Yesterday was one of those days when no clock or watch was necessary. The hours were noted by the various “special needs moments” that seemed to occur. These moments are part of the all too familiar life of a special needs family, and are usually only understood by other parents of children with special needs.
Parents of children with special needs often feel like little balls, spinning around and bouncing off one obstacle after another inside a pinball machine of special needs.
My 16-year old son with special needs was feeding the machine all day long.
I was secretly contemplating… moving to Australia.
When I was a child, my favorite book was about the young boy Alexander “who had a terrible horrible no good very bad day” and wanted to move to Australia.
My own day had been a series of challenges and frustrations. I left the office discouraged and weary, only to arrive home in time for my son’s latest “special needs moment.”
At suppertime, I struggled with my words as I led our evening prayer. I confessed, under my breath, that I really didn’t feel like I had anything to be grateful for that particular evening.
That’s why I sat on the back deck of our house in a quiet moment as darkness fell. I heard frogs chirping in the distance and wondered how big the frogs were in Australia. I could hear a storm rumbling in the distance.
I thought about the night the disciples were in a boat during a storm. The waves were crashing around them threatening to capsize the boat. The winds were swirling and the storm was raging.
They were afraid, weary, and in despair.
- They forgot who was in the boat with them.
- They forgot who put them in the boat in the first place.
- They forgot who chose the journey and the destination.
All they saw was the storm that threatened to overwhelm them.
I realized… I was doing the same thing.
Here I sat, overwhelmed by my own special needs world, bracing from the storm of doubts in my own life at the moment.
I forgot who was in the boat with me. I forgot who chose the path, charted the course, and put me on this journey.
God never said I wouldn’t face fierce storms. He never said I wouldn’t face struggles, challenges, and trials.
But…He did promise to stay in the boat with me.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers,
they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
Isaiah 43:2 ESV
I am soaked. But I am not sunk.
I sat in the quiet of the night, and I asked forgiveness for my lack of gratitude. I reminded myself that I had been chosen and called.
I remembered who was in the boat with me.
He calms my waves. He tempers my winds. He stills my storms.
What are you facing today where you need to remember who is in your boat with you?
By Jeff Davidson
Husband to Becky
Father of one
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Rising Above Ministries