I went for a walk the other day, just soaking in God's creation unfurling after a long winter, when I happened upon a flower growing through a crack in the road.
At first, I was sad for it. There was a beautiful garden about five feet away from this flower, where its friends were growing. And here was this flower, all by itself, growing in such a hard and unlikely place to grow.
But then, my perspective changed and I was suddenly proud of this lone flower. It did exactly what it was created to do: spread its roots and grow and bloom and share its color and beauty with the world, despite its unusual circumstances. It could have withered up and died, but it was blooming.
And as I marvelled at God's creation a new thought struck me: My children are not in the garden I expected them to grow in. I expected them to thrive at play dates and in school, and instead they struggle in those environments. I expected them to grow among their peers, and yet I watched them fall further and further behind, finally mastering every milestone months or years behind their peers.
My children are like that lone flower, growing right where they are planted.
It made me realize how much we need to embrace the unique way your child is blooming–even if it's not in the garden you imagined.
I am learning to embrace the unique way my children are blooming: their own rate of development, their personalities, their abilities, their passions, and yes, even their quirks.
And when I focus on them that way, I see that they are indeed blooming, showing off their unique colors to this world desperate for a little color and joy in it.
And that makes me one proud and blessed mama. 🙂
And then, my thoughts took another turn. This time, it wasn't about flowers and it wasn't about my children, it was about me.
How I was also like that flower, growing through hard circumstances. I could choose to wither under the worries and the busyness and the anxiety and the grief that comes with special needs parenting. Or I could choose to grow from it.
I thought about how I didn't need my roots to go down deep for nutrients, I just needed tiny roots willing to seek out nourishment from God. Jesus told us we just needed faith the size of a mustard seed (the tiniest seed of them all) to be able to move mountains Matthew 17:20. Whether you're hearing from God or not, keep praying, keep reading the word, and keep trusting and you will find yourself growing deeper in your faith than you have ever been before.
I thought about how I could grow into a stronger version of me, with just as beautiful blooms as the flowers in that garden, because I've been given every gift I need from God to be the woman and the wife and the mother He created me to be.
And so, my friend, have you. Though you may experience anxiety and other challenges that come with special needs parenting I'm sure you can admit you've grown alot through this journey, and keep on growing. You've learned how to advocate for your children in ways you never thought you would. You've grown in knowledge and become an expert in many fields, though you may not have a degree that says so, so that you could help your child. Your empathy for others has grown. You've grown and bloomed despite your own hard circumstances.
And you're blooming! Let those colors and gifts God gave you shine! Share them with your family and your friends and strangers and whoever God puts across your path. This hurting world needs your beautiful colors too!!