Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.
I John 4:17 The Message
As a mom of a child with special needs - I have a confession. Fear of the Future can threaten to overwhelm me.
This fear is is a bigger monster than the one I had to overcome when Bethany was born and I was "afraid" of Down Syndrome and what it would mean to our lives.
This fear is amplified by unknowns - It's a two part question:
The fear multiplies as we look ahead and try to plan. Jeff and I are dismayed to find so few fulfilling, productive work opportunities available for adults with disabilities. We want so much for Bethany. What will she be able to achieve? How can we help her learn the skills, overcome social stigmas, and find her niche in this life?
These two words describe trying to understand the special needs 3 ring circus of IEP's, laws, and long range planning we're supposed to be doing - all things we need to figure out before Bethany becomes 18 to help her thrive in adulthood and independence.
But one thought is the strongest foe. And, it's the one thing I can't control or change.
It's the realization that my other children are grown, fulfilled, happy, and all married with families of their own. If I died today - I know they would be sad but they would be OK - able to handle life.
But what about Bethany?
This is the crux of my fear. In my heart and mind, I can't contemplate dying and leaving Bethany alone.
Fear tries to strips me of reason and faith as I ask "who will love her as completely, or understand her essence, see past her disability or advocate for her- as her mother does? Who will pour their life out for her?"
Even as I write this, I know her siblings adore her and she has many friends and advocates. But I know how much vision, passion, time and energy this journey takes and I "feel" like she's my responsibility - "my" Bethany.
She is in His loving care.
And so is your child.
And so are we all!