I often feel like I am constantly trying to win the approval and acceptance of others with the things of this world. I long for the same acceptance for my son but find us more on the outside than ever with our family’s obvious differences. With or without special needs, there is only one place where we are truly ‘Bona fide’. We are accepted in Christ.
Bona fide …
My husband recently became a weather spotter for the National Weather Service. He took a class and received a fancy certification card with his Secret Agent number on it. He came home that night and said, “I’m bona fide!” (It’s from the movie, Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?. The majority of our family conversations revolve around bizarre movie quotations.) We weren’t really sure how legit this was until one stormy day he reported an area that had water over the road. It wasn’t thirty seconds later that the weather apps on our phones chimed with Flash Flood warnings for our area. Bona fide! (I know, he’s kindof a big deal.)
My son, Evan, was just asked to his high school prom by a friend. The Facebook video of the ‘promposal’ went viral in our little part of the world. (If you don’t know what a promposal is, look it up. It’s a ridiculous phenomenon that has taken over our high school proms but is somehow wonderful when your child is involved.) While watching the number of times this video was shared creep up, in the back of my mind I was hoping that this was the time that my son was completely accepted at his high school. No more separation between the typical kids and the special needs kids in the school lunch room, assemblies, even a few classes they could participate in together with just a little imagination. But even more so, I had hoped there would be no more separation in how he was treated. I had the high hopes that this is what would catapult him into complete acceptance in his school. He was asked to prom by a lovely, well-liked girl. He’s bona fide now, right?
Accepted In Christ …
I know. I can almost see you all shaking your heads at me. That’s only how it happens in the movies, the chick-flicks. You can probably guess how this is really going. While my son could hardly wait to go to prom with his best buddy. It’s drawing him way out of his comfort zone. (And mine, too.) Which means he is more out of sorts than usual and it’s affecting his behavior. And this is happening under the scrutiny of the public eye. Because so many people have seen that now famous, small-town video he is more accepted by some, but the choice of words by others isn’t all I hoped it would be. And of course, in true McKeever style, Evan had a last-minute hospital stay thrown in just to amp up the stress level a wee bit more. (Evil is never far away, right? Rom. 7:21) We all know these things. It doesn’t really surprise me. But this prom has been a stark reminder that our acceptance doesn’t abide in others or in the circumstances of this world. We are made whole through Christ. Nothing in this world will ever make us feel truly accepted, whole, legit. No job, no title, no fancy certification card, no high school prom will ever elevate us to the status we hope to reach. It is only through Christ that we become Bona fide. I remind myself often
daily of my acceptance in Christ and not to place my hopes in the things of this world. But I have to also tell myself that these same principles apply to my son. What he does or does not do … who accepts him or does not accept him … these are not where I should be placing my hopes. He has his acceptance because of Christ’s finished work on the cross. He is already Bona fide.
Who our kids are in Christ: (Insert their name. I’m telling you, it changes everything.)
They are Jesus’ friend ~ John 15:15: I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything I have learned from my father I have made known to you.
They are redeemed ~ Romans 3:24: … all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
They are God’s & created for good works ~ Ephesians 2:10:For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
They are accepted by Christ ~ Romans 15:7: Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you in order to bring praise to God.