One day I was experiencing an unusually hard day. I was frustrated with the children who were being more whiny and disobedient than usual. My younger son had decided that biting his older brother’s back was a perfectly acceptable way to defend himself. I spent over an hour on the phone with a doctor’s office and insurance and still hadn’t gotten the issue resolved. I got pulled over for going 5 over the speed limit to a therapy appointment, but thankfully received only a warning and made it to the appointment in time. God’s love seemed nonexistent in my life and circumstances and I raged, “Where are you in all of this? Why aren’t you helping?” I desperately wanted to be alone with God, but the kiddos needed dinner and attention. And then, bedtime rolled around.
God gave us Jesus
After my older son, about four years old at the time, was all snuggled in bed and we had read his book before bed, we prayed together. Sometimes I did the praying, sometimes I did it fill in the blank style as he could only say one or two-word phrases. I decided to go with the fill-in-the-blank prayer.
Me: “Thank you God for ____.”
He said his name in response.
“Me,” I corrected. “And thank you God for _____.”
“Eesus!” he said with a grin.
I choked back tears as I told him, “Yes, thank you God for Jesus.” I’ve never had any indication that he understood anything relating to God, Jesus or Bible stories, except for identifying “baby Eesus” at Christmas time. I’ve never prayed before using the words “Thank you God for Jesus.” It was his own spontaneous thought and it filled my heart with hope and joy.
We finished our prayers and I kissed that precious little guy goodnight and as I left his room it hit me: God had answered my angry prayers through the mouth of a child who would need years of speech therapy to be able to talk like his peers. I had demanded God tell me where He was and why it felt like He wasn’t caring for us. And He gently reminded me that He loved me and my children enough He gave us Jesus.
1 John 4:9 “God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.”
Oh, how amazing, how incredible is that? Though things may be rough, I am so thankful that God sent me His son Jesus, to give me strength for all I need to do, to give me peace when I’m feeling overwhelmed, and to forgive my sin, my anger and frustration.
God can relate to the heart of special need parents
And as if that reminder that Jesus died for us because of God’s love wasn’t enough, a new thought hit me. God loved Jesus too. Because Jesus was His precious son.
Matthew 3:16-17 “After his baptism, Jesus came up out of the water and the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”
That means that God knows personally what it’s like to see your own child suffer and struggle. He watched people not understand His son, watched them mock and test His son. And then He witnessed His child get beaten and whipped, forced to carry a heavy wooden cross, and nails hammered through His hands and feet to pin Him to that cross. His son suffered for hours, and I’m sure He longed to take His son off of that cross, to hold Him tight in His arms, and take Him far away from the cross.
But He had a plan, He knew there was a glorious purpose in it. I’m sure that didn’t make the pain and helplessness any less for Him though. His love for His son was still as strong as ever, but His love for us kept Him going with the plan.
He understands our pain when we watch our children go through medical procedures. He knows what it’s like to watch our children struggle and long to change the circumstances for our child, but helpless to do so, because we know it’s ultimately for the best. He understands our pain when we see our children not be understood by others, or be mocked and excluded by others.
But he also sees the plan in it when we can’t. A goodness that may benefit others more than we will ever understand or glimpse this side of eternity.
Just as God loved His beloved son Jesus and was proud of Him, so He feels about you.
If you were encouraged by this, you may want to check my new book, Embracing This Special Life: Learning to Flourish as a Mother of a Child With Special Needs.
Embracing This Special Life will help you:
-View the special needs parenting journey from a biblical perspective
-Release expectations, negative thoughts, and emotions that are not healthy for you or your family
-Embrace God, yourself, your children, this special needs journey, and life itself to its fullest
This practical and encouraging book will guide you toward spiritual victory and renewed purpose in your special needs parenting journey.