Don’t you feel like you have been robbed of so many blessings by having a child who can’t talk, can’t walk, and can’t really do any of the things a typical child can do?”
“Don’t you feel robbed of all the activities a dad and a typical child get to do together?”
The questions come often. Every time the question is raised, I have to make a choice.
Everything in life has a flip side. And with every emotion, every circumstance, every trial, and every situation, a choice has to be made.
Choose the flip side.
Every night, the last words my son will hear will be my prayers of God’s blessings over him. Every night he will hear my words of affirmation and love spoken over him. Every night the last two words he will hear from me will be, “Goodnight Superman.”
Every morning, the first words he will hear will be from his mother, who lays down her life every day in sacrifice for him. She will open the door to his room, and greet him affectionately with pride saying, “There’s my buddy boy!”
We will never have to worry about who is influencing him. We will never have to worry about who he is with, and what is he doing.
I used to dread the thought that my son may have to live with me all of my life. Now, I am choosing to embrace that thought.
I choose the flip side.
I will have an opportunity to make new memories, every day. I will have an opportunity to express my love for my son every day. Even though he is completely non-verbal, I will get a chance to talk to him and engage with him every day. I get to see, feel, and experience the essence of God in my house every day.
I have been denied a life of never grasping God’s mercy, God’s strength, God’s power, God’s grace, and God’s plan for our lives.
So I have a new answer now to the question of “Do you feel cheated?”
Yes, I do.
My walk with a profoundly handicapped child has indeed cheated me of so many things.
I have been cheated out of having to worry about my son walking away from God. I have been cheated out of never comprehending God’s unconditional love. I have been robbed of worrying that my son will make wrong decisions in his life.
“Wise choices will watch over you.
Understanding will keep you safe.” (Proverbs 2:11)
But who’s cheating whom?
Where in your life do you have to make a conscious decision to choose the flip side?
By Jeff Davidson
Husband to Becky, Father of one
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Rising Above Ministries
Author of No More Peanut Butter Sandwiches: a father, a son with special needs, and their journey with God