1) Most Ladies meetings are held on early Saturday mornings. Bethany frequently suffers from the inability to sleep. Sometimes she doesn’t fall asleep until three or four in the morning. I am the one who stays up with her so therefore I also do not fall asleep until three or four in the morning. I am generally not ready to be out and about early enough to attend Saturday morning ladies meetings
2) I experience frequent bouts of some pretty intense physical pain. I can’t stand, walk, sit or even lie down for very long. Sitting in uncomfortable pews or chairs for even a short time is just too painful for me.
3) Even if Bethany didn’t suffer with insomnia and I didn’t suffer with pain, I would still not be able to attend Ladies meetings because I don’t have anyone to look after Bethany so that I can go. I’ve been dealing with respite workers for thirteen years now and I can tell you with all certainty that just finding a respite worker at all is difficult. When we are lucky enough to find one they generally do not want to work evenings or weekends.
4) My husband has to work every Saturday so he cannot stay with Bethany so that I can attend meetings.
5) Occasionally, my adult daughters are gracious enough to offer to stay with Bethany for me, but they are busy with their own lives working and attending college. For most of the year one of them does not even live at home. I reserve using their help for emergencies such as when my son or I have a doctor or dentist appointment, when I desperately need to go grocery shopping and sometimes just so that I can go out on a date with my husband.
It used to upset me that I couldn’t be more involved in my church’s meetings and activities or in developing meaningful relationships with the other members. Now however, I can honestly say that there is peace in accepting that for reasons known only to Him, God has placed me in this position. Besides, I just don’t have the energy to worry about it anymore.
While I have learned to be content in my situation there are others in similar situations who need more than just an invitation to a meeting. They need real practical help in being able to attend. The next time your place of worship has a ladies meeting or even just for a regular worship service, I challenge you to not only invite a special needs mom, but also ask her what you can do to help get her there!