Celebrating the Gifts of the Special Needs Parent

Day 2 of 7 • This day’s reading


Day 2 – Hope Like a Child

We all know people who seem to have everything in life—the right house in the right neighborhood or the right pictures on social media of an uncomplicated dinner out on the town with their healthy, normally-developing kids. But happiness is not relative to our zip code or meals. We are mercurial people. We all have our seasons of growth and love and loss and health and hurt. We crave lasting happiness, and we believe that it can be had here and now, at least on some level. It's why fashion has seasons and jobs have bonuses and ad campaigns work. We think more and new will finally be it, even as we know in our hearts that it's not here where we need to be looking. Nobody’s life is perfect. Nobody’s happiness is without its own pendulum swing.

This awareness could be one of your greatest supernatural powers as a parent of a child with special needs. You can learn to hope like a child without trying for a manufactured happiness. You could let it settle on you instead, like a soft refrain, soothing and familiar. You can be happy and hope without tying it to developmental milestones or financial plusses or perfect pictures of effortless outings—it need not be contingent on the here and now. 

So go do it. Go be free. Give up the hierarchical pecking order and go low, on the level of a child, and feel what real hope is like. People will find you odd. They will consider you a contradiction, but really, you are living in line with how God designed the world to work. Be where you are, revel in the everyday, and be proud of how dependent you are on your heavenly Parent.