Not Normal

My phone is buzzing and I see it is school. Again.

I receive the call and hear the school secretary saying that my 8t h grade daughter is in the office crying.


Today began with so much hope. She studied hard for this final test. She recited the presidents to me in order from start to finish. The stress of trying so hard to remember locked her brain down and now she’s weeping.

Through hiccups she says, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me, Mama. Why do I do this?” She is asking, “Why me?”“Why does MY body take everything so hard that it cries out?” “Why can’t I be normal?”

My body gears up to protect my vulnerable cub. I try to take a breath. I ask her what she needs. Simple answer? Out. She wants out.

Me too, baby girl, me too.

The past nine years of tears, fear, timed tests and failure are about to change for my girl. She has cried out and we have heard.

We have been listening for a long time, but we also bought the party line, “If she endures through these seasons, then someday it will all be worth it.”

What I have learned through Dan Allender, Chip Dodd and other teachers is that it may not be worth it.

What we call endurance may be trauma that stays with her for years.

My daughter’s sensory system was calibrated at a fever pitch from her first breath. The test today felt like trauma to her body. And, who is to say that her tiny body didn’t receive the generations of trauma that preceded her life?

I believe it did.

I hate the fallenness of this world. I despise that my pain and the pain of generations before me has translated into a sensory disorder.

She is fearfully and wonderfully made, and I cannot for the life of me make her be able to “test better” or not melt down when the sensory input of life feels like an slow electrocution. We need Jesus so fully this day. I need him to bridge every gap that DNA and a fallen world has left in my child’s body and soul.

My hopes for her are too numerous to write. Today though, I hope she knows that this test is not a reflection on who she is or her intelligence. I hope she learns that her parents are listening, fighting, and praying for her. I hope she can bless her body that cries often. I hope that healing comes in great measure. I hope that she doesn’t kill her hope and comes to believe that normal isn’t that great after all.

Because “great” doesn’t begin to describe my deep girl who drips discernment like the spillway of a dam. Her qualities could fill a river with goodness and I for one, hope normal is never her name.

Shandee is a wife to an amazing former banker, the mother of three teenagers, and kicks James Dobson’s butt when it comes to the sex talk. She loves to lay in the Oklahoma sun, bake cookies, and lean into the more of Jesus.