I am come that they might have life. And have it more abundantly. John 10:10b, KJV
I had my first social media dust-up a few months ago. It freaked me out to the point of making all my accounts ultra-private, and stopped me from commenting on anything for quite a while. I had the audacity to comment something positive on a special needs parenting post. I threw my glass-half-full attitude into a beehive of conversation about how “it only gets harder.”
I was crucified! How dare I suggest that it gets easier or better. I’m obviously a self-absorbed mom whose child isn't nearly as disabled as the other moms in the group. Their children are adults, completely dependent, and challenged in health as well as daily function. I get it. If I'm being honest, I have, as most of us can confess, dispensed my own venom to others who dare to claim they understand what I'm going through. Say it with me, friends: “you have no idea!” We’ve all blurted it, or at least thought it rather crossly, when others try to appease or lessen the complexities of our situations.
My mistake, perhaps, was commenting a faith-based philosophy to a secular-based group. I realize now that unless you have the hope, promise, and salvation of Christ, it probably doesn't get better. I mean, my son is almost 18, and he isn't getting better. Although we are more adept at recognizing and flowing with new issues, there are still new issues to deal with. I'm composing this post from a hospital pre-op room. We're at an awesome children's hospital, where I'm contemplating next year’s procedures, when he’s 18, and won't be welcome at this magical place with the syrup-sweet nurses and Disney channel everywhere.
But I can't back off this truth: it gets better. Now please don't blast me yet, let me explain. If we have Christ, then we have access to a power that enables us to grow and deepen in our strength, joy, and peace. If you're stuck and it's not getting easier, if it feels harder and sadder, the key is in Him. Press in, go deeper in your relationship with Him. There is always another level of intimacy we can go to with our Savior, that heals deeper and mends every broken place. So that even while our child’s condition becomes more challenging, we simultaneously find more joy and strength. John 10:10 is a promise directly from the mouth of Jesus, and we can apply it or assume it doesn't apply to us. I found this amplification of “life abundantly”:
He gives like God from overflowing stores (Titus 3:6). Those who receive life from him have within them perennial sources of life for others—fullness of being. - Pulpit Commentary
As I've started to believe His Word, I can testify that He has given me more and made life better, even as bigger challenges arise. It actually can get better for us who believe. And that is the truth we should all walk in and take to the outside world, whether they like it or not, because special needs parents need this abundant hope most of all.
-Melanie Gomez, Redefine Special