People say that God gives special needs children to special parents. I believe that. I see the number of people who kill their children, either in the womb or after birth, simply because they have special needs. Some are so terrified of a special needs child they are willing to gamble with their child’s life and the lives of others when they forego vaccinations in fear of autism. Yet, in knowing all of that most days I don’t feel special at all.
My days are filled with homeschooling a non-verbal child, battling chronic constipation and ear infections, trying to teach him to shower on his own, pureeing food because he can’t chew, a parade of doctors, therapists and other health professionals, medication, vitamins, educating myself, praying that someday he will be better and always searching for the slightest improvement. It’s the tiniest of things that provide the fuel to keep going.
Life with a special needs child is a unique rhythm of life. It’s a raging battle of promise and hopelessness, a song of celebration and mourning and a mesmerizing dance of fire and rain. It cannot be compartmentalized into the smallness of mere words. There’s unparalleled success, tragic downfall and the mundane of the middle. What sustains us through it all is our belief in God.
I firmly believe special needs children are closer to God than anyone else on earth. I cannot escape the notion that they have the knowledge of God and the relationship with Christ that the rest of us long for; whether we acknowledge the need or not. These special kids have a special place in God’s garden of love. That’s why as special needs parents we learn more from our kids than they do us. We see the strength in them others see as a disability. We see the sensitive heart in them that God longs to place in all of us. Yet, others may only see emotions out of control. We live the greatest of human experiences in the ever present struggle, love and under-dog victory that people pay money to just glimpse in a darkened, isolated movie theater.
There are days we need a hug, a gentle word or the smallest of encouraging smiles. But always we want you to remember us in your prayers. We know prayer changes things. We get up every single day dependent upon that simple truth. When we’re trying to teach a skill for at least the ten thousandth time with no evidence that we’ve made the least bit of difference, we need your prayers. When day after day we pour all we have into our kids with the overwhelming feeling that it is in vain, we need your prayers. When we must not only watch our children suffer but often be required to perform medical procedures or allow them to be performed in the full knowledge that it will be traumatizing to our child, we need your prayers.
But most of all we need you to pray for Someday. Because we believe that Someday God will bring forth all the knowledge we’ve poured into our children of which we’ve never seen a positive result. Someday strength will come to muscles which have been lax. Someday light will come to a part of the brain that has been dark for years. Someday all our struggles will be worthwhile because we will impact the world for the greater good of God. Someday. But until that glorious day when we wake up to our Someday we need your prayers today. Because until Someday all we have is This Day. And only prayer can turn This Day into our Someday tomorrow.