Monday, October 26, 2015

Down Syndrome Awareness Month - Encouragement

Parenting is hard work. Parenting special needs kids is harder work. It could be the days when you are again reminded that there is a difference between the child's age and their developmental age. There are so many ways that you are reminded that you have a special needs child. How do you encouragement to keep going? Here are a few things that I have found through the years that have helped me.

Fix your eyes on God and not your child. When we look at our child, we see the brokenness, the hurt, the disappointment. When you look at God you will see his goodness, his love, and his grace. That doesn't take the difficulties and challenges away but gives you hope and help for the day.

Remind yourself of who God is. He is faithful. He is sovereign. I remember when Miss K was born and for me one of the greatest comforts was that this was not a surprise to God. God knew that we were living in Asia, he knew that Miss K had Down Syndrome it was all part of his plan. God is loving. His steadfast love is there for those times that we need it.

Remind yourself what God can do. He can give strength when we are weak He gives wisdom when we so desperately need it as we face new or recurring issues. He gives rest when we are weary.

Reflect on what God has done. I find that it is a help to reflect on the ways that God has provided in the past to meet Miss K's needs. That gives me hope to continue knowing that he will provide.

During Jesus' time here on earth he was often meeting those special needs children/adults. One of those was the blind man in John 9. Here the disciples ask who sinned causing the child to be born blind. Jesus reopens is "it was not that this man sinned, or his parents but that the works of God might be displayed in him." (John 9:3) Our special needs children can be used to display God's works to those around them.

Special needs are a reminder that we live in a fallen world. So we long all the more for our eternal home where we will be free from the effects and live forever with God.

All of this gives me encouragement to keep going. I pray that you will be encouraged as well.

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