“We got the results from your son’s testing back. Can you come into my office to talk?”
Have you ever had an event happen in your life that just left you feeling as if your world was crumbling around you? Something so out of left field and so overwhelming that it just caused you to feel completely hopeless and helpless?
A few years ago, an event occurred in our family that shook me to my core. No, it wasn’t the worst thing that could happen to anyone, but it was one of the worst things that had happened to my family to date, and it completely rocked my world (and not in a good way).
My oldest son was diagnosed with SPD (sensory processing disorder) and a separate unrelated speech disorder a few years ago. Sure, I had noticed that he was falling behind in his speech and had noticed a few strange quirks, but nothing that would have prepared me for the news we received that day.
They told us that the speech disorder my son had would be something we would have to battle for years and years to come. The “good news” was that many kids who had this disorder diagnosed this early on were fine by the time they graduated high school. HIGH SCHOOL!!! And not only that, but this SPD that he was struggling with was more than just a few weird quirks, it was why he wasn’t eating food no matter what discipline measures we took and why he was losing weight. Oh, and this particular disorder, yeah, it doesn’t go away, he’ll just learn to “deal with it” and “work around it”.
You guys. I was crushed. I was absolutely heartbroken and discouraged. The future seemed utterly hopeless. To hear that your child is anything but completely healthy and “normal” does some serious damage to your emotions. To know that my child was suffering on any level was NOT fun news to receive. I felt like my world was crashing down around me and like I was spiraling out of control. I felt betrayed, alone, guilty, helpless and depressed. I was full of a deep sorrow for myself, for my son, for my family.
Somewhere in the depths of this despair, I was able to find the light. Someone took time to reach into the murky waters I was attempting to drown myself in and pulled me out. A few years ago when this was all fresh, I was on staff at our church as the Children’s Pastor. I was in a staff meeting spilling my guts, crying and baring my soul to my fellow staff members when my senior Pastor dealt me some truth.
He reminded me that although I was my son’s mother here on Earth, that my son actually had a much more reliable parent, God. Here I was, heaping all of this guilt and responsibility onto my own shoulders. And while I am his parent, and it is my job to assist him as he navigates his way through therapy and his new “normal”, I didn’t have to do this alone. AND it wasn’t even my responsibility to do this alone either. It wasn’t and isn’t God’s design for us to do this alone.
Imagine the best father you’ve ever met on this Earth, whether it’s your own or someone else’s. Now think about the fact that this father you’re imagining is nothing compared to our Father in Heaven. God is a perfect Father. Perfect! How could we doubt the parenting of a perfect Father? Yes, God gives us our babies and entrusts us to watch over them, guide and love them, but in the end, we are all His children. And He holds more responsibility than any one of us for what happens to His children. Why is it that we always end up doubting Him? And how it is that we always try to take on such burdens on our own and only come to God as a last resort? We are supposed to rely on Him.
So, after getting furious at my pastor for saying my kids aren’t actually my kids (HA!), I actually thought about what he said and it gave me peace. It gave me freedom and it allowed me to lay the stresses and worries and doubt and guilt and the multitude of other feelings I was feeling at the feet of our perfect and loving heavenly Father.
And now? My son is doing wonderfully. God is not only a perfect Father, but He is forever faithful. Remember the speech disorder he was supposed to struggle with through his entire childhood? Yeah, he graduated speech a year and a half ago after only going to therapy for 2 years. Praise God! We still have our ups and downs as we work through his SPD, but there have been more wins than losses and God only continues to show His faithfulness and goodness through it all.
Maybe something in your life has you floundering and gasping for breath. Circumstances may be weighing you down to depths you’ve never dreamt of. But let us not forget that in God, we have hope! In God, we have a perfect Father who never meant for us to attempt to parent these little people He’s gifted us alone. He is with us and there to guide us and support us, should we only let Him. Let God be your parenting partner today. I promise, the freedom and hope you’ll feel are well worth giving up a little control. 🙂