Wednesday, September 28, 2016

To the Parent Blindsided by Your Child's Diagnosis

Photo Credit, David Niblack, Imagebase.net
I had heard rumors about You,
but now my eyes have seen You.
Job 42:5, HCSB

I spoke to you today, and I could see the shock on your face and hear the fear and uncertainty in your voice. Of all the things you've dealt with, the things you imagined you might have to handle, you never saw this one coming. You didn't even suspect that your child would receive that diagnosis. Welcome to the club you never wanted to join. 

As the parent of a child with multiple diagnoses, I have been where you are. I have listened to doctors pronounce diagnoses over my child. Some were expected, and some were unexpected, and every one was like a punch to the gut. Life is never the same again.

Except somehow, after the initial shock, anger, disbelief, grief, researching, learning, and adapting, it is. Life continues to move forward in a new normal, one that was unimaginable before that becomes second nature. As this process takes place, you go from thinking almost incessantly about the diagnosis and seeing your child in light of that while you get control of the situation to realizing that your child is the same one you had the day before the diagnosis. It's easy to lose sight of that when new professionals, therapies, medication regimens, surgeries and procedures, and medical equipment enter your lives, but it's true. Your child is who he is. He's the same child you had before, and that won't change. Most likely, he will be much more resilient while processing what this new diagnosis means than you will.

Through all of this, you will find God in the middle of it with you. I have laid it all out before him many times, expressing exactly what I was feeling and knowing He is big enough to handle it, no matter how ugly the emotions I needed to release. And I have found, like Job, that I come through these times knowing Him in ways I never have before. Cling to Him. He won't abandon you or your child, or treat you like you have cooties. He'll be right by your side the whole way.

I'm so sorry you're having to go through this and that your child, who has already been through so much, has to deal with something else. It's not fair, and I hate it for you both. Don't be afraid to seek out a listening ear if you need one. Make it someone you trust, who will look out for what's best for your family as you deal with this. I am praying for you right now.

Pray: Father, I bring this parent before you now. This new diagnosis is a hard thing to deal with. It's hard to process it all and figure out how to handle the changes in the daily routine as well as how to pay for everything. Please bring this parent the resources and people alongside to help during this period of transition - and for as long as it takes afterward. I pray that this family would cling to You and would come out of this storm knowing You better than ever before---not just knowing about You. Give them peace, strength, and rest in You right now. Amen.

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