I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12: 1-2 ESV
Color inside the lines, brush your hair, don't let yourself start to smell bad, one scribble on the page is not artwork, and don't forget to smile nice for your picture!
That's what the world wants, right?I shrink inside every time I hear my daughter say, "Finished" and I see the scribble of one color across the white paper. Her artwork. But it doesn't look like the artwork that MY CHILD should be creating...no, surely she'd be more creative and want it to look nicer, right?
I try to find tasks that she'll be GOOD AT despite her disabilities.
I try to explain to people why she doesn't respond when they say "Hello" to her in passing.
I try to explain why, now that she's older, sucking her thumb isn't a practical strategy for managing stress, and she should try to control it.I try to fix her. I try to fix her so the world will not reject her. That is such a painful fear of mine...for the world to reject her, for her to be friendless, for her to be jobless, for her to be "less" than this world will accept.
But, God's Kingdom is so different.I take comfort in the verse from Romans above, which I'm using in my scripture memorization program. God's WILL is good, acceptable, and perfect.
And God's WILL made her the way she is.Good, acceptable and perfect.
We are forced in our society to talk about our child's deficits when he or she has special needs.
IEPs look at where their weaknesses because we need to strengthen them and make them better, right? We need to fix them where they are broken?
Our baby well-check visits look at the milestones we are missing as parents of babies with special needs. Oops, not holding her head up yet, not sitting up on her own yet, not holding her bottle yet. Hmmmm...broken...not fitting into the "What to Expect..." mold.
So, we start to walk around BELIEVING that our child is broken!!!
Aren't we taught, though, that the thing that's really broken here is all of mankind? Aren't we taught in the Bible that the only thing that matters is our eternity?
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV
So, while we may be tempted to do a "touchdown dance" when our child scores highly on a test, or when the report cards come home with a nice looking GPA; that will not save our child. When she goes to state in her favorite sport? That will not win her eternity. Even when she "sticks with it" in Special Olympics, and our hearts swell with pride at her triumph over adversity; she has gained nothing in her palace in Heaven.
I am at my best when I am meek. My daughter is at her best when she is meek.Meek: prays (adj) (prah-ooce') Meekness toward God is that disposition of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us AS GOOD, and therefore without disputing or resisting. In the Old Testament, the meek are those wholly relying on God rather than their own strength to defend against injustice. Thus, meekness toward evil people means knowing God is permitting the injuries they inflict, that He is using them to purify His elect, that He will deliver His elect in His time. (Isa 41:17, Luke 18:1-8).* any emphasis mine...
My main goal as a mom is to make sure that Evie knows her Lord and Savior, and her Creator. That girl can worship like nobody else I know, so, YES, we take her to concerts on school nights and sing, and dance, and worship God.
If her art isn't well planned out,
if she chooses to wear a mismatched outfit,
if she opts to play alone at recess;
that has NO impact on her place in Heaven.
So.why.sweat.it?Do I buck the system and say, "No, I don't want an IEP for my daughter?" No, because I know it can protect her in school.
Do I still feel proud when she wins the "Respect" award at school? I sure do...because I'm broken too, but I also know that any respect she shows is from the Holy Spirit at work inside of her.
In short, when you, as the parent of a child with special needs, are feeling overwhelmed by the apparent "brokenness" of your child and the societal pressure to FIX him; remember that he is blessed, abundantly and wholly blessed by God; his Creator.
Remember that THIS world is the backwards world and that eternity with GOD is our ultimate goal; not comfort here on earth.
Pray: Heavenly Father, Perfect Creator; help us to remember YOUR definition of blessed. Help us to remember that YOU CAME to SAVE the BROKEN! If we weren't broken, then we wouldn't need you. When our hearts ache with the mourning of our children who do not fit the pattern of this world, remind us that THEY ARE YOUR TREASURE just as they are. Help us to see them as you do. Amen.
* Blue Letter Bible App for iPad; Lexicon Concordance.