James has been trying so hard to slough off that afternoon nap. I found the picture on the left particularly adorable
If any of you want to use the icons that I will
The one on the left came about as a result of me making various noises to James, seeing how he responded to each of them. And the one on the right was a casual picture taken of him as he sat on my bed. This facial expression thing has to be genetic...
In the last 9 months, I've been praying and thinking how I could volunteer at Fellowship Bible Church in their special needs program on Sunday mornings, after I found out about it through another Speech Pathology student at school. It seemed like a great program when she told me about working with autistic children (this is the population I am really hoping to work with once I graduate). However, I'm already a member of another church, so I wasn't sure how it would work out and at the time I didn't want to leave my church. I'm not one that likes change, especially when it involves doing something on my own.
Over a month ago, God finally set before me the opportunity to talk to the director of the special needs program at Fellowship. I made that jump after hanging onto a frail limb for too long, and it was the most exhilarating jump I've made in a long time. God is amazing! He gave me the courage I needed, and was faithful on His promise to deliver me from the pain I was suffering. It took 4 years, but God's timing is always perfect. He knew when my vulnerability and desperation was at its peak. He knew it was finally time to relieve me of the heavy burden that had become a festering idol in my heart. So, I made the decision to leave my church and start attending Fellowship. I even received the approval of my pastor, who has been supportive and loving with my decision.
The only thing that has been unsettling through all of this is the lack of, well anything, from those I thought were friends or even those I associated with. Maybe it's the way I left? I don't know, but when you don't hear a word from anyone from a church you were saved in... that stings a lot. But this journey of change has really opened my eyes to a lot of things. Not only where it concerns friends, but also where my priorities lie. Along the way, God is bringing me closer to him and giving me confidence in myself and in Him. I no longer worry about trying so hard to fit in with a certain group of people who honestly didn't care about me in the first place. I am also free of the burden that crippled me for the last 4 years. I am happy. And I can only give thanks to Jesus for answering my prayers and liberating me.
I am sad for leaving, but I am not sad for leaving behind people who have showed me they don't care. God places people in our lives, even if for a season, to help us learn to love them despite difficulties or flaws. I have learned that. I may have not connected with some, but I will always love them despite my disagreement with the way they act. We all have faults, especially myself, so I have no right to point the finger at anyone. I am just grateful that I don't allow myself to suffer for the sake of acceptance that doesn't come.
Instagram's filters definitely help out with this. I'm not even going to lie. And given that it is notoriously difficult to get good pictures of James since he likes to be on the move so much, it pleases me when I am able to do so. Here are two such pictures!