Because They’re His, Not Mine

BoyRockClimb

I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of Him.  For his whole life, He will be given over to the LORD.  I Samuel 1:27-28

Because my children belong to God, and not to me, I can find freedom, peace and rest as I trust them to His strong hands and perfect love. If I live in this faith and keep this perspective, my parenting journey is changed for His glory and for my good.

Because they’re His, and not mine, I know He loves them even more than I do. The great love and endless grace of their Heavenly Father are poured over each child as He protects and provides for their every need.

Because they’re His, and not mine, I can trust them to His care. Whether they are sitting close at my side, or travelling far across the world, our omnipresent God is with them. His eyes are always on them, even when my own are not.

Because they’re His, and not mine, my own worth is not based on their choices. Whether they are shining in righteousness or struggling with sin, I resist taking the credit or the blame. I choose rather to set my own worth on who I am in Christ, which has not changed since my children were born.

Because they’re His, and not mine, I’m free to serve them with unconditional love. Each one is a gift placed in my care by their Creator. May I love them as He would have me. May I serve them with His patience, His grace, His discipline and His wisdom.

Because they’re His, and not mine, I can be their parent and not their best friend. Seeking to please God, and not to please my child, I can keep my place as parent in their lives. I can parent with purpose training their hearts and minds for Christ.

Because they’re His, and not mine, I can see past who they are today to who He is shaping them to be. He has begun a good work in each one of them, and I can rest knowing He will be faithful to complete it. I see His hand working even in the hard. Each glimpse of His presence gives me more patience and grace.

Because they’re His, and not mine, I can live with healthy boundaries, respecting their emerging independence. As they grow, may they take on more responsibility for their own decisions. May I model that responsibility as I live my life before them.

Because they’re His, and not mine, I can keep myself healthy to best serve Him in this role. I can seek to be healthy physically, mentally, emotionally, socially and spiritually. In doing so, I am best fit to honor God in this role. I can live with balance and an eternal perspective.

Because they’re His, and not mine, I can parent for His glory rather than for my own accolade. I can resist the temptation to compare and compete with others. I can seek the contentment that comes in living for the Lord, and not for myself.

Because they’re His, and not mine, I can stand in awe of who He has made them to be- today. When I set aside pressures to perform and pretend and be perfect, I see each child as an amazing creation shaped not by my will, but by the will of God. Each heart, mind, body and soul is a treasure who is worthy of great care.

Lord, forgive me for where my parenting has been centered on me, or centered on my child, and not centered on You. Make me a faithful servant of the children you have placed in my care. Give me your heart to love them as you would. Renew in me the wonder of who you have made them to be. I want to be faithful to you.

 

Hope Rejoices

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Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Philippians 4:4

Let all who take refuge in you be glad. Let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.  Psalm 5:11

When we rejoice in the Lord, we raise our hearts above our current circumstances to praise the goodness of who He is. Rejoicing is lifting our souls to see God’s unchanging faithfulness and goodness. As we rejoice, we reach out to hold on to the hope we have in Christ.

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me. Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.   Psalm 42:5

The Psalmist articulates transferring his soul’s hope from the despair of his circumstances to praise for his God. Though I can’t find dictionary or root word proof of this, I have always seen the word rejoice as having the prefix “re-“ which means again. Add that with the “joy”- and I see it meaning to find joy again. Rejoicing is taking our soul back to that place of joy with the Lord again.

Shout for joy, O heavens, rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains. For the LORD comforts His people and will have compassion on His afflicted ones.  Isaiah 49:13

Isaiah commands all of creation to rejoice because God comforts and has compassion on His people. So even in affliction, we can rejoice. Why? Because God is near with comfort and compassion. We are not commanded to rejoice because of the affliction, but to rejoice because God is near in the affliction.

Joy comes second in the list of the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians chapter 5 – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. When we are filled with Jesus, we are filled with joy. And it is Christ’s joy within us that enables us to endure through life’s hardest challenges.

Children very often have an incredible ability to hold onto joy. Their world may be filled with great pain and difficulty, yet their spirit holds onto a joy that overrules. As mothers, we can set aside our own pain to take in the joy of our children and hold on through the hard. We can rejoice because our children rejoice. Their simple, trusting faith and hope can encourage us to do the same.

