part of the Lord Jesus Christ, our Groom. As the bride, are we attending to the Groom and meeting his needs for these children? Matthew chapter 18:5-6 says “and whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes on of these little ones who believes in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Matthew 18:10-11,”See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven, always see the face of my Father in heaven.”
During most of our child’s school career they have made A’s and B’s in their subjects. But, most of the subjects were special education. Not once was our child recognized for their grades. Our other child who is an A-B student, after receiving a report card, always got certificates at the end of the year, received ribbons and awards for their great work. Our ADHD student struggled harder to get A’s and B’s then our child who has no learning problems. Since they are in Special Ed, they are not working up to what the world says is grade level. So they get no awards. Why they continue to keep pushing and trying I don’t know, because they will not be recognized for their work at school.
One Sunday at church a child in our Royal Rangers program received an award. The Pastor boasted with pride about this child’s great accomplishments in the Ranger program. He stated that very few achieve what he had. We were very proud of him, and I think that is great. I love seeing young people succeed. But, I then thought to myself, are we as a church doing what the world does to LD children? Do they have to work to the standards set by a curriculum, made by man to succeed in the church to get awards? Are they moving up and being recognized and praised for participating in our church? Or are we telling them you can’t get this award or that award until you master all the work just like everyone else? They can’t master it like the average student. And in time they will drop from your class. Do you blame them? Why should they be beat up in your class for not doing the work perfect, when they have to battle that daily at school and sometimes at home when the parents are not supportive. Jesus is the only hope for these kids to make it in the world. Without him they are doomed to drugs, crime and prison. Beware that you don’t look down upon a single one of these little ones!
In closing, a few pointers in handling parents and kids concerning LD. It’s so easy at times for us humans to accept a Down syndrome child with love and compassion. I believe mainly because they have an outer appearance that shows us they are different. And we have compassion. But LD children look normal just like you and me. It is very difficult for us parents to come forward and tell you, my child is different, because we have been hurt so many times from remarks. Here are a few remarks we are tired of hearing. 1. After going to the teacher and explaining the problems of the child and the teacher remarks, “well he/she doesn’t like it.? You don’t know how much courage it took for the parent to come to the teacher and now the teacher is arguing the point because he/she doesn’t look like a child that should have learning disabilities. Just except it and have compassion in helping the child. 2. Never ask the parent why he/she has learning problems? What caused it? Personally speaking as a mother I have asked myself that many times. I have asked the professionals, from Dr’s to educators. We have run test after test. And they have no answers. But being a mother, I sometimes beat myself up, thinking maybe it was something I did while I was pregnant or when our child was an infant. Did I do something wrong? All the professional say NO. When you ask that question you are pointing your finger at me and saying “what did you do wrong? I know those aren’t your thoughts, but it is the thoughts of a LD parent. So don’t ask. I remember when our other child came home from school upset on day because our LD child would not catch on to playing a game with the other children. One child started making fun of her. He told me; “Mom, that kids that was making fun, had the biggest ugliest ears. And I told him, what are you laughing at, you have the biggest ugliest ears. You are not perfect.” When he finished telling his story I started laughing and I thought to myself, why everyone can’t look at it like he was. We are not to point out each other’s weakness, but lift each other up as Christ our Grooms lift up the church. Matthew 7:3-5 Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, “ Let me take the speck out of your eye, when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Let us all try to run the race for Christ as he would have us go. Keep your eyes on Him and pray that as His bride we are loving Him as a bride should.
As I shared earlier this writing was written many years ago. To give you an update concerning this child who is now an adult I will include the following writing. This writing we put together as a team (she and I). Jeanine is considering going into the religious life and becoming a Nun. We will know the outcome of her decision in a few months. She had to compose a summary about her life for the different religious orders she has been visiting. They wanting to know who she was and what her accomplishments were up to now and why was she considering becoming a Nun? With her permission I post her testimony:
September 18, 2010
Subject: Discernment of Vocation
My name is Jeanine and I live with my parents in Magnolia, AR., I have never lived on my own. I consider myself a late bloomer in life and the Lord has always been my encourager in all my endeavors. I was born June 10, XXXX in Ft. Worth, TX. My mother has always reminded me of this story about an encounter I had with God when I was 3 years old. I wish I could remember it, but I do believe it was of the Lord because it was something that you could not explain, or figure out. It was the season of fall and many big black birds were everywhere around our home. Hundreds covered the one acre we lived on. I kept on asking my mother “what do you call those black birds?” She would always answer me with the same answer, “those are black birds”. For reasons I do not know, this did not seem to be the answer I wanted to hear and I continued to bug her with the same question day after day. She shares every time she tells the story that this question was starting to annoy her. Then one morning as she was helping me brush my teeth and comb my hair in the bathroom, I looked at my mother in the mirror as she stood behind me combing my hair. I told her, “You know what? Those birds out there are not blackbirds.” “They aren’t” was her reply. “No those birds out there are Ravens.” My mother said, “Oh, so how do you know they are ravens?” My reply, “God told me they were not called blackbirds, they are ravens.” My mother said, “So how did God tell you this?” My mother has told me as I was looking into the bathroom mirror combing my hair, in a calm, matter of fact, nothing dramatic about this, a little innocent girl with the faith of a child replies, “God came to me and told me you were wrong, those birds out there are not blackbirds, they are ravens”. My mother replies, “Oh?” Then she asked me, “So what did God look like?” My reply to my mother, as she watched me brush my hair, “A Cloud”. Look up Raven and Blackbird in the dictionary and you will see they are not the same. Blackbird: small, gentle, eats bugs & berries. Raven: Big and a bully. I have known the Lord as long as my memory can go back in time. My parents brought me up in the Lord. Our family was at the church door whenever it was open. I was baptized as an infant into the Presbyterian Church and most of my memories were at the Assembly of God Church growing up. I was very active in the choir, youth group, youth camp, helping with fundraising and cleaning up after church fellowships. Most teenagers had to be dragged to church. I as a teenager I looked forward to ever time the church was open for fellowship. My mother homeschooled me my final years of high school and I graduated from an accredited Correspondence School, American School of Chicago (many missionaries use this school). The school is 100+ years old.
