Using Your Grief for Good

Do you ever get tired of the persistent emotions of parenting a child with special needs?

There are many times I am so tired of all the emotions that inevitably come along with caring for Calvin who is often sick and deals with severe disabilities.

I want to pack my bags and move from on out from sadness to joy, permanently.

Don't get me wrong, there is lots of love, shenanigans, laughter and joy in our family. But often unrelenting grief swoops down and overwhelms me in unsuspecting moments and seasons.

It doesn't matter that I have 'come to terms' with my son's situation logically and spiritually, my emotions still fluctuate.

I don't want to be sad, but caring for a child with a chronic condition has made sadness a part of me. And since it's not going anywhere, I've made my peace with the presence of grief and God's redemptive purpose for it in my life.


Grief could easily turn us into bitter, cynical, beaten-down people—and some days I am there. But with God, we can channel even our grief into ways that help us and others.

Here are three ways:

Seek God. Our chief purpose in life is to know God and enjoy him; I'm easily distracted and drawn to the the stuff of life right in front of me. Grief gives us an opportunity to realize our dependance on God, to appreciate the comfort of his promises and the reality of his grace and strength. God can use our grief to deepen our walk with him, our love for the Word and a vibrant faith in his promise.

Serve Others. It sounds crazy, right? As special needs families, we have so many needs and are stretched to breaking—how can we even think about others?  The truth is, we are uniquely suited to reach out to others who are hurting, tired and overwhelmed. And when we put others first, God gives us great joy even when our circumstances haven't changed.

Cultivate Gratitude. You have reason to be sad, you also have reason to rejoice. Look for the simple evidences of the Lord's goodness in your life, don't miss it! Once you start looking, you will see goodness everywhere—gorgeous sunrises, a kind word, clean sheets, it will be everywhere! Start a gratitude journal and give thanks daily to God for the goodness he has given in your life.