The joy of the Lord is your strength.  Nehemiah 8:10

An acronym for JOY is Jesus, Others, and You. We can find JOY in seeking Jesus first, then serving others, then thinking of ourselves last. In our difficulties, we often turn those around. We look first to ourselves and our own strength, then possibly to others for help, and lastly to Jesus. The problem with looking first to ourselves is that self-pity often overtakes us, and robs all joy.

My college roommate had a note on her mirror that said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Looking around at all the good others seem to be experiencing keeps us from trusting God with where He’s placed us and how He’s blessed us. We can easily look at mothers of “normal” children and get caught in self-pity, losing sight of the goodness of God in our lives. We focus on what we do not have, rather than rejoicing in all that we do have.

As beloved children of God, we can rejoice in God’s presence and His peace, His care and compassion, and His help and hope. Let’s learn to lift our souls to Him and rejoice in Him- even in the hard.

Restore unto me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.  Psalm 51:12

Hope Trusts God’s Compassion

MotherBandAid

The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The LORD is good to all. He has compassion on all He has made.  Psalm 145:8-9

We have seen that God’s character is trustworthy. And we have seen that He created all things for His glory, and is faithful to care for all that He made. He is worthy of our full trust for all that He is and for all that He does. We see more of His heart for His creation as we look at God’s compassion.

One definition for compassion is “to see, care and act on another’s need.” God who is the all-knowing Creator of all sees every need that we have. And when He sees those needs, His response is one of compassion- He cares about what He sees. But His response goes beyond seeing and caring, to having the power to act on the need.  He moves towards us to help with power and love.

We have all passed a homeless man or woman on a busy street corner. We may have seen the need, but did we really care? And if we cared, did we do anything to help? If not, then our response was not one of compassion. Compassion is seeing, caring and acting on another’s need. I’m so thankful God has compassion on all He has made. He doesn’t glance and keep driving, but instead He stops and extends His mighty hand of help.

Yet this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope. Because of the LORD’s great love, we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.” The LORD is good to those whose hope is in Him.  Lamentations 3:21-25

In the scriptures above, we see several characteristics of God’s compassion that are closely related. We see that God is gracious, slow to anger and rich in love. Gracious means that He gives grace and favor to those who don’t deserve it. He is slow to anger- He doesn’t look at our sin and react hastily, but moves compassionately to respond. And above all else His love for us is great.

A mother’s love for her child is to me the closest taste of God’s love for us that we can experience here on earth.  As we experience the rich unconditional love flowing from us to our child, can we feel God’s love flowing towards us in the same way? When our child makes a mistake, commits a sin, or otherwise acts in a way we wish he or she wouldn’t, and we feel that faithful love and forgiveness still pouring forth, can we accept it from God when we fall short? When our child is hurting, and our heart sees, cares and acts with compassion and help, can we trust God to move towards our hurt in the same way?

Another aspect of God’s compassion is empathy. Empathy is the ability to share someone else’s pain. It is knowing and understanding another’s pain, usually gained from having had the same experience.  Scripture assures us that through the incarnation, Christ experienced the same hurts as we have.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are- yet was without sin.  Hebrews 4:15

Though Christ did not have a child with special needs, we can be assured He experienced doubt, fear, grief, loneliness, disappointment and loss, just as we have. And we can be assured He is able to help us respond to those hurts in a way that grows our faith and honors God.

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.  Hebrews 4:16

God is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. We can trust His tender response to His children. He is good to those whose hope is in Him.

 

Hope Trusts God’s Care

Sparrow             

Why should I feel discouraged? Why should the shadows come?

Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,

When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He.

His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.       

The words to this gospel hymn are more fully experienced sung in an African American worship service by a talented soloist who can belt it out in full emotion. But the words alone speak a message for all of us struggling along life’s challenging road.

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Don’t be afraid, you are worth more than sparrows.  Luke 12:6-7

God cares for His creation. And He especially cares for the creation that bears His name. We are worth far more to Him, and we can trust that He will watch over us.

