Sometimes life just goes off course, and I don’t mean by a little bit. No, I mean the kind of day when you land in the under construction zone, skid into the ditch, have a blown tire because you failed to see the curb or take the wrong exit all because you missed yours three signs back kind of bad day. Not a flat tire, take a U-turn, get back on the highway kind of day, nope I mean, a total collision, ejection, skidding on the pavement, followed by your gas tank exploding kind of day. These are the kind of days, maybe even months when you know you have been completely thrown off course, your break lines cut, careening full throttle towards a brick wall. These are the times you smack your head with both hands because you have no control of your approaching and seemingly impending doomed future. This wall of distress, doubt and dread seems impossible to get around, without an escape route anywhere in sight, and all we can do is watch the agony and suffering continue to push full speed ahead into our lives.
I will admit I know this feeling all too well. For the past five months my family has been living this very same kind of day, almost like a sadistic ground hog day to be honest. None of us thought we would land here, or that we would have to face such painful affliction and grief but the truth is here we are. If I have learned anything from this journey we all our on, it is this: to endure. We have no certainty, no promise of another day, but we do have faith and hope. Despite the turmoil, the worries and the deep dark pits of terror and screams of panic echoing around us, we can trust, having confidence and conviction in the One who has known us since before we were born, counting each and every hair on our heads, (and yes even when I had no hair He counted the ones ready to sprout). Even in the middle of such conflict, our small, but not dim flashlights are never diminished, instead they allow light to shine through our alarm and dread.
I won’t tell you we haven’t asked God where He was when the bullying started over a year ago, or when the blow to my son’s head came to meet us face to face on campus this last September changing our lives forever. I won’t say I haven’t cried myself to sleep wondering why so much ignorance seems to have conquered the reasoning of our local school district nor can I honestly say I haven’t had days when I feel we have been abandoned and lost to the abuse, the breach of confidence and the crime of injustice in the handling of our son’s case. Today is the first time since September 14, 2012, just 9 days following our son’s assault since I shared on my blog. It has been a very long and harsh process as we have moved him toward recovery, and while many times I have longed to sit down and write, I have been emotionally void of making sense of my thoughts here for you my friends.
Through the years you have listened as I shared how Johnny and I have always taught our boys to forgive, to turn the other cheek and to move past bitterness. Has it been easy, no not at all, but despite the circumstances we have always tried to allow mercy to prevail. Yet, not all parents or even administrators in our schools have the ability to rise above pettiness. Unfortunately, most choose to take a heartless stance and trample over those they feel can be aggressively targeted and silenced, despite the damage they cause. These injuries to our children, physically, emotionally and mentally on a daily basis at the hands of both administrators and our children’s peers is beyond what my mind can comprehend. The ease our school districts accept and welcome the grievances, inequality and indignity of such deceitful, deceptive environments our children are subjected to should alarm us. Instead because we either fear retaliation ourselves against our children or we judge these parents as pests, exaggerating the real circumstances, most add to the oppression and persecution of these families standing up to Goliath. Sadly, most of these practices go unchecked, allowing for the continued victimization of our children while in the care of our public school system.
Our story, has been covered up, our voices been silenced as our son has endured isolation and devastation all while the school has known about each complete life altering, changing and unbearable injury our son has and is facing. So far our son has undergone one surgery for his nose with a spinal tap this week and another surgery to align his eyes in the coming months. Since September 5, 2012, the day our son was assaulted on his high school campus, where he should have been protected and safe, we have tried to get to the bottom of what happened in the locker room but over and over again we have been dismissed by our son’s high school and their administrators. We have been looked at and treated as an annoyance, a blight and a blister on their perfect record, as they have done their best to conceal, camouflage, and put up a smokescreen while covering-up the evidence and the advance of dangerous, but deadly and formidable bullies inside their own campus. Katy ISD calls themselves a destination school district yet they have failed to protect, shelter, shield, guard, and defend their students as crimes are disregarded, glossed over, hidden, neglected, and overlooked leaving those not inside the privileged circles vulnerable to abuse, neglect and physical assault time and time again.
Our son’s injuries have been life altering since he took a surprise blow to his head while changing in the locker room resulting in seizures, debilitating, incapacitating headaches, tremors, depression, expressive and receptive delays, and vision issues that now require surgery. His septum was so severely deviated during the attack his septum was literally forced to the front of his nose. The Katy ISD police department and the campus have no suspect to charge nor have they done a proper investigation into the assault or the known bullies who were already harassing, stalking and threatening to attack our son for over a year. We had to fight for a police report and even with that it took the campus over 4 months to finally speak with witnesses and we have yet to be given due process since we filed a complaint with the district on January 16,2013. If you are a rational person, then you are left as we are with a palm to the face, realizing we have an epidemic in our country watching our school systems go very bad.
So yes, we could be bitter as life has gone off course, jumped a few tracks, missed several exits, blown a few tires all at once and been twisted around a tree, only after first rapidly accelerating through a solidly built brick wall. I can’t tell you how many times we have had to come as a family before our Father, asking Him to remind us of who we are to Him, being reassured we are loved and not forsaken. It’s not been an easy road at all, cancer took as much as she could, but God restored our lives, brought us closer to not only one another but to Him in the process. Who knew cancer was just a stepping stone to this? Cancer taught us so much about fortitude and might; it was truly the beginning of the foundation of our strength. Now with this new path we have been placed upon as a family, totally in a different direction from where we thought we were headed, we can see courage and durability emerging.
Again, I ask, why are we so afraid, haven’t we seen His grace and mercy prevail time and time again? Sure we can wait for tomorrow all we want but we still have to get through today right? So we could be bitter, we could be angry, blaming God for all this pain and suffering, but if we are to overcome any of this turmoil we must be willing to grab His hands reaching down not only to save us but to restore our lives as well. Even in the middle of such hostility the lesson we relentlessly want to leave our boys is this: Don’t hide who you really are, don’t allow the darkness others try to fill your life with captivate you or the light inside your heart. When those who come to destroy and spoil your joy with bitterness, grief, misery, sorrow and unhappiness remember our Father makes beautiful things out of our brokenness. He crafts us into beautiful stained glass windows despite the reasons why we were broken into pieces to begin with. No matter who or what comes out of the darkness to stand against us, we are not alone, ever. Our experiences build us; create in us stories that speak of our bravery and His faithfulness and while they jar us off the course we set for ourselves, they seldom take us in a direction God hadn’t already shed a light on first!