Encouragement for Parents of Kids with Special Needs – Day 1: Love
As the parent of a child with special needs, I have logged countless hours in waiting rooms, specialist offices, and therapy facilities. I have learned to advocate for my child with medical professionals, church staff, and well-meaning (and not so well-meaning) people in public. I know almost as much about my daughter’s medical, neurodevelopmental, and learning issues as many of the professionals we work with to treat them.
I have learned more than I ever wanted to know about a lot of different things as part of taking care of my precious daughter, but I have been most surprised by how much I’ve learned about love.
When my second child was born, I thought I had gotten pretty good at selfless, unconditional love. After all, I had been a mom for almost two years by that time, and I had already learned that my life up to the birth of my firstborn was quite selfish. I had grown in ways I’d never dreamed possible as I cared for her through sleepless nights and days that went on and on. (She didn’t sleep through the night more than a handful of times until she turned 3 years old.)
Then, when our second daughter was born, life changed again. I knew something was “off” from the beginning, but the issues she struggles with weren’t fully evident right away. As we received new diagnoses and dealt with new problems, I learned more about unconditional love.
I discovered in a deeper way that love doesn’t waver or change in the face of adversity. If anything, it intensifies.
I learned how powerful love is every time I have sent my daughter into an invasive test, procedure, or surgery, and she has trusted me to do what is best for her, not questioning why I would allow her to go through that.
I learned that love stands firm even while picking up the pieces after a meltdown or while directing a child to her room to vent her anger and frustration. I learned that love forgives over and over again when that child tries to express her remorse and regret for having failed to control her emotions—again.
I learned that love reduces fear. My daughter struggles with a lot of anxiety, but when she is reassured that she is loved no matter what, that is lessened somewhat—at least until next time.
I have learned that God’s love is more vast than I ever dreamed. I have acted like my daughter more times than I care to admit, with no excuse for my behavior. But He has never failed to forgive me, pick me up, carry me, or love me through anything that has ever come my way.
Just like my husband and I will stand by our daughter to help her reach her full potential and find God’s calling for her life, He will not give up on me but will help me realize His purpose for me.
And He won’t give up on you or your child either. Take comfort in knowing that He loves you and your child more than you can possibly imagine. He is with you, and He will not leave you.
You can count on that just like you count on the sun to rise every morning.
Father, thank you for the deep love you have planted in us for our precious children. Help us to stay strong when we’re tired of the struggle. Give us rest when we’re weary. Let us see Your hand at work in the impossible situations we face daily. Most of all, open our eyes to Your constant presence and Your amazing love that is at work in, through, and around us every day. Amen.
Thank you for joining me for this 10-day series of Encouragement for Parents of Kids with Special Needs. Join me tomorrow as we explore Joy!
Other posts in this series:
- Encouragement for Parents of Kids with Special Needs: Joy
- Encouragement for Parents of Kids with Special Needs: Peace
- Encouragement for Parents of Kids with Special Needs: Patience
- Encouragement for Parents of Kids with Special Needs: Kindness
- Encouragement for Parents of Kids with Special Needs: Goodness
- Encouragement for Parents of Kids with Special Needs: Faithfulness
- Encouragement for Parents of Kids with Special Needs: Gentleness
- Encouragement for Parents of Kids with Special Needs: Self-Control
- Encouragement for Parents of Kids with Special Needs: Full Circle
If you’re looking for more great content by some amazing bloggers, please check out iHomeschool Network’s August 2013 Hopscotch!