All mothers need encouragement to face the daily challenges in raising their children. In the case of special needs moms, they need extra grace to face the sometimes hourly challenges in raising a medically fragile child.
At any moment, a serene day full of laughter and smiles can turn into one requiring medical intervention. This tension is not just for a day or a week, but year after year. Some equate the challenges faced by special needs parents with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. How can a mom rise above and manage to be strong not only for their children but for themselves as well?
As a special-needs mother, I often receive comments from others saying how heroic or admirable my role is in raising such a special child. Can I tell you a secret? It is not me. I don’t wake up in the morning and think I am prepared, ready or able to handle the day. I don’t have superhuman abilities to face daily challenges. By the end of the day, I do, however, see another dynamic at work.
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9
His grace covers me, giving me the ability to do what I am unable to do in my own strength. At the end of a long day, my son Samuel had started coughing. Since he has a tracheostomy, a cough requires immediate attention. As I leaped into action, my tiredness melted away in an instant. In “go mode,” I used the suction machine to help my son clear his airway. Problem averted, I collapsed into the sofa and breathed a sigh of relief. God gave me grace.
He gently leads those who have young. Isaiah 40:11B
This verse encouraged me to trust God with my baby boy’s life. I often repeated the verse several times a day. A peace settled my heart and helped me to face the next moment even when I was being told my son’s chances were bleak.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5,6
Mixed with grace is the capacity to trust and lean on the Lord in all circumstances. I have had plenty of opportunity to trust God to help my son survive a lethal form of dwarfism. There were days I didn’t know if I would ever bring my son home from the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. If I had relied on my own understanding of the circumstances, I may have given up. But, I trusted God and after six long months in the hospital, my son came home.
And the peace that passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
Prior to being pregnant with my son, I read this verse. I thought I knew what it meant. However, on a warm summer day in 2005, I experienced its meaning first hand. My husband and I were told my unborn child had a “not compatible with life” diagnosis. In that moment, we were not given hope our son would live. I should have been devastated. One would expect I would have been in tears. Instead, I experienced the peace that passes all understanding given these dire circumstances. Awash in peace, this scripture came to mind. What a gift to receive at such a critical moment.
Corrie Ten Boom, who wrote her book, The Hiding Place, told a story her father shared when she was a young girl.
He said, “Corrie, when you and I go to Amsterdam, when do I give you your ticket?”
She answered, “Why, just before we get on the train.”
“Exactly.” He replied. “And our wise Father in heaven knows when you are going to need things too… When the time of need comes, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need – just in time.”
And I also received what I needed in my time of need. The gift of peace.
What verses encourage you as you walk on your journey. Are you seeing God’s hand of grace in your daily circumstances? What verses help you trust in God? Does peace blanket you in your time of most need? Leave your comments below. I read each one.
Written By: Evelyn Mann
Author of Miracle In My Living Room: The Story Of A Little Mann