When the world first hears of your child's special needs you reach a new status in today's society. I have found that especially in today's churches you reach what my husband and I like to refer to as celebrity status. Everyone wants to talk to you, hug you, pray with you and for you. Your fridge is bursting at the seams with meals and you cant walk two steps in the church sanctuary without getting at least a half dozen hugs. Now don't get me wrong. I believe strongly that God shows us immeasurable grace through those moments. He gives us strength by allowing there to be no doubt of His love and our church familiy's love surronding us. You can conquer anything in those moments, during those constant reminders of support, love and encouragement.
Then it happens. Your status changes. You are no longer the celebrity.
The dust settles and people move on with their lives.
God is still good. God is still soverign. God's grace is still sufficeint.
The thing I have recently come to realize is that it is not because people do not care. Your status may change. There may be more pressing prayer requests on people's hearts, but I believe the responsiblity lies with the parent of the child with special needs. Assuming no one thought of my day to day struggles I stopped talking about them. Assuming that no one wanted to know about the last time I cried or wanted to give up I stopped sharing those moments. It wasnt until I finally had enough nerve to tell my best friend that I had felt forgotten that the light was shed on what had truly happened.
I had stopped talking. I had stopped sharing. I had closed the windows, drawn the shades and nailed the blinds down.
I was missing out on the hugs, on the prayers and on the gentle questions of how I was doing because I had stopped talking. I was missing out on the grace that God intended me to have THROUGH my life as I raise Toby. I assumed when Toby was a baby and we weere past the monthly ER visits and ICU stays that the hard part was over.I believed that now I was at the part that I was going to handle on my own.
Looking back I understand that the dramatic moments, such as rushing to the hospital, isnt the hardest part of a child with special needs. The hardest part is the day to day living. The moments you don't want to drag the wheelchair out of the car one more time or strap on a brace to a little boy asking you to stop. I also understand now that God did not intend to just a help me through the first few months of Toby's life He intended to see me through to the very end.
God is still good. God is still soverign. God's grace is still suffiecient.
Even in those daily moments, if not especially in those moments. God's grace does not leave us after the hospital stays and hard therapy sessions. God's grace might be more evident in those moments, but He doesn't change.
We might not be celebrities any more. We might assume that no one is asking because no one is caring. But maybe, just maybe we've stopped talking, stopped sharing and nailed those blinds shut. Let me challenge you with being willing to open yourself up and share those moments of heartache and trials. Give your family and friends a chance to hug you, pray with you and even fill your fridge if need be.