Sunday, February 10, 2013

Encouragment for today

Today I found myself re-reading a pamphlet I got from church a while back and it just made me so happy because I often need a reminder of Gods truth in hard times.  I don't know the rules of plagerism on blogs but I am going to word for word copy some of this (except adding in my sons name).  I want all of the other moms with children with disabilities to be able to be uplifted by it as I have been today.  This is taken from "Help for the Caregiver" by the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation

"When we use a phrase like, "he's the spitting image of his father," we usually mean that the son displays the physical characteristics of his earthly father.  He looks (and perhaps acts) like his dad.  In a similar, but far more profound way, we resemble the God of the universe, both in his character and actions.  You and the person you are caring for are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-28; Psalm 8:4-8).  God made us to reflect his image to the world.  We don't do this perfectly because of sin and disease, but no matter what our disabilities, we never stop imaging God! Jacob is no less an image bearer because of his autism than someone who is not autistic.  The person you are caring for also bears God's image.  The Gospel is about renewing the true image of God through Jesus (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10).  This process is not derailed by illness and disability.  Instead, God uses these things to make us more like him.  God promises he will complete the work he began in each of us (Philippians 1:6).  This means that God is doing his transforming work in the person you are caring for and also transforming you as you face the challenges of caregiving.  He is perfecting the character of Christ in both of you in the midst of your struggles.....In the Bible, depending on others is the normal way to live.  Please don't suffer in silence; instead ask for help.  Ask family, friends, and your church community to help you.  And then accept the help that is offered.  Even if those who help might not do things exactly like you, they can still be a blessing to you.  Combat your tendency to be "the indispensable one" by sharing your struggles with those around you and accepting the support that others give."

I had a lot going on this weekend.  I was in training for grief counseling Friday night and all day Saturday and I went to a support group with other moms of autistic kids on Saturday night.  All I can say is that it was a heavy weekend.  One interesting thing that I learned in the training was that we are not a society that allows people to grieve.  Companies only give 2-3 days off for the death of a child.  When people are still crying a month later others often wonder "whats wrong with them" or "haven't they given it to God?".  The Bible never says not to grieve.  It says to mourn with those that mourn.  In a similar way, I feel that sometimes us special needs moms feel the need to always put on a strong front for everyone.  We don't want to admit that sometimes we just need prayer, or a hug, or a shoulder to cry on.  I loved meeting with other moms that have gone through similar, if not harder times than I am with my little guy.  However, as I suspected, I left feeling sad.  Some part of me wanted to go there and hear a bunch of people telling me everything was going to be just fine and great and in a year it'll all be ok.  I wanted to hear great stories about insurance and the public school system and how special ed changed their childrens lives, but unfortunately thats not the  case.  I heard from moms struggling with the very same things I am.  I heard about children getting hurt in class and I heard about how the moms whose insurance does cover ABA were so thankful and the ones that don't were so upset.  I did hear about a few exceptional teachers and it wasn't all sad talk, but because it was my first time in a setting with all ASD moms I felt a little overwhelmed taking it all in.  Maybe it was a big reality check for me.

I am so so thankful to have found this group because they are all so kind and they gave me so much information that I will need in beginning the journey through special education in the public school system.  I was able to see how these women unite together in order to encourage each other and share their struggles.  I could openly talk about what I was feeling and I could know that they knew exactly what I meant.  I have to just encourage you to find a group if you do not have one.  Know that it may not all be talk of rainbows and sunshine, but you will be fed with important informaton, and you will encounter people that know just how you feel.  That is blessing to me in so many ways. 

"Providing holistic care to someone whose chronic illness or disability you cannot fix is both difficult and redemptive at the same time.  Let Paul's words encourage you today: "Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you.  Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain" (1 Corinthians 15:58).  God has entrusted you with a unique opportunity to minister the gospel of Jesus Christ in both word and deed.  Although you may sometime feel that no one knows what you are going through, God sees you.  he knows all about your struggles and sacrfices and he is with you, ready to help you in your time of need."

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