Becoming a special needs mother made motherhood better than before.
The day my oldest son was born was the launch into a wonderful, wild ride we all call motherhood. He was generally a normal little boy, doing what little boys do. He lit my world in many colors filled with dinosaurs, stick swords and Superman capes of varying sizes and materials. And cowboy boots. Until my special needs son was born, I never realized just how much our world promotes normal.
As parents of typical children, we shuttle our kids and fit in all of our extracurricular activities: school, sports, music, dance, church life and any other activity that fits our families’ lives. Before my special son was born, our own life was this way. Honestly, I did not realize just how normal our life was until my special needs son was born. But, I would not say that it was more blessed!
When my special needs son was born.
This beautiful gift of a baby boy came difficult and breech, a sign of things to come. He went straight to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), struggling to breathe and eat. After two weeks we went home with a feeding tube, an apnea monitor and oxygen. He struggled every day just to move first his fingers and then his hands. He was limp as a ragdoll and even holding him was a struggle for his frail little body.
He crawled at two and walked at three years of age. He ran six months after that and still struggled with a series of complicated medical and behavioral issues. With every breath of his body, he turned normal on its head, or should I say, God turned normal on its head.
But, I think we needed that.
Special needs brings life.
When my little boy was born, the normal life of childhood changed. While some have the support to maintain normal, we did not. My family did not support us, nor did they understand just how much energy I was putting into caring for my little boy. My abusive, adulterous, and addicted husband drew further into himself, leaving me grappling to keep us afloat. His lies were revealed before us and the community.
You might think how in the world does that bring life? Well, what it did was push me to pray more–for everything. When that happened, things began to change from the heart out. No, my husband did not change–he only became worse—but, my sons and I did. We began to live out our Christian faith, despite his behavior. We began to build a life without him and his illness.
My special son remained special and his life challenges, continued to challenge us. But, instead of falling apart, my sons and I remained strong in Christ.
Special needs forces us to trust in the Creator.
With the birth of a special needs little person in a family comes a greater capacity to love. With it comes a deeper understanding of how to serve others. The baby that turns everything normal on its head, turns most of the family’s heart to God the creator. Life changes to accomodate our special gift, and our eyes are focused on the One who provides all.
With each little miracle of healing, progress or provision, a deeper trust in God is born. A further trust in the Holy Spirit arrives, pushing us further into life with Him, while we care for our child and his or her siblings. The Spirit prunes the family until we are molded into His image, and yes, He removes the black sheep who refuse to yield to Him.
It isn’t religion but a deeper call of the Holy Spirit to trust Him for our family’s daily needs.
Has your family been broken?
Trust in Him first. Trust that He has a plan. The Lord may or may not save your marriage, but if there is a problem with adultery, addiction or abuse, get help. Or push him out. The Lord does not call us to be unequally yoked, but to peace.
Our children must be our first priority, especially when another parent becomes so ill they cannot function. We must focus on our daily needs and seek the Lord’s provision with all that we do. We must trust that God has a plan, because He really does.
If your family has been broken trust the leading of the Holy Spirit in your lives and your family. Follow Him first, above all, and allow him to heal you and your children. Trust Him with the future. He does have great plans for you!