As summer comes to a close and a new school year begins, special needs families can start to feel concern, anxiety, and possibly fears over the year ahead.
This year our son Ryan, who has Down syndrome, is a senior, and I can still feel the same concerns and anxiety I felt when we started the school journey all those years ago. It seems like just yesterday that he turned three, and had aged out of our early intervention program and was ready to start Stark County Integrated Preschool (SCiP). This also meant that he could ride the bus to and from the school for the program. When my husband and I agreed to let him ride the bus, it never dawned on me that my baby was going to toddle out to a big yellow bus, try and climb the steps and ride off to school (without me!) I worried about something going wrong and him not being able to tell someone.
The first day of school came, and he got on the bus, crawling up the steps. He sat in the front seat and waved out the window to me as it drove away. As that big yellow bus pulled away from the house, I panicked ran to my minivan jumped in, and sped down the street to follow it (leaving my husband to stand in the drive wondering what in the world I was doing!?) I turned on to the road only to see two buses in front of me. We came to a four-way stop, and one bus went straight, and the other turned left. I yelled out loud. Which one is my baby on?! I felt like I needed to make sure he made it to school and was safe. Of course, he made it safely to school, was well cared for and came home a happy guy.
I am better about Ryan leaving on the bus and not knowing which way he went, (I now have an app that shows me where he is these days!) But, seriously today I still have the same concerns as I did that first day. I also know the maker of the heavens and earth have gone before Ryan and us, and we are in his mighty hands. I also know that the Bible to tells us in 1 Peter 5:7 to cast all of our anxiety on Him because Hhe cares for you. So today let’s all pray and cast all (not some, but all) our fears and anxieties on the Lord.
It is going to be a GREAT school year!
“This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!”
Amy is the Special Needs Ministry Director for The Chapel Green. She grew up at The Chapel and has been married to her husband Mark for more than 20 years. They have two children, Abby and Ryan. Ryan was born in 2001 with Down Syndrome. As her family began the journey with a special needs child, the Lord placed on her heart that Ryan came into the world to make a difference and that God had a plan for his life—even with an extra chromosome. (Jeremiah 29:11.) Amy was inspired to come alongside other families to support, love and share with them that their children are made perfectly in God’s image and tell them how much Jesus loves each of us. Amy is the author of It’s More Ups Than Downs and when she is not working, she enjoys being with her family, sunshine, flip flops and reading a great fictional history book.