I’m in a state of weird, nebulous conflict when I think about Jack. He is doing really pretty well, at his home anyway. It’s not going as well at school. He knocked out his school principal’s tooth. For real. He is sometimes having to be restrained. He still occasionally bashes his head into walls and doors.
None of this makes me comfortable. The tooth incident is horrifyingly awful. I feel quite helpless. Jeff and I don’t know how to make any of this better. We pray every day for the safety of those who interact with Jack.
And then there is this blog. I’m using it to track my life as it continues with Jack away. But it’s awkward for me to discuss his ongoing behaviors that hurt people and destroy property. I have this underlying sense that everyone would prefer to see glowing reports of Jack making steady, positive progress. If he has to live in a group home, then of course we all want to see that the new setting is simply ideal–that it has solved all the problems.
But this is reality, not a fairy tale. And while I do believe Jack’s story is moving toward a glorious resolution (someday, eternally), we aren’t currently in that place.
Jack is no longer beating up me or his brothers, but he is hitting, kicking, and biting his caregivers and educators. I’m not on the front lines anymore in a physical sense, but other people are. What about their safety? And they aren’t related to Jack and can’t possibly feel the same, deep obligation to him that I feel. What now?
In this turbulence (particularly every morning at 5:00 am when I’m awake despite wanting to be asleep, stewing over things as they unfold), I keep remembering the process of placing Jack in residential care. It was inspired, all of it. Once we knew it had to happen, we proceeded. I had never done it before, so I was learning it as I went. I saw that any time I tried to make decisions based on my own understanding of the process, God gently redirectly my efforts, leading us to Jack’s current placement. My plans (two separate plans!) fell apart. The path God had in store for Jack unfolded clearly. Jeff and I felt that He was showing us the correct plan for Jacky.
So, basically, at five am every day I ask myself, “Do I have enough faith to trust that plan?”
God loves Jack. He loves me. He loves the people Jack is beating up. He knows everything. I’m sure He knows how to see us through this vale of tears and knocked out teeth. He sees the outcome, even though I don’t.
When one feels helpless, what is one to do? I am fostering my patience as I blow gently on the embers of my faith, which sometimes wanes when it comes to Jack and healing and solutions.
Wait on the Lord, basically. Keep praying. Focus outward, on somebody else.
Jesus knows–me and Jack, and the principal’s tooth, and the head-bashing, et al.