Therapy and Mom: Rethinking My Role in God's Eyes

While attending a continuing education session for my speech-language pathology license, I was struck by how intimately the divine hand of God works in all things, especially Rachel’s life.

Almost 20 years ago, I fell onto my face in a little Bible study group and busted out the ugly cry, telling them, “I don’t know what I am supposed to do with my life!”

Little did I know how completely God would answer the prayer which followed. In my career and schooling as a speech-language pathologist, God led me to people who would teach me what I needed and to children who needed what I had learned.

Then God gave me Rachel, an adorable little package, which included autism and apraxia.

Throughout her life, I have felt inadequate. (Honestly, I’ve felt inadequate about motherhood since my first bout with morning sickness…)

But with Rachel … I KNOW this stuff. I should be able to help her. I’ve helped others like her. I should be able to do more. God, help me!

And that was exactly where God wanted me and always wants me to stay. Once I ask God for wisdom and understanding, He answers. Do I always like what happens? No. Do I always follow? Nope, to my own detriment. Sometimes, I cannot see the answer until looking back later.

For years I’ve hurt because I have a house full of therapy materials, but can’t seem to use them with Rachel. Yet, God has led us to therapists who helped Rachel in other areas.  Always, I cried out for wisdom, wondering why I lacked so much, not seeing that God was answering that prayer through OTHERS who were giving Rachel exactly what she needed.

So at the conference, I asked Dr. Strand at the Mayo Clinic how to work with Rachel. Tears dripping down my face, I said, “I have an attic full of therapy materials, but I can’t seem to make them work.”

She shook her head. “That’s because you don’t need them.” She went on to say that I needed to be face-to-face with no distractions. Just Rachel, me and the words. She also reaffirmed how difficult it is for moms to do double duty as therapist.

There you have it. All these years of angst … Perhaps I wouldn’t appreciate the freedom I felt in that moment had I not spent so many years imagining how I failed Rachel as both a therapist and a mother.

My point? Trust God. Pray for wisdom and understanding. Ask God to lead you deeper into His heart. And focus on one thing at a time. God often gives us just enough light for the next step, so don’t get ahead of yourself or Him.

Hugs, sisters!