It really is hard sometimes on this special-needs journey, and if someone would have asked me if I could do what I’m doing for over 37 years, I would have said, “I don’t think I can do this (that long)!” Our son, Joey, recently had another birthday and was as pleased as could be to boast his age. I, on the other hand thought to myself, “Wow, I can’t believe we’ve done this 24/7 thing for 37 years.” Outwardly I assured the truth to Joey that I’ve enjoyed him all 37 of those years!
“You deserve a break today.” “You’re number one.” “You deserve better than this.” We’ve all heard these phrases and have probably bought into them from time to time. The phrases actually make a lot of sense when you’re in the midst of sorrow and sadness and feeling as if you’ll never experience joy or time to yourself again; however, if we have become a child of God, we know that sometimes He allows things to happen in our lives that provide us with a new perspective.
We might not make the volleyball team or get that part we want in the play. We might be overlooked for a promotion or been talked about unkindly without merit. It’s disappointing, but we know we’ll live through it and grow from it. But there are times we wonder, “How much more can I take?” in a situation where no change for the better will occur any time soon. We want a break. We want something better than what we are going through. How do we start to get the right perspective in times like those?
It’s easy and it’s hard. Easy because Scripture tells us how gaining a right perspective can be accomplished and hard because we have to be willing to do it! Sometimes we’re too self-focused to recognize what’s best for us. God wants us to learn to trust Him. Proverbs 16:20, “He who gives attention to the word shall find good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.”
Trust takes time to build. We learned to trust our parents as they held the seat of our bike until we were ready to take off on our own. They didn’t want us to fall so they kept us secure until they felt we were confident and ready to go off on our own.
Trusting God is similar. It takes time to watch how He has worked in our life, how He’s held us securely even when we didn’t know His hand was upon us. Then, when the timing was right, He allowed us to take a step of faith. Yet He stayed right there in case we bobbled and fell. We may think we’re the ones who take those steps all on our own, but based upon what Scripture says He’s right beside us all along:
• Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.”
• Joshua 1:5, “I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.” He is always with us.
Years ago we would have gladly accepted the Lord’s offer to heal Joey. He never offered. But clearly, these 37+ years later, we’re so thankful we gained a right perspective to go the distance with him and in our marriage together. We didn’t think we could do it, and that is correct—we needed the Lord and are so thankful He was and continues to be always with us!
Dr. Joe and Cindi Ferrini are authors, speakers, and bloggers for several blogging sites on family and special needs. They speak nationally for FamilyLife Weekend To Remember Marriage Get-a-Ways, authored Unexpected Journey – When Special Needs Change our Course, and have been interviewed on Focus on the Family, FamilyLife, and various other radio and television venues. Connect with them at www.cindiferrini.com and social media at: www.facebook.com/cindi.ferrini, www.facebook.com/UnexpectedJourney/, www.facebook.com/MyMarriageMatters/