Encouragement for Parents of Kids with Special Needs – Day 3: Peace
I’m the queen of the “what if” game. I’m too embarrassed to admit to some of the thoughts that have gone through my mind, but for me, the “what if” game is usually full of worst case scenarios that leave a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach and have me constantly waiting for the next crisis.
As the parent of a child with special needs, there are lots of situations that concern me. My first thought when something happens is how it will affect our ability to get our daughter the therapy, medical care, and medicines she needs. I can quickly fall into a black hole of anxiety and fear when I choose to dwell on all the scenarios that *might* happen. I have made myself physically ill from the stress I’ve created with this type of thinking—and I’ve done it more than once. (Okay, I’ve done it repeatedly.)
The problem with all this negative thinking is that it’s not good for me physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. It also leaves no room to anticipate what God might do next or to focus on His answers to my prayers—or joy.
Being anxious and fearful also keeps me from living in peace. I am desperate for peace in my life, and I need the kind that isn’t easily shaken by circumstances, which change too often to offer any stability.
Does any of this sound familiar?
While I am not at peace as often as I would like to be, I have made a lot of progress over the past few years as I have actively pursued peace and asked God to show me how to stay peaceful.
Here are some tips based on what I’ve learned:
- Pray. Pray first. Don’t freak out, call, text, or Facebook your misery to the world. Immediately trying to turn it all over to God can help you get a handle on the situation more quickly.
- Read. Spend time in the Word, reading Scriptures like Isaiah 26:3 and Philippians 4:6-7 to remind you to redirect your thinking back to Him, the source of peace.
- Praise. When you least feel like it is when you most need to spend time praising God for who He is. Remember His character and power and focus on Him instead of your problems. (Hint: Set up a playlist of songs that help you praise and focus on Him when you need encouragement—and do it before you need it.)
- Remember. Make a list of all the ways God has provided for you in the past and remember that He is still faithful, and He loves you. This will help you to anticipate the solutions God has for the situation you’re facing.
- Breathe. Taking some deep breaths is always good. As you breathe, think about the fact that God is not wringing His hands over the latest development that has you tied in knots. He sees the end from the beginning, knows the solution, and is already working on your behalf behind the scenes.
- Reach out. We all know someone who is having a hard time. Call, write, text, email, or do something nice for him/her. Making someone else’s day brighter will take your focus off yourself, and you’ll feel better too!
- Trust. When you’ve done all you can, just leave it in God’s hands (again) and trust that He is in control. He is, and He is faithful. He will take care of you and your precious child in ways you never imagined.
Father, please forgive me for all the times I have walked in fear and anxiety instead of faith and trust. There are so many situations that weigh me down as I try to provide what my child needs to be healthy and reach his/her full potential. I cannot do this on my own, but You are able, and Your resources are limitless. Help me to wait patiently on You as You work everything out for us. 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 Patience!
Other posts in this series:
- Encouragement for Parents of Kids with Special Needs: Love
- Encouragement for Parents of Kids with Special Needs: Joy
- 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!