Keeping the Faith While Raising a Child With Special Needs

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It is no secret that being a mom is one of the hardest and most time-consuming jobs a woman could ever have. While hard and time-consuming, I am quickly reminded that it is by far the most rewarding job I could have ever been given. I am “mom” to three precious children – Jameson (7), Emery (3), and Henley (20 months). All three of my children are special and perfect and each one is unique in his or her own way. Our sweet Emery has autism and in raising her over the last three years, God has consistently shown me and reminded me of His promises for His children.

As a mom of a child with special needs, I am sometimes tempted to ask God, “Why my baby?” or, “Did I do something to deserve this?” Our thoughts can be our own worst enemy at times! While I am tempted to question God about the cards I’ve been dealt, I quickly remember that God never promised His people an easy life or one without hardships. John 16:33 says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” What a comfort it is to know that even though we will face trials in this world, in Christ we have an abundance of peace!

I am eternally grateful for my family. Growing up in a God-centered household, I was blessed to have so many Godly people in my life. I am thankful that those same people, and even my own son, Jameson, are still supporting me in my life and in my role as a mother. At just seven (almost eight) years of age, sweet Jameson shows such grace to both Emery and Henley and even with his dad and me. He reminds me of how gracious God is to His children. Raising Emery has taken a village and has required a lot of learning and personal growth. While every day is a blessing, I admit that some days are harder than others. I grieve for all that my girl hasn’t experienced and for the things that I thought she and I would have shared together by this time in her life, like hearing her say, “I love you”. While Emery is nonverbal (for now), the sounds and noises she makes are like music to my ears. I pray and have faith that one day I will hear her sweet voice and that music will sound even sweeter!

Thankfully, love needs no words to be shown or felt. She is my daily reminder that God makes no mistakes and knows us better than we could ever know ourselves. Psalm 139:13-16 says, “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; you works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

I am reminded of his purpose for Emery’s life when I read Jeremiah 29:11, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

I’m a proud mother of an autistic girl who makes my world go round. Although there are days and circumstances that rattle my faith, I’m thankful for a God who knows my heart and who is with me in the struggle.

Graciously, He knows me better than I know myself and intercedes for me when I can’t find the words to speak to Him. Psalm 58:6 says, “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Whenever, you feel at your lowest and need to be reminded of how great our God is and how much He cares for you, remember Psalm 58:6. How awesome is it to know that the same God who created the beautiful ocean and sky also created you and me?

Keep the faith and remember that no matter what your struggle looks like, God is gracious and faithful and He will give you the strength to move forward with each new day – struggles and all!