I don't know you. And I don't know your story. And I haven't walked your road.
But still, my heart breaks for you. My heart breaks for your dreams that have died, for your child that may never be "normal," for the tears and the questions behind the closed doors, even though to everyone else you appear strong. I'm sure you'd say that you wouldn't trade your child for anything, and I'd believe you.
But I'd also believe you if you confessed that there are times, however fleeting, you've longed for something different. Something easier. Something normal.
Because there are few things harder than being the parent of a special-needs child. There are few roles more unappreciated, more lonely, more "make-you-long-for-heaven-to-come-sooner." There are also few jobs more heroic.
I have an idea how you might feel. Not exactly, but an idea.
- You feel alone.
- You feel like no books are written to you -- and how do you do this whole "parenting thing" when your child doesn't fit the mold?
- Friends don't understand. Family feels powerless to help. People may try to relate by sharing their own personal stories of disappointment, but their comfort only deepens the ache.
- You mourn the loss of normalcy, and everywhere you go, everywhere you turn, you come face to face with yet another thing you can't do, your child can't do, because of physical and mental limitations.
Most days, you live what feels like "normal" life -- Normal to you, at least -- days filled with ups and downs. But then there are those days when the weight of your child's disability feels especially heavy; days covered in a cloud of discouragement. And you KNOW what's true, and you've SPOKEN what's true, but there are days for every parent when you don't believe it.
Dear friend, know that there are hundreds, thousands, millions of other parents who are in similar shoes as you. Yes, the shoes may feel uncomfortably tight at times, more expensive than you wish, and they're on your feet for a lot longer than you'd prefer.
But what if you could see those shoes through the eyes of God, our Heavenly Father? Perhaps then they would be a blessing, and perhaps you'd be encouraged to wear them just a little bit longer.
Because the days that you see as the hardest, God sees as the most glorious. And the tasks you deem the most menial, God declares the most heroic.
Over the next few weeks, I will be writing a series of posts, directed to parents with special-needs children.
Would you journey with me? Would you bask in the riches of God's promises to you, discover the beautiful truths in God's Word, be fed morsels of grace by the very God who has knit your child together?
With my utmost respect for you - a real hero,