Remember my last published article Wonderstruck and the news of Ian’s new amazing job? Remember my honest confession of my guarded heart waiting for the other shoe to drop? Well, that other shoe did drop. After less than three full weeks, Ian lost his job. And no… I’m not kidding.
We are gutted and still processing it all. And Ian…well…is humbled and heartbroken. It will take time. It wasn’t one thing, and not entirely Ian’s fault, but with his brain injury limitations, he was unable to handle the responsibility and exhibited poor judgement. Concerned about their liability, the school had to let him go.
The ‘debrief’ meeting happened the day I was traveling to PA to see my mother. Doug, much cooler and less emotional than I, cleared his morning to be present. The principal cried as she delivered the final blow, “The kids just love you as I knew they would and I so wanted this to work, but I’m sorry, today will be your last day.” Even Doug’s request for a probationary period was denied.
Its humbling to share the truth after my previous article that I still can’t read without crying, because every bit of it was true. How did I get it so wrong?
But maybe I wasn’t wrong. Maybe this opportunity, even though short-lived, was needed to convince Ian of the full scope of his challenges and open his eyes to reality. Perhaps too, it was necessary to experience what it feels like to have meaningful and rewarding work to fuel his resilience and motivation.
Regardless of why Ian had to crash and burn in his first ever career job, digging through the wreckage will take time.
Just as You Are
Even though my heavy heart was stuck in Albuquerque I tried to be present for the other people I love. I stopped in Pittsburgh to see my daughter Becca, my niece Skyler and her sweet daughter, Dylan. Having just celebrated her first birthday, Dylan grabbed her gift, an unwrapped Little Blessings cardboard book, eager to chew on the corner. The truth of the simple book, “God Love’s Me”, hit me with fresh relevance. God’s unconditional love was the chorus repeated on every page. “God loves you just as you are.”
My eyes got misty as I thought about the shame Ian must have felt. At a table with his dad and four other adults, he had to hear about all he did wrong.
Thankful to be away a few days to gather myself before facing it, I’ve been praying. Praying about what is next but also how to best encourage Ian. No matter what I say, the message of grace must pave the way. Grace– there is nothing you can do for God to love you anymore. There is nothing you can do for God to love you any less.
Frankly grace should always pave the way. Given the polarized climate we live in, maybe you need to hear it. Whether you’re republican or democrat, God loves you as you are. Whether vaccinated or not, God loves you as you are. Rich or poor, black or white or red or yellow, God loves you the way you are.
God doesn’t just say He loves us, He showed us.
Romans 5:8 “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners”
Back to the Basics
When I’m especially overwhelmed by the circumstances of life, I have found it helpful to go back to the basics. And nothing is more basic and foundational than God’s love.
The way I see it, we are all hard wired to give and receive love, even during a pandemic when our world is in crisis. Especially in a pandemic when our world is in crisis.
Here’s some Motivation
Did you know that starting with love is even helpful for our immune system? Our cells literally open up and become better equipped to absorb the nutrition in the food we eat. Conversely when we’re filled with fear, our cells constrict and produce cortisol which is our important fight/flight response hormone. That adrenaline becomes important when we’re running from a bear, but when fear becomes chronic, that same important hormone wrecks havoc on our immune system.
The Heart Math Institute has done extensive research on heart brain science using a measure called the Heart Rate Variability, HRV. They found that our resilience to the world and its stressors can be measured by our HRV. And guess what they’ve scientifically proven? Love is one of the most powerful healing forces in the world. When we allow God’s love for us to permeate our being and when we follow God’s command to love, our heart is literally healthier.
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love casts out fear.
A Short List of Love’s benefits…
- Lowered cortisol
- Improved immune function
- Enhanced focus
- Improved sleep
- Lessened anxiety
- Lessened depression
No wonder Mother Teresa wisely said, “There is more hunger for love in this world than for bread.”
Dear Loving Father, Thank you for loving me, just as I am. Help me to receive your abundant, radical, perfect love so that I’m better equipped for navigating this rocky world. Thank you for Ian and for making me his mom. Please help me and guide me as I attempt to pave the way with love. Amen.
Emmy Browning says
Oh Debbie. How heartbreaking for Ian and all of you. Praying that another opportunity will come along.
God is good.
Thank you Emmy! We’re along for the ride.
Deana Heisler says
Heartbreaking to read. You are along for the ride and what a ride it is. Sending hugs and love and JOY
Thank you Deana. That is my prayer too. With time away from the situation I have a sense that someday it will make sense. I accept your hugs and love and joy. 🙂
Debbie your writing is beautiful and always gives me the right direction to go. As you know life is tough. We just need to take it one day at a time and think about all the blessings we have. Keeping Ian your Mom you and your family in my prayers. Hugs
Thank you Dottie. Your prayers are appreciated.
Helen Marie Brigham says
Debbie, this was a wonderful learning experience for Ian, the good, the bad and the ugly. Boundaries and limits are challenging for all of us, even more so for Ian who perhaps learns more from consequences and results than from words. He will grieve this loss but with Gods grace will be better prepared for his next gig. God is good and he will see Ian through this. Blessings to all of you, Helen Marie
Helen-Marie… you nailed it…. he does learn everything the hard way. Oh I hope you’re right.
Cat McKenzie says
Have heart, Ian did learn a valuable Adult Life Lesson from his experience. “The Kids Loved him”,that can never be taken away,sound familiar ? ‘That can never be taken away’, like God’s Love perhaps ? Now he knows ,we all know through you, Kids may well be his forte,it’s just in searching that we find ourselves,it’s through failure we learn how success feels. Remembering that no matter what, God loves us and no matter what, God has His reasons. Life Lessons are never easy ,at least in my experience,never a Coincidence either. Something is afoot here. God will give all of you the Love to get through this bump,He has before and He will again and THAT’S the Guiding Star for all time, and the crux of what I see from this heartfelt message. Thank you !