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not more valuable than they?  Matthew 6:26

We can trust that God will take care of us, and in that trusting, we can come to rest in His perfect provision for our lives.  We face many needs and challenges, some physical, others relational or financial, many emotional and spiritual. God our Creator knows us, and knows each of those needs intimately. And He is able to care tenderly for them.

My God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:19

We teach children the difference between “wants” and “needs.” They may say they “need” a new toy or new bicycle, but we help them understand that those are really just “wants.” So, too, we as adults sometimes need reminded of this difference. How many of my hopes and expectations are “wants?” And a scarier question is- how many of those “wants” have self-centered motives?

If we are honest, I think most of us will admit many of our “wants” come from worldly pressures and our own selfishness. We want a perfect house, a perfect car, a perfect marriage, a perfect child. Hopefully we can also admit that God has used difficult circumstances to whittle away at those “wants” and mold them into God-centered desires. We can agree that we don’t “need” perfect houses, cars, marriages and children to live. We need God.

God works in our “wants” and “needs” to bring us to total dependence on Him. He promises to meet all of our needs, and carve away at our worldly and selfish desires until we align with Him.

Command those who are rich in the present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.  1 Timothy 6:17

Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.  Psalm 37:4

This promise tells us that if we will delight ourselves in God, He will place within us new desires. The desires of our heart become the desires of God’s heart and we seek after all the fullness of what He has for us. We place our hope in His care, trusting Him to meet all our needs physically, emotionally, relationally and spiritually.

One of the deepest fears for a mother of a child with special needs is the fear of what will happen to her child if something happens to her. We can trust God’s care for our child- whether we are here to help or not. God will provide for all of his or her needs.

Trusting God to take care of all our needs frees us from the worry and stress of thinking we have to come up with all the answers. We are free to lay all our fears at His feet and place our confidence in His faithful provision. We are free to enjoy the many blessings He has given. We are free to delight in His faithful, watchful, caring hand.

I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free.

For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

              

 

Hope Trusts God’s Creation

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Through Him all things were made, and without Him nothing was made that has been made. John 1:3

In the story of creation, we learn that “God created man in His image. In the image of God, He created them.” (Genesis 1:27). Human beings are the only creation that bears the image of God. All human beings have been uniquely created by the sovereign hands of Elohim- our Creator.  Each one fashioned to bring glory to God.

Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory.  Isaiah 43:7

Jesus teaches us in John 9 that God seeks to glorify Himself through all people, even those with a disability.

“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”  John 9:2-3

As parents of children with different kinds of disabilities, we may need to wrestle out this issue with God and with ourselves. Can we trust that God uniquely created our child- just as he or she is- to bring glory to Himself? Do we trust His divine design- or are we tempted to consider this an “accident?”

For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful. I know that full well.  Psalm 139:13-14

Trusting God’s creation means trusting God with how He created my child.

Moses wrestled out this issue with God when God called Him to go to the Egyptians and lead Israel out of captivity. He was “slow of speech and tongue” and didn’t feel equipped to take on this great task.  God made clear to Moses that even with this disability, He was exactly who God created Him to be.

The LORD said to Moses, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I the LORD?”

We can come to rest in knowing that it is the Lord who creates each of our children, with their unique physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual development. We can turn our hearts to His great plan and trust Him to work all things for the greater good. We can focus on the beauty of God’s handiwork and be thankful for what we have, not discouraged by what we don’t have.

Friends of ours lost their third child late in the pregnancy. It was a very difficult loss. When God blessed them with a fourth child, and sustained them through the pregnancy, she was born with club feet. Their attitude has been a great witness to trusting in God’s perfect design for her, even with this challenge.  Their experience through the miscarriage gave them an attitude of thankfulness for this new life, in place of discouragement that could have otherwise come. They are focusing on what they have, not on what they don’t have.

Trusting God’s creation for my child moves me beyond “Why, Lord?” to “Be glorified, Lord.”

Trusting God’s creation also means trusting God with how He created me.

As “fearfully and wonderfully” as our children are made, so too are we created uniquely by God to bring glory to Himself.  He fashioned us to be the mother our children need us to be.  He uniquely placed us together in our families, whatever shape they may take. We can trust that our personality, our education and experiences, our passions and our interests, our strengths and our weaknesses have all shaped us to be used in our ministry to our children as mothers.

