Friday, August 29, 2014

The Highly Sensitive Child is Also Special Needs

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:29)

Today I went to the grocery store and like always I dreaded the check out process (unless it is the self-checkout). I also dread that question at the end of the bagging when they ask if they can help me out to my car. There have been times when my groceries ended up in two carts forcing me to need help to my car. Then the panic ensues.

I love people. I like to get to know people yet these kind of encounters I dread terribly. Today I was pushing my cart out and was spooked by the really nice man coming back in because he asked if I needed help. Why do I feel this way?

One thing I do know is that I am a highly sensitive person. I wish I could turn off my mind at times because it will not stop processing people's expressions and words. I seem to be able to feel what they feel and it is overwhelming at times. I love being alone but then I long for other's company. It is a mess to me really. A contradiction.

I used to think something was wrong with me for a very long time but I realized God made me this way and it is perfect. Because of the high sensitivity, I am able to "see" others better than those who are not sensitive. It is a gift I have learned to embrace most of the time. Yet today at the grocery store I am not even sure why I panicked. It just happens and if I am a full grown, middle-aged adult who has not figured this out yet then our children cannot understand themselves either.

Sadly, the highly sensitive child and their special needs are often overlooked, especially if that child is a boy. I have a highly sensitive child so I get it because I am a highly sensitive person myself. We must give grace in this area. We must realize too that these kids are more likely to fall into depression than their counterparts. As much as we can help it we need to be gentle and kind with them.

We should be gentle and kind with everyone anyway but because we are sinners we fail miserably with it sometimes. God gives us grace in this as we ask for it. He also uses every situation in our lives to grow and train us to be more like Him. Jesus was a sensitive person. We know this because He always took time for those around Him. He took time to see the sick, demon possessed, outcast and little children. Highly sensitive people are a glimpse into Jesus' heart.

The unique thing about Jesus though is He was able to not sin with high sensitivity. Sin comes in the form of self-pity, despair, pride and the like. I always recommend that my child pray when she starts feeling the temptation to fall into those sin areas. Ask God to give the grace to come out of it and always keep our eyes on Jesus who tells us to come to Him and learn from Him. He doesn't weigh us down, His yoke is easy and light so we must look to Him as we move through life with a highly sensitive child.

Prayer: Father, thank you for making us all different. Our differences help make life interesting and help sanctify us. Help us with extra sensitivities take your yoke upon us and learn from you. In Jesus Name. Amen.

~Angela Parsley


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