"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion & the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) A daily devotional especially intended to offer compassion to other challenged parents of kids with special needs. Visit our home page at www.snappin.org!
Monday, June 30, 2014
What are you afraid of?
He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and
protection. 5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. 6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Psalm
Before David even had a diagnosis, he had
many symptoms of his Borderline Personality and Anxiety Disorders. Because he was such a caring person, we
thought no one would ever be afraid of him. We were more concerned about him with
self-injury because he was so hard on himself.
We were still ignorant about what
mental illness could do to a person. We’ve
all heard that ignorance is bliss. Well,
I contend that ignorance is hell.
Once, when we were gone, things escalated
between him and a sibling. We heard both
kids tell different stories of a volatile situation at best. We should not have taken both sides of the
story with equal consideration, but we did.
This resulted in one of those bad parenting moments with ramifications
down the road. If I wrote a book on Bad
Parenting Moments 101, this would be one of those big ones. We were still pretty clueless about what
David had going on inside his brain. We
were in the roller coaster stage (things would get better for a little bit only
to get really bad again). We were hoping
it would get better, but not all that hopeful.
That may be why we considered both sides equally, but it ultimately led
to one child being very much afraid of the other. This is a tough story to tell because we
messed up. To top it off we were not
even aware that we messed up.
A few years later David’s sibling told us
how he slept with a bat under his bed. A
bat! Really! This quiet, reserved, and gentle child of
ours had a bat under his bed. We felt
like awful parents for several reasons. I
won’t go there, but you can just imagine the self-examination that followed
this revelation. I can understand why he didn't come to us. After all, we weighed David's word and his equally.
Thankfully, I believe this child did come to understand that had we known we would have helped him through this
fear and protected him. We offered to do
whatever we could to help him through the COLLATERAL DAMAGE this incident had
caused and when David passed away this sibling even spoke of David’s caring
spirit at his memorial service.
Not counting some of the things we
learned as parents, I thought of this story when considering my fears.
Do I carry or hide a bat anywhere?
Am I afraid of things out of my control?
What about not being there when my
special needs child gets older?
What about getting ill myself?
What about the financial toll?
The verse above doesn’t say TRY not to be
afraid. It says DON’T be afraid.
It also says He promises to COVER YOU,
PROTECT YOU, AND SHELTER YOU!
What more could I ask for? Nothing
Lord, Help me to trust you when I am afraid. Also, help me to learn from my bad parenting
choices even when it’s painful to look at them.
Lastly, remind me that you are there to shelter and protect me.