Hope you finally got home OK, I hate Airports for the very reason that I get stuck every. single. time .fretting, moving from Gate to Gate, anxiety off the wall. Once actually in the air,it’s fine.
Thanks for weighing in. Sometimes life lessons just stink when you’re going through them. I know you’re right.
My prayer is that God will open the doors to the perfect place for Ian to work and thrive.
Dorma, Thanks for your prayers. ME TOO!
Aww…my heart breaks for all of you 😘 may God open and even better door…..
Sending huge hugs!!!
Thank you Cinda. Amen to an even better door… or I’ll take a window!
Mary Seal says
You’re looking at the world through hope-colored glasses. There is nothing wrong with that!! That’s what moms do.
Love that. Yes!!!! Hope colored glasses.
My heart aches for Ian and I so hope that the word shame as used in your writing, “I thought about the shame Ian must have felt.” is never heard by him. There is no shame in failing, the real shame would be in not trying. Yes, he is sure to feel less than adequate, but it’s not his inadequacy but his medical condition that causes it. Please don’t use the word shame in this context!
Oh Linda, I couldn’t be more proud of Ian. And I am not ashamed of him. But sadly it will take God’s penetrating love to heal those thoughts of inadequacy. Thanks for the clarification.
Julia Merson says
I am so sorry that this door was closed causing such pain for Ian. Praying that the God will
open another door and opportunity soon that will be even better for him.
Praying for you and Doug as you support him and encourage him. May we be an encouragement to you and your family as you are such an encouragement to us.
With Love and Prayer.
What a sweet thought! I love the Body of Christ! ❤️❤️❤️
Liz Bass says
Oh, Debbie, I know your mother’s heart is broken. No mom ever wants to see their child disappointed. I pray this experience will serve to make Ian even more determined to succeed in his next opportunity and I know there will just have to be that chance. Ian is so great with kids and they do love him so.
I hold your whole family in my prayers.
Thank you Liz. My mamas 💔 is broken. But we’ll keep on keeping on.
Ginger Horner says
Hi Deb, my heart broke when I heard about what happened. Your blog—love letter to us and God—was very wise and loving.
I just know with Ian’s love of children, God has a special place for him to serve. Life lessons are hard. Ian has living, caring parents who look to God for guidance. You are both wonderful and loved.
Always prayers for all of you.
Thank you Ginger for you kind support!
Anne kole says
Debbie, my heart aches for Ian, you, and Doug. But my heart rejoices with the responses to your honesty! Open doors and windows! Hope! Praying for Ian to find his place to be helpful, happy, and useful. God knew Ian before he came to be, and placed him in your family with love and purpose. I admire your tenacity, love, hope, and faith. I admire Ian’s desire to work and contribute. And I admire Doug’s steady strength. Most of all, thank you for focusing on God’s love during this time. His strength shows up through our weakest times. He’s hanging on to you and Doug, and your son Ian. Praying for all of you.
Thank you Anne. Gods love is fueling me. 💕
My heart goes out to all of you! May God surround you all with his love and healing Grace!
Thank you Gail! We’re counting on it.
I have no wise words to offer just my heart and tears, and prayers.
I know. But thanks for riding with me, both up and down.
I’m so very sorry! I’m sure he was a wonderful teacher but sometimes the boundaries we have to live within make wonderful not enough. Blessings to all of you.
He was an educational assistant. But yes… he was not enough. This covid climate and the rigidity in the elementary school didnt help matters.
Dear Debbie – I have no words, but offer lots of prayers for each of you . . .
And we gratefully accept. Thank you for riding along with us.
Betsy Everett says
Thanks as always Debbie for giving us insight into a lesson that we all share and reminding us that LOVE is the most important of all. Praying for you all.
Thanks Betsy. Love does win. And we will too. Miss you friend.
Angie Thurman says
Thanks for being transparent. Life is not fair but God is good.
The good the bad and the ugly… Argh.
Ruthie Mendoza says
Debbie, what a tough experience for Ian and for all of you. Learning what is possible with a brain impacted by damage is quite a journey. Your love and faith are, as you know and express so beautifully, the key.
Thanks for your kind support. Quite a journey indeed.
No words of wisdom for you, just know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and I love you all!
Thank you! Your prayers are welcomed!
Tina V says
And the beat goes on…a song from our era…our hearts though broken continue to beat. Why? Because Gods not finished with Us yet. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us he has plans to prosper, and to give us hope and a future. Prayers for all of you to sit in his love, for Ian to accept Gods love for him and for all of you to have the patience to see it all unfold and reveal Gods glory!
And the beat goes on. True dat! 🙏
Mary Werner says
Oh, Debbie, Debbie, Debbie! God knew what he was doing when he put you and Ian together!!! You are an extraordinary mom! I marvel at your love and determination to help make Ian’s life the best possible. It is clear you would climb any mountain, cross any ocean to get Ian where he is safe and successful. NOTHING WILL KNOCK YOU DOWN!!!
From completing “Emotionally Healthy Relationships” class, I feel that IAN is bringing YOU closer to GOD. As you go through all these “experiences” with Ian, YOU develop new and fresh insights that you pass onto us. You are such an inspiration to all your followers. We all love you and pray for you, Ian and your family. You are an incredible role model snd I’m so glad you are in my life!!!
Oh Mary… this article was from over a year ago. I had to go back and re-read it. Oh how fresh it made that rejected feeling. But God is good. Ian is in a different and better place. So all over again I see God’s hand. Thanks for your kind comment.