"Oh, my. You have your hands full." I've heard it. It's been said to me too many times to count. Go on, hands up. I know it has been said to you, too. How many of you have had heard this, not just once, but so many well-meaning times? There is no doubt in my mind, people, special needs has me surrounded. But, it's not what you're thinking.
My open mouth/insert foot thing to say to these people is not always sweet and full of God's goodness and bless your heart love. Shocker, I know. Sometimes, I am so dumbfounded (by the grace of God) I have no words at all. I just stare. As a parent of a child with special needs I have heard this since the time of his birth. Later, when we decided to become a foster family you would have thought I grew two heads when we left the house with a typical teenager, special-needs teenager and a baby. Now, as we have this new life with an all new medical diagnosis, people cannot help but shake their heads in, you know that head-shaking look ... "She needs all the prayer she can get."
Yeah, there are days that get me down. But we have a choice in this special-needs life to whine or worship during those days. And, I can't find many Bible verses leading me to whining.
"In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials." (1 Peter 1:6 NIV)
I'm pretty sure Moses had his hands full. One could say he not only had full hands, but a full life. Esther took bravery to the next level. I'm also thinking Mary and Joseph had their hands full. I mean, my kid is not Jesus.
I don't think my kind of average midwestern life is anywhere near biblical. But, what I am starting to think is God doesn't use empty hands. Heck, aren't idle hands for the devil's use, anyway? God doesn't always answer in the immediate. Sometimes we wait. And wait. With full hands. But his word leads us to him every time:
"I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in Him." (Psalm 40:1-3 NIV)
We wait. Patiently. He hears. He lifts. Gives us a song. Many will see. Many will trust in Him.
God has given me a song recently. I am surrounded. I am surrounded every day by the things of this world. There are things that will weigh me down and hold me in the slimy pit of whining and tears and woe is me. But today, I am going to remember I am also surrounded by something bigger. Someone. I am surrounded by God. Thank you, Michael W. Smith, for giving me a fight song to take on the battles of the day.
What is your new song when special needs has you surrounded? Do you have one? Or do you have go-to Bible verse that lifts your head every time? Let's hear it!
My husband and I are parents of all boys. One of whom is a young adult with both physical and intellectual disabilities. I don't always know what I'm doing as I parent these guys. But what I do know is God is teaching me big things through our trials that I probably would have never learned without them. You can find more from me at www.mostlyeandme.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter @stefmckeever.