My parents are going on 35 years of marriage as I write this. My dad is an engineer working with rockets most of his career. My mother is a dental assistant and worked mostly part-time during my years of growing up so she could be home with me and my brother. My brother, Josh is an engineer as well, married and living in Tampa, Florida.
Why have I never left home? Good question. As a student in school growing up, I did not excel in school, because of some learning disabilities. My parents worked diligently to get me the help I needed and stayed focused on my needs. When I was in kindergarten the doctors diagnosed me with auditory processing difficulties and coordination was poor, poor motor skills. The doctors gave my parents a grim picture. It will be hard for her to learn to write due to her poor motor skills and auditory processing will be a challenge in all subjects to process the information needed to learn. Well I had Bible believing, praying parents that knew that their God would guide them and they would trust Him, whatever the outcome. School for me was not a picnic, more like a war, every day. Kids treated me terribly due to my limits. Through the years as I look back, my God was with me. I never stopped loving, I never held a grudge, I forgave and continued to look to my Lord for the strength I needed each day. My parents finally decided to pull me out of public school my sophomore year, due to my getting lost in the shuffle. The teachers were not teaching, just pushing me through to get me out of there. That is why I finished high school in a homeschooling setting.
My first job was with McDonald’s. I loved it! It was a way to make money and move forward and it helped me feel a part of something good. I was 16 when I started and stayed with them for 5 years. I bought my first car with McDonald’s money. A friend at our church offered me a job at the local grocery store working the deli. I loved this job too. I learned to cook and obtained so many other skills. We were living in Pennsylvania during my final years of high school and into my young adulthood. I finished high school there and was happy working the deli. My father’s job transferred him to Bellville, TX and I decided to move with my parents. My brother was now in college and had left the nest. In Bellville I got a very good job at a local grocery store doing deli work and enjoying my job very much. Saving money, I bought a new car and enjoyed being a working woman. Then my father was offered a job in Magnolia, AR. He could not turn this great opportunity down. My family’s only concern was me. In the area of Arkansas they were considering, unemployment was high and it would most likely be hard for me to find a job. I decided to move with them and they were right, jobs are few and far between. My parents encouraged me to try school again; try to get a trade and see what happens. I was scared to death; my last encounter with school was not pleasant. I enrolled at Southern Arkansas University Tech and took one class, made an A and that was a confidences builder. The next semester I took a full load and was on the Dean’s List. I graduated with an Associate Degree in Office System Technologies, certified as a software specialist and am currently finishing up being certified in medical coding. I also took 6 months off from school and worked for Disney World and got my Ducktorate Degree. Ha! No kidding. God is good, prayers of my parents answered, my God proved all those doctors wrong. I’ve worked part-time during my time in Arkansas, not continually, only when the doors open. All of my part- time jobs have been working and serving the elderly in different aspects.
We live in a very confusing world and especially for the single folks, like me. My Lord showed me very early on in my life what marriage is about. It is about waiting for that very special person. I have waited and no one has met my standards. My standards for a mate are not about money, job security or even looks. My standards have been to find a man who loves the Lord with all his heart, to treat me as Christ does the church. I am 34 years old now and I am content. My Jesus has been my rock and His love has carried me through my single years. I will not settle for less. This is one area I am discerning my calling or vocation. My Lord has been my companion and do I need to take it a few more steps forward and become His mate? To serve His church where ever He calls? I have had this nagging thought about becoming a Nun that has continued since I became a Catholic, even during the process of becoming Catholic. I do not follow the material things of the world; sure comforts are nice, though they are not my focus. If my Lord is calling me into the religious life, I am ready to take the steps to hear His voice. I understand it is a process and I am willing to be obedient to that process. My fears are many and the most difficult one is leaving the nest. My family is very close and I enjoy family time. Though I know this might seem elementary to most, it is important to me.
As I shared with you earlier I was baptized in the Presbyterian Church and have been of the Protestant faith for many years. The Lord led my family to the Catholic Church five years ago. We were missing something in our faith and to make a long story short, it was the Blessed Eucharist. It took two years of RCIA to finally say “yes” on our journey into the Catholic Faith. Then, another year of RCIA for the continual learning experience, and finally into the Fullness of the Christian Faith on Easter 2009.
A visit with the XXXX XXXX Convent would be a great privilege and opportunity to help me with this process of discernment and I am praying whatever your will is Lord, I will follow.
I have one class left to finish my medical coding. The class is not until the spring semester. I want to use this time I have off to focus on my Lord and if a vocation in the religious life is for me, I hope the fall season will give me some answers. Just like the blackbirds many fall seasons ago, my answer came, “they are Ravens.”
I understand I am a New Catholic, I have been a Christian from the time of my infant Baptism, growing in the faith, confessing Jesus as my Lord and still to this day my conversion is not complete and will not be until I see Him face to face.
Peace be with you all and God’s mighty Blessing continue to flow, Jeanine
To keep you updated I will con't to add post on my blog concerning her journey. Click on the following links:
To keep you updated I will con't to add post on my blog concerning her journey. Click on the following links: