Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Chchchchchanges!

Everything good comes from God. Every perfect gift is from him. These good gifts come down from the Father who made all the lights in the sky. But God never changes like the shadows from those lights. He is always the same. ~ James 1:17, ERV, Emphasis mine ~


Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. ~ Hebrews 13:8, NIV

Ask any expert on children with special needs, and you're certain to learn that kids of virtually any diagnosis thrive on structure and routine.  Whether it be a cognitive, emotional or physical challenge, the comfort and security of stability often provides a solid floor under our children's wobbly lives.  Control is gained over their out-of-control circumstances when they can have some amount of predictability to their schedules.

Ah, but we parents know the sad truth that life is continually changing.  It seems that just when we get into a manageable, comfortable groove, some sort of transition comes to upset the apple cart.  This requires adjustments and adaptations, frequently from very frightened young people.  That fright or upset can be expressed in some unusual ways.  Aside from the usual child anxiety of trying to get accustomed to perhaps a new teacher or new friends, our kids face the additional stress of new sensory input to adjust to, new medications and different therapists.  This can really overwhelm a child, ruining sleep, causing bad behaviors and even resulting in depression.  

Needless to say, adjustments take time.  Wisdom dictates that we parents help our children through these many changes by taking some extra measures.  Preparing our children farther in advance, describing the new change that will take place, even simulating or practicing the change are all parental best practices for helping our precious kids through transitions.  Assuring that there are some familiar anchors to cling to in the transition, such as a favorite fidget, a familiar friend, a cherished activity or a trusted adult can all be helpful as well.

While all of these measures are prudent, the greatest stability and anchor we can give to our offspring is that which is found in their Maker.  Speaking the words of life that insure the Father's stable nature is essential for our kids well-being .  Writing the truth that the unchanging God goes with them into every circumstance gives our children a reassurance that will outlast us as parents.  No matter what their cognitive level, teaching our sons and daughters that the Lord is the One on whom they can always rely is life-changing.  We can know the effect of teaching our kids the Bible's promises for certain because God tells us with certainty that His word will not return to Him without accomplishing the purpose for which it was sent out.  (see Isaiah 55:11)

Personally, I pray aloud over and with my children.  We pray Scripture and God's promises on the way to school in the car.  When I do so, there seems to be this filling and strengthening of the kids for anything they are facing.  I can literally see it in their countenance.  And I have been blessed to hear at least one of them articulating this awakening sense that Jesus has Himself wrapped around them in the chaos.

Friend, pour this wisdom into your children along with me.  They face way too many changes and transitions in their young lives.  Equip them with the assurance that He who is the same yesterday, today and forever goes before them, beside them and behind them in every single situation they face.  That is a solid foundation that will never shift under their feet.

PRAY:  Holy God, thank You for who You are!  I praise You that no matter what swirls around us, You are dependable, reliable, always present.  Guide me as I impart this truth to my child.  Comfort my precious one with the knowledge that though changes come, You never change. 
Photo Image Courtesy of: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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