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.   Ephesians 2:10

One of my favorite quotes for ministry is “God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.”  We may not feel equipped for this calling, yet we can trust God to pour into us exactly what we need to do the work He prepared for us to do. After He reminded Moses of who had created him, He made a promise.

Now go, I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”  Exodus 4:12

Hope trusts God’s creation- how He created my child and how He created me- all to bring glory to Himself.  He will help us, He will teach us, He will equip us for all He has called us to be.

Creator God, Lord of all, may I trust you with every detail you have fashioned in my child, and in me. Be glorified as your hands continue to shape us into all you’ve created us to be.

Running on Empty

EmptyGas

“Don’t let your gas tank get below a quarter of a tank!”

My dad still gives this life wisdom each time I leave for a long road trip. And he has for the last 25 years or so that I’ve been driving. I am reminded of it each time the indicator light comes back on in my minivan indicating that my gas level has once again gone below a quarter of a tank. The stress level in me quickly rises as I hope I can make it in to a nearby gas station, distraught because I don’t have the time to stop and fill up right then, and frustrated because it seems like I just filled up three days ago! Why don’t I listen to my dad on this?

Mothers of children with special needs do a lot of running. From school to doctors to activities to church and family functions, we are on the go. And with all the kids and carseats and cargo we tote around, most of us drive vehicles that don’t get very good gas mileage. So by necessity, we have to return to the nearest gas station frequently, often pushing our luck with a gas level far below a quarter of a tank.

As we need frequent fill ups in our vehicles, even more so do we need frequent fill ups in our lives. As we need our cars to keep going strong for us, our families need us to keep our hearts, souls, minds and strength going strong for them.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  Mark 12:30

Here Jesus tells us the most important command is to love God, and to love Him in four ways. I see these as four ways we need to be filled in order to faithfully serve Him. Emotions, spirit, thoughts and physical health. If we don’t stop and refuel in each of these areas, we run on empty in a constant state of stress and frustration.

1. When we are filled emotionally, our emotions are in check, balanced by self-control and a healthy perspective on the people and situations in our lives. When we are running on empty emotionally, every fleeting feeling we have comes pouring out of our mouths and we are left to pick up the pieces of all that we have damaged along the way.

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.  Proverbs 5:23

 Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. Matthew 12:34

2. When we are filled spiritually, we run on the wisdom and peace and power of the Holy Spirit. We are filled with a lasting joy that goes beyond our circumstances. We live by God’s Word. But when we are running on empty spiritually, we are running in our own sinful flesh and old self-centered ways, which leaves us, as an empty gas tank, broken down.

The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Galatians 5:22-23

3. When we are filled mentally, our thoughts become like Christ’s. We think on things that are honoring to God (Philippian 4:8), and we take control of thoughts that would dishonor him if left to become words and actions (2 Corinthians 10:5). But when we are running on empty mentally, we lose creativity and the ability to rationally solve the problems that life brings.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Romans 12:2

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 2:3

4. Finally, we need to be filled physically. We need to fill up with those habits which allow our physical bodies to best serve where God has placed us. We need balanced nutrition, regular exercise and, perhaps most important to exhausted moms, adequate rest. When we run on empty physically, we are exhausted in all areas- heart, soul, mind and strength.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were bought at a price, therefore honor God with your body.  I Corinthians 6:19-20

 I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.  Psalm 4:8

There is some mechanical difference between newer cars and older cars related to gas tanks. I’m sure my mechanical father has told me before- some kind of converter something-or-other that one had or has and the other doesn’t. What I do remember is that it was less damaging to older cars to run out of gas, and that with today’s newer cars, running the gas tank all the way empty can be catastrophic to the engine.

So with today’s moms, running our tanks all the way to empty can be catastrophic. Irreparable damage to our families, our jobs, our bank account and our bodies can leave us completely stranded, broken down, alone on the side of the road of life.

Maybe you’ve been there. Maybe you’re there right now. I know I’ve been there several times.

