As a parent of a child with special needs, I’m sure you, like I, have wondered how this came to be. “Why me?” you may have asked yourself. I had a friend ask me one time, “Have you ever wondered why both of your boys have special needs?”
Hmmm. Let me think about that. At the time I only had the two boys and we were in the midst of speech therapy, occupational therapy and play therapy several times a week—again. We had gone through all of this with my older son and here we were again doing the very same thing for our second son. Here we were again with the same concerns, the same questions, the same disappointments, the same worries. So, of course, I’ve wondered why!
I had realized by then, though, that “why” didn’t matter anymore. In fact, “why” was most unhelpful. I found that a better question to ask myself was, “How can I help them the most?”
I had gotten stuck in “why” some years before and I wasn’t willing to go there again. After Joseph’s issues were diagnosed and we began a busy schedule of therapies and medical appointments, I asked myself “why?” quite a bit.
One day while sharing my heart with my sister in a tear-filled conversation, fueled by exhaustion and frustration, she shared something with me that caused me to stop and think and, ultimately change my entire perspective.
After recalling another emotional incident, my sister responded, “It’s a good thing that you are their mother. Some one else might not have done what you are doing. God chose you specifically to be their mom because He knew you were the best person for the job.”
Wow! I hadn’t quite thought about it that way as most days I was just trying to keep my head above water. But it spoke to the very core of my being and I began to meditate on it and bring it to the Lord.
You see, after trying for so long to have children and hearing the disappointing news that it was next to impossible, I was thrilled to now have children. I just didn’t understand why God had allowed me to have children with special needs. At the time I had two boys and both had special needs.
I poured my heart out to the Lord as I often did and I waited for His response to this question. I was not disappointed. We had many conversations together and I came to realize that, because my boys had special needs, He needed special parents to love them and care for them and advocate for them over the years. This wasn’t just any ordinary person for this was a very challenging journey. He needed some one who was willing to go the extra mile and fight for the needs of her children, who would love them even when they weren’t behaving so lovably and who would be willing to start each new day with a fresh perspective and new helping of grace and mercy to last the day through.
Now, while I didn’t think I was the woman for the job, the Lord knew something I didn’t. I didn’t think I had what it would take to fill those shoes and fill them well. Bt the Lord sees the future and He saw many things I could not see at the time, and so He gave me the job because He knew I was, indeed, the best person for it.
It’s been many years now and we're are still plugging along, some days better than others. I can honestly say, though, that as I look back over these thirteen years, that I’ve done a great job. Sure, I’ve had my days where I’ve failed miserably. But God’s mercies are new every morning and my children are so forgiving. So I ask the Lord to help me do better this day and to learn from my mistakes in the process. It has been a very educational journey for all of us!
How about you? Are you plagued with doubts about your ability to parent your child? Are you struggling with not being good enough or not being able to meet your child’s needs adequately?
I want to encourage you to put those worries aside because you have been specially selected to be the parent to your child(ren). There is not another person in the universe who could do a better job than you are doing. It’s no coincidence that you are thiers and they are yours. It is a divine plan because you are exactly what your child needs.
No one will love him/her like you do. No one will have the patience that you exhibit, nor the forgiveness that you freely offer. No one else will make the mistakes you do and learn the hard lessons that come with them. No one else will forgo sleep and other “normal” activities to give their all to their child. Nope. Only you.
Rest confidently knowing that you have been chosen specifically to be your child’s parent. It is a divine arrangement and one that only you could fill. You have been chosen to be the special parent of your special child. Why? Because you are, indeed, the best person for the job.