This week, the Daily Devotionals are brought to us by five women who have been face to face with the question of God’s love in the midst of trials. It is all about real women, real life, and real Truth.
You have a child with special needs. Can you share the early challenges you faced?
We knew very early on that our child was going to be unique in her needs. At four weeks old, we didn’t know what to do with her. She would scream and scream. People would tell us that she was just colic, but as a mom I just knew there was something else going on.
As she moved into the toddler years, she hit her milestones early but never dealt with transition and change well. As parents, we felt like we were missing something. Our pediatrician at the time even told us we should talk with a child therapist about parenting techniques, but we knew something just was not right. It was very frustrating and brought a lot of tension between my husband and myself.
As an educator, I was reading a book for research about how to help a student of mine. That, along with discussions with my neighbor, led me into seeing that there were needs that just were not being met and that our child was different but there was hope. Our first diagnosis came soon after that, and to be honest it was a relief to finally know that we now could get some direction in how to help our daughter.
Where was God in all of this?
The first few years of my child’s life, my husband and I were not walking with God. I was a believer, but had turned away from our Lord, and my husband was not a believer. It was incredibly difficult. Because we were struggling with how to deal with a special needs child, we often were so emotionally exhausted that we didn’t communicate. We slowly started to drift apart and were at the point of not talking except for essentials. My husband called me one day and said that he needed some help – he wasn’t happy and was ready to pick up and leave our daughter and myself. Coming from a divorced family, this was the one thing I was adamant I did not want to happen to my child. I turned back to the Lord and asked my husband to go to church with me. God was at work and within a few weeks my husband had prayed for salvation and I had recommitted my life to the Lord.
As we continued to learn more about the difficulties we were facing with our child, and how we were going to have to endure the daily ins and outs of parenting with her, I turned to scripture.
I would start and end many of my days by reading these verses.
Isaiah 40: 29 – 31, He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
It was and is often the one thing that gives me peace and strength. At times, when frustration sets in, I cry to God asking him why? Why did he choose us for this child? How can I help her when I don’t know where to go? But he always shows me the way, usually when I am on my knees and just giving it all to him out of frustration.
How have you seen God’s love shine through this challenge?
Whenever my husband and I sit back and look at our life and the challenges we face with our special needs child, we are amazed at how God has used her to move us closer to him. Even now we can see how he has orchestrated our lives so that we would be prepared to help her. The more we became involved at church, the more we saw God’s hand at work and his love being poured out onto us through his people. Having a special needs child has forced us to rely on God.
Your child is a dear and unique creation of God. How have you seen God use your child to bless others?
There are many ways our daughter blesses others. Because of her needs and understanding, our daughter often encourages her peers who are upset or sad. Her patience with other children amazes me.
We know that God has a special place for her in his kingdom, along with all children who have special needs. Even though we may not understand why she has the challenges she does, God does. And our understanding of her needs has allowed us to help others. Because of her difficulties, we are better able to empathize and understand what other parents are going through who may be in the same situation.
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