This post was written by Wendy Woerner who blogs at Families Living with Autism.
I’ve mentioned before that we are early on in our special needs journey. We do not know what lies ahead for us or our sweet youngest. We are simply taking each day as it comes and doing our best to get our daughter the services she needs in order to be able to communicate better with us and to do her “work” which, at her age, is to play.
Dear Mama of a Special Needs Child, I see you.
I’m not going to pretend. This journey is hard on a mama’s heart. There are things we wish for as parents, for our children, that we may not even be aware of until the moment arrives and we find ourselves wishing:
- that she could just say the words she so desperately wants to say
- that she wasn’t aware that some things are more difficult for her than her peers
- that her awareness did not result in her apparent heartache over it
- that other kids her age would say “yes” when she works up the courage to ask “you wanna be friends?”
- that she would remain unaware of the rejection forever, as she is now
- that she would consistently answer questions
- that her senses weren’t quite so keen, at least in some cases
- and more.
It’s tough. To want what is best for my child, to know that she has difficulty ahead of her, to see the progress being made yet mourn at the same moment when others cannot see it or do not accept it. To constantly feel the need to explain her behaviors and to feel the disapproval in the looks of others.
I’m her mother. I know and love her. I also know that just because she is “special” that she cannot simply be allowed to do as she pleases. But I’m learning. We’re learning together. It’s frustrating, rewarding, glorious, and heartbreaking all at the same time. I rejoice in each small step she makes towards dressing herself, becoming toilet trained, no longer being afraid of loud noises or odd textures…..and I weep.
I weep over her inability to dress herself at almost 4; at her lack of interest in being fully potty trained, even though her cousin who is a year younger than her has already conquered this skill; at her fears of loud noises (that really aren’t loud) and odd textures that most of us wouldn’t even notice. I’m a roller coaster of emotions. I feel anger, frustration, joy, hurt, sadness, confusion, and I can become overwhelmed by it all.
DEAR MAMA OF A SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD, I SEE YOU.
Yet. I know the one Who created my daughter. I know that He is good. All the time.
Psalm 100:5 “For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” (KJV)
His plans are for me, not against me.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV)
Dear, sweet mama of a special needs child, whether you are early on in your journey as I am, or you’ve had years to come to terms with a diagnosis (or several), you still need someone to see you. I know the feeling of despair. Not because you do not love your child or are angry because of their need, but because you just want to be seen. To be heard. Can you ask, if it’s not too much, to even be understood? You need this.
I see you.
God sees you.
While I agree that friends, family, and neighbors can learn how to meet your need to be heard, to be understood, to be loved, despite their lack of understanding for all that you experience on a daily basis, I’m here to tell you about the One who can meet your every need.
The One True King. Jesus. He is here for you. Always. His love is greater than any other and His understanding knows no bounds. When you become tired and weary, He knows. When you don’t know what to do, He can bring peace and calm. Even amidst the screeching, tantruming, whirlwind of a child mid-meltdown, my God is there.
Do you know Him?
Run to Him. Tell Him of your hurts, your fears, your pain. Cry out to Him about the confusion, the sorrow, the joys. He knows it all, yet He wants you to come to Him. To rest in His peace. Let Him meet you where you are.
I am still in the process of learning to do this. There are days when I cry out to Him, when I have cried out to others and they did not understand, and even then…He brings peace. Even when there is no resolution to the problem, my God helps me to be thankful, to gain just a bit more strength for the day. He equips me for the journey that He has called me to walk.
I encourage you, run to Him. I know you may be tired, weary, anxious, and afraid. You may feel as if you cannot take one more step. Simply step right into the arms of Jesus, through prayer, through worship.
He sees you.
Could you use prayer for this special needs journey? I know I could. Leave your requests in the comments if you like. I will pray for you!