- Your Child’s Diagnosis/Behaviors Do Not Define Them.
This is really hard to remember when you’re called to pick up your kid from school during a major meltdown. It’s hard to remember when you see other kids doing typical stuff and your child isn’t. It’s hard when your life revolves around therapy appointments. But there is more to your child than his/her diagnosis.
Don’t let the struggles steal your ability to see their strengths.
I ask God to show me Jackson’s strengths. I don’t want to miss out on what makes him happy, the areas where he thrives or the one-of-a-kind person God created him to be.
Jackson has a great imagination. He’s creative. He’s intelligent. He overflows with joy.
Jackson is not Apraxia, Sensory Processing Disorder or ADHD.
Jackson is chosen. He is fearfully and wonderfully made. He is dearly loved.
Your child is too!
2. Just Because They Have a Bad Day (or week, or month) Does Not Mean You’re a Bad Parent.
A few nights ago I cried myself to sleep. We had a very difficult evening and I felt discouraged and defeated. I felt completely incompetent to raise my kid. Was I screwing him up? Were his behaviors because I’m a bad parent? I heard the Holy Spirit whisper, get over yourself. Stop being so prideful. This isn’t about you.
The bad days and behavior problems aren’t our fault; they’re not our kids’ either.
Most of the special needs parents I know are busting their butts to ensure their child has everything they need to succeed.
I know we’re busting ours.
Jackson’s behaviors often feel personal, but it has nothing to do with me or him.
The behaviors have everything to do with the disorders that make everyday tasks almost impossible.
I’m a good mom and so are you!
3. You Don’t Have to Figure it All Out Today
I worry a lot about things that are out of my control. Will we make it through PreK? What if he’s not ready for kindergarten? What if he doesn’t have friends. Do we need to find a school more suitable for him? Does that mean we need to move?
A thousand scenarios race through my mind and I have no definite answer to any of them.
And that’s okay.
Lately, God’s been reminding me that this is a step-by-step journey.
Not just a day-to-day; but a step-by-step, one-foot-in-front-of -the-other journey.
Priscilla Shirer, in her Bible study Armor of God, writes, He will be faithful to show us the truth, to give us His direction for the next step we are supposed to take.
Which reminds me of one of my favorite verses, one that I clung to desperately during our adoption journey and find myself clinging to again. Isaiah 30:21 says, Whether you turn to the right or to the left, you’ll hear a voice behind you saying, ‘this is the way; walk in it.’
God will show me the way; He’ll do the same for you.
4. Satan Lies
Those thoughts swirling around your head: I’m a failure, I’m not cut out for this, my kiddo deserves better than me. They are all lies from an Enemy that is dead set on destroying you.
The same night I cried myself to sleep, John and I had a fight. Special needs parenting is stressful. That stress can easily seep into a marriage and open the door for Satan to get a foothold.
No amount of therapy, medicine or special services can do what prayer can.
We’ve gotta pray just as hard for our marriages as we do for our children who have special needs. We’ve got to tell Satan to shove it. We’ve got to guard our hearts and our minds. The only way to do that is with God’s Truth.
Priscilla Shirer writes, Sometimes the greatest miracles God does are not in our circumstances, it’s in our minds. Strongholds are torn down through the Word of God.
I’m choosing to believe His truth. Will you?