The Spirit of Ruth

So I’ve been trying to figure out what to say about our trip to DC last week.

By far, the highlight was seeing one of my dearest friends and college roommie, Cha. One of the schools we visited advised me in advance to bring a caregiver for Rhema. Cha took off work and spent the day with us serving as Rhema’s “caregiver” while Jill and I met with admissions people and toured the schools. (Jill is the director of Rhema’s school and has been a HUGE blessing to us! Her professional input is/was invaluable. I’m so thankful she came with us.)

In terms of schooling, we were not able to find an appropriate fit for Rhema in DC.

It’s not for lack of trying… I’ve spent hours going over referrals, making phone calls and even visiting schools.

I won’t bore with details, but suffice it to say this mama is riled up and we are duking it out with the Department of the Army. We are desperately trying to get an assignment where we’re confident Rhema can get the education and medical care she needs.

We have been around and around and up and down so many times in recent weeks. One minute I’m hopeful that we’ll get to stay in Boston. The next minute I’m told it might be Pennsylvania. Or New Jersey. Yesterday it was Kansas City. Today, it’s looking like DC again. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

All I know is that I have a child with significant needs, and I have no idea where we’ll be living in 2.5 months. I’m pretty used to adventures by now, but this is a bit unnerving.

God is doing something in my heart, though.

I feel all unworthy and risky sharing this for many reasons, but here goes:

On my wedding day – before 9/11 and deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and children and autism happened to us – I said to my husband these words from the book of Ruth:

“Entreat me not to leave thee,
or to return from following after thee:
for whither thou goest, I will go;
and where thou lodgest, I will lodge:
thy people shall be my people,
and thy God my God:
Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried:
the LORD do so to me, and more also,
if ought but death part thee and me.”

Over the past month, I have whispered and rehearsed those words. My heart is here in Massachusetts. And I believe that this is, without a doubt, the best place for Rhema. And I will always fight for what is best for her. But I want the spirit of Ruth. She went on simple faith, believing that wherever she went, God would make a place for her and her family.

And maybe this post is rambling and more for Brandon (and me) than anyone else. But I have friends like me. We get in Mama-Bear-Mother-Warrior mode and nothing else matters but the fight. I dare say there is something even more important than the IEP meeting or the right therapy or the right school program. The relationship with your husband – do not neglect it.  

My husband is not necessarily well-versed on TEACH or Floortime or ABA or the latest debate and trend in autism treatment. But he trusts me to tell him what Rhema needs and then he does everything in his power to get it for her. If I read a book and tell him Rhema needs to see that doctor – the one who wrote the book – he makes it happen. If I decide she needs to listen to Gregorian chant at high frequencies to improve her auditory system (seriously), but it’s not covered by insurance, he scarfs up the money. He is one of Rhema’s best advocates.

As we battle the Army right now over military orders, he is literally putting his own career on the line. It is not lost on me how blessed we are to have a husband and father who is determined to be there, to have our back, to protect and provide. There is certainly nothing I have done to deserve such a man; only God’s grace.

I don’t know where Uncle Sam is going to send him next, but wherever it is,  I am so there…

even if it’s



24 thoughts on “The Spirit of Ruth

  1. Those of us lucky enough to have the amazing men in our children’s life ‘stick around’ somehow are also lucky enough to see them fight with all their soul right next to the way they can. I am so glad your husband, Rhema’s father is one of those. I am so lucky my husband is as well.

    I hope the Army loses this fight! Because Rhema *needs* to win.

  2. Hang in there Mama Bear. Look back. God’s got you covered. Rhema is covered. He will be with you and before you where ever you go.

    Even DC. 🙂

    11 For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 (New American Standard Bible)

  3. Jeneil I am praying that God gives you confidence and strength and peace as you trust that he is sending you to the right place for your family. He won’t let you down…in fact, I’m sure he has something huge in store for you wherever you go.

  4. If NJ is a choice I would highly recommend it. Lots of great ABA centers there. Head and shoulders above MA. in their ABA training IMO.

  5. So sorry about the schools. This post resonates with me, as I’m sure you can imagine. Wishing you all the luck in the world. Choices likes these are so difficult, and the ache of not knowing is even worse. Our search is more international, but I’m determined to find a school as good as the one Pudding attends now. Thinking of you.

  6. Ugh, how frustrating. Having recently gone through the hoops for the potential move that I thought would be the best thing for Nigel (and Aidan), I know how difficult it is to have everything up in the air, depending on different factors outside of your control. I can’t help but be reminded of one of my favorite verses that I learned in childhood (I went to a Baptist school for four years): “God makes everything work together for the good of those who love Him.” Not sure if I remembered it exactly, but I first learned it almost 30 years ago, and it still keeps me going! xo

  7. thanks for the shout-out. it was so fun to see you and be the honorary caregiver for the day!

    i agree with blackknightsbrood… look back.

    you are not alone, no matter where you go.

    thank God for brandon. thanks for recalling those marriage vows… the “for better or for worse” doesn’t seem to mean anything anymore, but it’s really meaningful when you see it lived out.

    love you to life… just another chance for God to show up.

  8. Before you put your husband’s career on the line for an autism school I would look long and hard on what you define as progress. Many parents can become attached to particular providers but in reality she may be very capable of making the same amount of progress elsewhere. In the long run, family and a job will provide more security than any school.

  9. this must be so difficult and i can feel your struggle in this post. you are very strong, and i know you will make the best of whatever is to come. hang in there!

  10. Pingback: Stayin’ Put « Autism In a Word

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