One of the most important things we have to do on this journey as a special needs parent is to be able to hear the voice of God when there are so many voices distracting us from His. Before we can recognize God’s voice we have to know who we are in Christ. A blockade from hearing the voice of God is not knowing your identity. It’s so easy as a special needs parent to lose our identity when our identity tends to be so wrapped around the challenges of our needs. Our needs shouldn’t define us, our faith should. I think so many special needs parents live in fear of what is next. When were afraid it’s easy to forget who we are. He wants us to forget who we are and whose we are. Yet, We are all uniquely created and purposed.
The other day I was giving blood at a donor bank. They asked me what type my blood was and I told them a specific type. To match that blood they have to find another recipient with the same blood type to help that person. Now there is one lucky person who will wake up from an operation with a sudden craving for Captain Crunch & the ability to quote key lines from the movie Star Wars.
The point is your Identity unlocks opportunity. When we carry a Drivers License it allows us to cash a check, allows us entrance into an event, it allows us to be able to drive to where we want to go without fear of being stopped. Without identity we are limited. When we accept Jesus into our hearts we have a new identity and it comes with benefits It allows us entrance into places we never thought we could be a part of. We become VIP’s. When we have a personal relationship with God it allows us to go places we never thought we could go. I always say if you don’t know who you are somebody will tell you who you think you should be.
Maybe you don’t know who you are because somebody has always told you who you needed to be. Family, friends, doctors, educators, even people you don’t know will tell you who you need to be. Our challenges, fears, and worries love to define us. Maybe you can’t hear from God because you’ve allowed other people and things to speak into your life more than you’ve allowed God to speak into your life. Don’t be too hard on yourself. We all have. Yet, maybe it’s time to quit being dependent on others for approval and start depending on God’s approval. If we will not let our circumstances define us, but let God define us, we may see ourselves in a different light. You have to believe and speak who you are everyday. You’ve got to know who you are and whose you are. Everyday get up and say I am talented, amazing, a masterpiece. My child is talented, important, and beautiful. When you say those things you are recognizing what God is saying about you and the one you are speaking it over. When you say negative words about yourself or your situation you need to change that frequency because he knows you’re his child and he knows he didn’t create anything that isn’t a masterpiece. He didn’t create your child to be anything more than brilliant! But you have to know His voice to hear His affirmation so you can speak His words.
John 10:3-4 says, “The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” The gatekeeper this scripture talks about is Jesus. He’s referred to us the shepherd and we are His sheep. The shepherd knows His sheep and the sheep recognize His voice. When you spend time with God, you will be able to recognize His voice even when you don’t recognize he’s there. I love the story about my friend Buddy Shuh. Buddy was on the television program the biggest loser. He was born on an army base in Germany and grew up in the states of Michigan, Ohio, Florida, and Texas. His father successfully climbed the corporate ladder with a fast-food chain, so it was common for Buddy to travel.
Buddy graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a degree in mathematics. His giftings with numbers helped him to excel in the business arena. He managed restaurants for several years, then managed retail stores. In 2000, Buddy made a career switch and became a teacher. From there, he went into full-time church ministry.
Buddy was an athlete in high school, selected as team captain of both his football and wrestling teams. After graduating, he slowly drifted into an unhealthy lifestyle. By 2005, he weighed in at 300 pounds.
In 2005, tragedy struck Buddy and his family. His second child, Isabella Harmony Shuh, was born with serious complications. She was missing a spleen and a kidney. She had stomach and heart issues. She also had a serious case of spina bifida. The five and a half months that his daughter lived were filled with a mixture of hope and sorrow.
When Buddy’s daughter passed away, he temporarily shut down on some levels. One of these areas was in the arena of diet and exercise. He tried to find comfort in food. It was only five years later that he found himself at a weight of over 400 pounds.
It began to dawn on Buddy that his health was out of control. One day he was looking at his two daughters and knewthat he needed to make some changes so that he could be around to walk them down the aisle one day. As part of his healing process, Buddy wrote the book “The Story of Bella” in an attempt to help others who may have lost a child. He also began to actively pursue a healthier lifestyle.
In July of 2011, Buddy’s brother called him and informed him that NBC was having an open casting call for “Biggest Loser.” He agreed to go, never dreaming that he’d actually be selected for the cast. But God, in His love for Buddy, had other plans. Buddy was selected and placed in the best environment possible for healthy living. Six months later, Buddy was a transformed person.
His beginning weight on the show was 403 pounds. He was the heaviest contestant on his season. Six months later, he weighed in at 230 pounds. He lost about a pound a day for a half of a year! His waist size went from 54 to 36. His shirt size went from 5XL to L.
After a long period of time the families were not able to see the contestants while they were going through their journey on the Biggest loser. As Buddy explained it they brought the families into a big room where all the contestants of the show were standing. When Buddy’s son came in he started looking for his dad but could not recognize which one he was because his dad had lost so much weight. He told his mother “I don’t see Daddy.” All of a sudden Buddy called out to his son and immediately his son recognized his voice and their eyes met. His son went running into his father’s arms.