Thankfully, our Redeemer is already on the way. He seeks us out and brings the filling of His Spirit. He fills up our hearts, souls, minds and bodies, restores us to wholeness, and get us back running safely again.

Will we learn from the breakdowns to fill up sooner? Will we watch and not go below a quarter of a tank? Will we come in for a “fill up” from the One who promises “He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35)?

He is waiting. Will we listen to our Father on this?

Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.  Mark 6:31

Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.  Psalm 81:10

 

 

 

Hope Trusts God’s Character

beautiful woman catches little girl jumping in pool against sea

My husband and I and our first born baby had just come home to our little apartment after her birth when she began to get very sick. The doctor told us she needed to get back to the hospital right away. There she was diagnosed with a blocked intestine. In all our fear and uncertainty, with really no idea of what to do, all we could do was what the doctors and nurses told us to do. That involved a lot of invasive testing, an ambulance ride to the specialty hospital downtown, and an 8-hour wait in the emergency room on Thanksgiving Night to be admitted for surgery.  Finally we met the surgeon who would be repairing the blockage. For me, that was when our hope was restored. This very tall, extremely kind and gentle man was known to be one of the top pediatric surgeons in the world. He knew exactly what needed to be done to “fix” our baby girl, and he had the reputation to prove he could do it. Once we knew who he was, we could trust him.

We can place our hope in God once we know who He is. We have to know His character before we can transfer our confidence to Him. The beautiful thing is that God is a God who makes Himself known.

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities- His eternal power and divine nature- have been clearly seen.  Romans 1:20

A second beautiful thing is that He has made us to know Him.

You are my witnesses, declares the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am He.   Isaiah 43:10

There are so many incredible attributes of the great “I AM,” that we could spend a year studying them. But there are several that have been anchors for my soul along this parenting journey. As you read through them, think of how He has shown Himself to you in these ways along your journey.

God is holy. “As for God, His way is perfect.”  (Psalm 18:30) The holiness of God should always drive us to humility. An awareness of His utter perfection, infinitely above His creation, should bring us to a reverence that leads to great trust.

God is good. “Give thanks to the LORD for He is good.” (Psalm 136:1). As children we learn that “God is great, God is good,” but it is through years of experiencing the sweetness of His tender grace in our lives that we come to a much deeper understanding of His goodness. God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good. All that He does is for our good and His glory. Even in the very hard, His goodness is at work.

God is faithful. “Your faithfulness continues for all generations.”  (Psalm 119:90). God keeps all of His promises. Though we may fail to keep the covenant He has made with us, He will not. He cannot be unfaithful to His promises.  “Never will I leave you. Never will I forsake you.”  (Hebrews 13:5)

God is unchanging. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) The same God we read of in the scriptures is the same God we love and serve and depend on today. His character does not change, no matter how much the circumstances around us do. Because He has always been holy, good and faithful, we can know He will always be. He is an unwavering anchor that holds through the even the fiercest storms of life.

God is omnipotent- having all power. “He was given authority, glory and sovereign power.”  (Daniel 7:14). God is all-powerful. He has power over all because He created all things. He is the Almighty- strong and reigning over all things. We see His power ultimately displayed when He conquered death and rose again. We trust that He will be mighty to save His children. He will be mighty to help us raise our children.

God is omniscient- having all knowledge. “You have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely.” (Psalm 139:1-2, 4). God is all-knowing. His knowledge goes to the ends of the earth, and to the depths of my inmost being. He knows my every hurt, disappointment, and fear. There is no subject He is uninformed of, no question He cannot answer, no problem He cannot solve.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run to it and they are saved. Proverbs 18:10

God’s name is who He is, His character, His reputation. The “I AM” is a strong tower, and when we run to it, we are saved. Meditate on the fullness of who God is and raise your hope to Him. He is worthy of all our trust.

In your name I will hope, for your name is good. Psalm 52:9

 

 

 

Hope Trusts

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To trust is to transfer confidence from myself to someone or something else. Trust begins with a belief that the someone or something else is worthy of being trusted. Hope begins with a trust that the anchor it holds on to will hold.  When we place our hope in the Lord, we trust that He will hold faithful and strong.

