"From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised." Psalm 113:3

Friday, May 3, 2013

Firefly Friday. Church.

It's been another long time since a Firefly Friday post.  These really wear me out, you see.  There's so much tied up in them, so much FEELING and fear and guilt and stress.  And as Firefly gets older, I struggle sometimes with putting all of this out there for her to see someday, or for others who know her to see.  She's starting to figure it out, that she's unique.  And she's not really all that happy about it, most times.

I hesitate to write about our struggles because I feel like it will make them happen more.  That it's just depressing.  That I'm whining.

But I hesitate to write about the good, sometimes, too--afraid I'm going to jinx it or--well, mostly afraid I'm going to jinx it.

I try to tell myself that this outlet I am using here on my blog is helping someone else in the same boat.  Maybe that's just me trying to put a grand spin on it, or maybe it's me looking for an excuse, or maybe it's actually true.

But, for now, today, in the interest of REAL, I'm going to go for it...

Picture this:  Easter Sunday, at Granddaddy's house, and hubby says he wants us all to go to Church. 

 My first thought, instead of "of course!  We should all go to Church!", is, "Oh no."

I should start this by saying that I love God.  I am ever so eternally thankful that He sent us His Son.  I can never live up to the grace He gives me simply because I am His daughter.  I am thrilled beyond belief that my husband and children know God, too.

But church?  On Easter Sunday?  During a road trip?

Uh-uh.  Not for us.

Let me tell you why my "red flag detector" went into overdrive.  Although it looked like a simple exercise to my husband (who I love so very much but who also works a LOT and therefore misses out on the very best / worst of Firefly's issues on a daily basis...), this church deal was big time.


1.  Firefly was tired.  We had traveled the day before.  In the car.  Which she hates.  She didn't sleep well the night before because she wasn't at home in her own bed.

2.  She was stressed out.  We weren't at home.  With her own stuff.

3.  There was a lot of screen time in the previous 24 hours.  A LOT.  Firefly and screens are not a good match.

4.  She would have to dress up.  My legging-wearing, Croc-loving girl would have to wear a dress.  AND dress shoes.  (We did draw the line at tights, thank goodness!)

5.  It was going to be loud.  With lots of people.  I mean, have you ever been to an Easter service that wasn't standing room only?

6.  And speaking of standing room only, we would be the ones standing, unless we went early and subjected Firefly (and ourselves) to extra sitting time.

7.  It was going to be long.  And she was going to have to be still.  And quiet.  For over an hour.

Looking at that list, my "rational" Mommy-brain is saying, "but she's ten years old.  She should be expected to be able to handle getting dressed for church and going to an Easter service.  Jesus rose, for Pete's sake.  Let's go celebrate it!"

My "guilt" Mommy-brain is saying, "how long are you going to enable her?  Aren't you making it worse for her later if you cater to her so much now?"

My (either "sensitive and caring" or "not wanting to fight") other Mommy-brain says, "man, this is so hard for her.  Why did I try to make it work?"

We did, though--try to make it work, at least.  We dragged a tired, uncomfortably-dressed Firefly into Easter service.  The church (not our own--we were out of town, remember?) was gorgeous!  Massive, marble, white, and echo-ey.  Filled to the brim--as in, it held 1200 people and 1400 were there.

We made it through fifteen minutes.  

And then spent sixty in the gardens right outside the church.  (Beautiful day, though!)

Echoes.  Standing.  Crowded.  Loud.  Strange.  Itchy.  Still.  Long.

This is church to my Firefly.

And you know what I'm wondering?

Why doesn't God make an exception?  Church--one hour in a week set aside to honor Him.  We sing to Him, praise Him, partake in His body and His blood.  

So why can't He make Firefly, who loves Him with all of her soul, make it through the hour?

We've mostly stopped going to church on a weekly basis at our home church.  I think know it might be is because of this struggle I'm having.  I hate having to drag Firefly there--and then back out again, halfway through the service.  But more, I hate that I have to do it.

Am I mad at God?  

I think, yes, a little.

Is it ridiculous to be mad at Him because it's so hard to have my child worship Him?

I think, yes, a lot.

And then, I think of all of those little ones--little ones with autism, severe developmental delays, physical ailments that keep them from being able to worship our Lord the way we think they should worship.

God made them.

God loves them.

He knows their hearts and what they love and how they think.  Who am I to second-guess that?  

Is church a time and place, or is it a way of living?

I'm sure everyone has their opinion, and I'd love to hear it--respectfully, if you don't mind.  

What struggles do you have with your special-needs child and worshipping?  How do you work through or around it?

For now, we're choosing to love God "with all our hearts, and with all our souls, and with all our might".  It just might not be in a loud, echo-ey, crowded church for quite a while.

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