Thursday, September 24, 2015

She Said What??! Three Tips to Help us Respond With Grace


“Be kind and compassionate with one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”  
Ephesians 4:32, NIV

Maybe some of your children are like my son, Luke. He has a love affair with water. No matter where he finds it—in pools or puddles—he’s drawn to it. A few years back he got into a neighbor’s pool on two different occasions. Thankfully, it was only up to his waist since he can’t yet swim. The second time it happened the homeowner was not pleased.

“This is getting old,” he said. I apologized and explained that Luke had autism and loved water. 

His response? “You need to get him out of here. I’m sorry he is like that but it’s not my problem.” And the clincher?

“I’m glad my kids and grandkids aren’t like him.”

Man, did that comment hurt. Major ouch.

My guess is that some of you have been there. Not the exact situation, but a hurtful comment was said about your child, teen or adult with a disability.

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak at my home church, First Baptist Church of Geneva, as we launched a breakfast and time of fellowship for moms of those with special needs (called Masterpiece Moms). Besides talking about some common clueless comments, we discussed what we could remember, and do, to respond with grace in these sticky situations.

The first thing to remember is what Jesus went through on the cross for us to be forgiven.  Luke 23:34 tells us that while He was hanging on the cross He said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”  What amazing grace and unfathomable forgiveness! This is our motivation to forgive others when they make hurtful comments towards our children with special needs.

Secondly, it helps me when I remember my own assumptions and mistakes, of which there are many!! I didn’t have a clue about the whole special needs world before my son’s diagnosis of autism. That was 8 years ago and sometimes I still do really stupid things. Not long ago I found myself patting the head of a GROWN MAN in a wheelchair.  A grown man!!!! Oy.

Lastly, we need each other as we walk the journey of being special needs parents. That’s why online and in person support groups* are so important! Life gets better when we can laugh and share our hearts together.

Prayer: Lord, thank you so much for your word. Thank you for each other. Help us to find the humor in situations where we would otherwise be stressed out.  We love you, Lord.  Amen.

--By Deb Abbs

*For information on Snappin' Ministries' Side-By-Side Parent Mentor Small Groups, visit our website or e-mail barb@snappin.org.

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