If someone else said those words first or I did, I can’t recall, but I like the idea. It is such a great word picture of the day-to-day those of us work through in the world of special needs.
There is a certain level of comfort and safety in a trench. It’s not really the place you want to be, but you have some safety and comfort knowing you are protected. We have friends that are in trenches right next to us, so we all feel we understand what the other is going through. We see when there is a battle brewing and sometimes we even hop into each other’s trenches! We do that when we need to have a line of defense. It’s a way we care for each other, too. We know we’re on a level field of challenge, and being together helps us to get through the battle before us. We seldom have all the answers we need to win the battle, but we know that doing it together is something that will give us strength, endurance, and encouragement along the way. We can’t be in the same trench and work against one another.
Together we learn to care and put forth a good effort, even as we learn the hardest of our challenges. We help each other get out of that trench when the midst of the battle is raging and we have to move on, but don’t have the ability. That is an effort few will give, but when they do, bonds of friendship are formed.
When we get a phone call from a friend who has a special needs situation, we are ever so inclined to help in any way we can, especially because we are thirty-seven years down the road in our journey. We don’t have all the answers, but most of us on this journey don’t. Just knowing we have each other is a win-win! When we can bolster our fellow journeymen with a kind, encouraging word or physical help, it strengthens friendships and lightens the load. Just being able to share the daily frustrations and joys with those who get it is like a fresh drink of water in the desert.
Our goal is to help others. We can’t always say yes to requests, but we give it our best whenever possible. It’s so refreshing to walk together in the tough spots, cry together in those trenches when you feel there is no way out, and to rejoice when the battle subsides. Working together, we believe there will be less casualties. Together we can help each other strengthen our marriage relationships, our families, and our walk with the Lord. We need each other. God made us that way so could help each other and ask for help from Him. It’s a perfect fit—even in the trenches.
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.comand social media at: www.facebook.com/cindi.ferrini, www.facebook.com/UnexpectedJourney/, www.facebook.com/MyMarriageMatters/