1. I Grieve
And it’s not a one time thing. I grieved after receiving Jackson’s diagnosis. Grief found me again a few weeks ago when I saw that diagnosis written in black and white. And just last week, I sat in the sugar sand, looking out at the turquoise ocean and was surprised when the tears slid down my face. I grieved at the thought of going home; of returning to daily therapy appointments and a life that often feels lonely. I wanted to stay there; captivated by the waves. I wanted a few more days of normal. A family vacation; a little boy covered in sand; memories made.
I watched the sun dance it’s way down to the horizon as the waves soothed my aching soul. I was reminded of my favorite song; the one that says if His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking. His grace overcomes grief.
2. I Feel Alone
One reason I didn’t want to leave that sandy shore was because home often feels lonely. It’s hard to relate to friends who have typical 3.5 year olds. I find myself feeling a little (okay, sometimes a lot) envious of the normalcy of their day-to-day lives. There are so many simple things I’d give anything to do; but simply can’t at this point in time. I’d love to be scheduling playdates instead of therapy appointments. I’d give anything not to have to run interference when my son is around other kids his age and the Sensory Processing Disorder gets to be too much. I wish anxiety wasn’t a constant companion on trips to the park, stores and restaurants.
3. I Feel Unqualified
I mess up daily. I lose my patience; I raise my voice; I cry myself to sleep. I question my ability to mother a child with special needs. Did God really think I could do this? There are days when depression threatens to pull me under. Sometimes I’m merely hanging onto hope by a thread.
Many people say God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, but I don’t believe that anymore.
Sometimes he has to give us more than we can handle; because it’s the only way we will fully rely on Him.
And His grace is waiting to meet us in those hard places; in all our inadequacies.
My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness. So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2nd Corinthians 12:9-10)
4. I Celebrate The Smallest of Victories
I’ve written about this before; we don’t take simple words for granted. Jackson’s currently obsessed with saying trash truck. This is the conversation we had 1,567 times on our way to and from Florida.
Jackson: Mom, Mom.
Me: What Buddy?
Jackson: Twash Truck.
5. I Advocate
I’m sure many people are sick of my Facebook updates asking them to join our team for the Apraxia Walk in September. I’m certain I’ve lost friends and turned off family members because of my constant updates about Jackson’s progress. But it’s my job to raise awareness and educate others about Apraxia. There are so many people who have never heard of the speech disorder. I have to speak up for Jackson until he can speak up for himself. Because I’ve learned the hard way that nobody else will.
6. I Pray
It wasn’t long ago that God whispered to my heart, the most important thing is not that Jackson talks, but that he knows Me. And that’s true. Jackson’s lack of words will not keep God from doing an amazing work in his heart!
Yes, the most important prayer I can pray for Jackson is that he comes to know Jesus as his personal savior; but my prayers for him do not stop there. Here are the words I pray for my son.
7. I Hope
Even on the hardest days I hope.
I cling to Psalm 71:14: as for me I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.
There is hope in Jackson’s smile. There’s hope in his eyes.
There’s joy unspeakable in a little boy still learning to speak.
Hope is hearing him say his name and the giggles that follow.
Hope is hearing him yell John from high up on the balcony.
Hope is there; even on the hardest days.
8. I Believe
I believe God has a plan for Jackson. I believe Jackson is fearfully and wonderfully made. I believe even though I can’t always see it, God is working all things together for Jackson’s good.
I recently read something that gave me the courage to keep going.
Ann Marie Miller writes: God does not demand progress or perfection from us. He simply calls us to believe. When we believe, he will give us strength…
9. I Love
I’ve never loved so fiercely.
And by love, I mean learning to love more like Jesus intended me to.
Loving Jackson for who he is and not who he could be.
It’s a love that doesn’t give up; but pushes past what seems impossible.
It’s hugs and kisses and snuggles; but also heartache, challenges, and pain.
It’s walking through fire; being refined; stripped of selfish pride.
This love is fierce; daily changing me to be a little more like Him.