A horse is a vain hope for deliverance, despite all its great strength, it cannot save. But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the LORD, He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name.  May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you.  Psalm 33:17-22

When our hope is in the Lord, we have His unfailing love, His deliverance from death, His provision in famine, His help, and His protection to hold on to. Ultimately we have His holy name. If we can even just taste His faithfulness in all these things, we can begin to transfer our confidence fully to Him. He has held firm and secure from generation to generation. He is worthy of our trust.

Guard my life and rescue me, let me not be put to shame for I take refuge in you. May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you.   Psalm 25:21

The world around us offers many things to put our hope in. We can hope in our health, our money, our jobs, our perfect children or our popularity. While these all may hold for a while, we know they can fail in an instant.  If we have transferred our confidence to one of these, we are left hopeless when they are gone.

The greater risk to me has been the temptation to place confidence in myself, to trust that I can take care of myself and meet all the needs of my family with my own intellect and strength.

Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD… But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water, that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.  Jeremiah 17:5-8

Thankfully, The Lord has provided times of extreme heat and severe drought to bring me to the end of myself and transfer my confidence to Him.  Certainly the challenges of diagnosing, accepting and beginning to move forward with a child with special needs have served to break me of me- and have forced me to cry out for God’s help. And He has been faithful.

We can trust God because God is trustworthy. When our souls place our hope in Him, and our confidence is in Him, we find peace and security like the “tree planted by water.” We are provided for. We are protected.

Where are you placing your trust? Is it on someone or something that will eventually fail? Maybe you’re experiencing or have experienced the hopelessness of a hold that has broken for you.  Can you place your trust on the Someone who has held and will hold for all of eternity?

Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in me will not be disappointed.  Isaiah 49:23

My hope is built on nothing less

Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness

I dare not trust the sweetest frame

But wholly lean on Jesus name

When darkness veils His lovely face

I rest on His unchanging grace

In every high and stormy gale

My anchor holds within the veil

His oath, His covenant His blood

Support me in the whelming flood

When all around my soul gives way

He then is all my hope and stay.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand

All other ground is sinking sand

All other ground is sinking sand.

Special Hope

MotheronDock

Maybe you knew before your child was born. Maybe you knew in the early months when development seemed delayed. Maybe it wasn’t until your child came into puberty that the difference became clear. Nevertheless, you discovered your child was different. And whether that difference is mild or severe, we as mothers of “different” children face unique challenges on our parenting journey.

I have learned from sharing with other mothers of children with special needs, and from my own parenting experience, that though each child’s diagnosis may be very different, our challenges are very similar. We all face grief and disappointment, isolation and fear, discouragement and uncertainty. We have all had those moments of complete despair, crying out face down, begging for God’s salvation. We have all felt the loneliness and exhaustion that can settle in at the end of a hard day.

For those of us who know Christ as our Savior and Lord, we have also experienced God’s faithful hand holding true through those desperate moments. The Comforter has come near with His presence and power. We have glimpsed His glory in moments of peace and love, victory and joy. In spite of all the hard, God has been good.

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. Hebrews 6:19

Sailors cast out anchors to hold their boats secure through storms. So too must we learn to cast out an anchor to hold firm and secure through the storms we face.  Hope is that anchor.  Hope is faith in knowing the storm will pass, an expectation that God will bring us through.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12

God’s Word is rich in encouragement for mothers of a child (or children) with special needs. This simple verse gives a theme for our lives on this journey. May we find the joy in holding on to hope.  May we find patience resting deep in our soul as we walk through affliction.  May we be faithful to stay down on our knees in prayer.

The purpose of “Special Hope” is to give biblical encouragement to mothers of children with special needs, applying God’s Word and practical experience, bringing special hope in the unique challenges we face. When our souls are anchored to hope, we find peace even in the hardest of trials. We move onward with the strength, wisdom and joy Christ is faithful to give.

This blog is focused on encouraging moms who faithfully care for their children. As in an airplane we are told to put our own oxygen masks on first, then on our children, so too must we feed our hearts, souls and minds first so we can best serve our children. May God use His Holy Word and the words offered here to greater fill your cup.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.  Hebrews 10:23