Wednesday morning I received a text message from another special needs mama after publishing this post. She thanked me for the encouragement and admitted she’d had a rough week.
“This is HARD!” she wrote. “And I’m afraid to be real with anyone because that’s not the Christian thing to be saying.”
Oh, how the enemy wants us to believe we have to keep silent about the hard stuff.
I encouraged my friend to find one person she could be completely honest with.
She needs that.
I need that.
You need that.
But I haven’t always had it.
Special needs parenting is isolating.
I have some amazing friends; but unless you’ve walked the special needs road, it can be difficult to comprehend the challenges special needs families face.
It can be difficult watching typically developing children soar while your child struggles.
It’s even more difficult to admit that.
It sucks saying no to playdates. It sucks even more having to hover when you do say yes.
I have amazing friends; but I realized I needed people in my life who had walked (or were walking) the same road as me.
Finding these friends started with prayer.
Then I had to step out of my comfort zone.
But then something wonderful happened; I found them.
I would call them my Waiting Room Friends, but they aren’t just mamas I’ve met in person.
Some of them I’ve connected with through mutual friends and we encourage each other online.
There are a few I see every week at therapy appointments.
It started with a simple hello, chitchat while we waited on our kids and a phone number exchange.
We would text back and forth; friend one another on Facebook.
And suddenly we weren’t walking such a lonely road anymore.
Soon we were meeting every few weeks to vent over a piece of pie.
We were sitting in Starbucks strategizing about the upcoming meeting with school officials.
We were sharing the latest article related to our child’s disorders.
We were fighting back tears, but comforted knowing it was a safe place to cry.
No matter where you find yourself today – a single mom, a cancer survivor, an addict – find your people.
Don’t buy the lie the enemy tells.
Nothing good comes from staying silent.
The hard stuff isn’t meant to stay hidden.
In the darkest places His light shines bright and He chooses to shine through people.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another. (Hebrews 10:24-25)