“Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God….Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.” 2 Corinthians 3:4 & 12 NIV
This post is for all my fellow veteran special needs parents, those of us who’ve been doing this for a little while and are finding a groove that works. Aren’t you glad those initial days, weeks and months are behind you? Eventually, through God's grace, we were able to find a new normal and feel fairly confident in our special needs parenting abilities.
Relying on Myself
As the mom of a baby, toddler, boy and now man with a genetic disorder, I’m sort of an expert in the field. For over 19 years I’ve been “running the show” of school, therapy, specialists, behavior and health management, and daily care.
Today I'm here to confess something as a warning to us all: I’ve become too reliant on my own strength. There is a danger in being really good at our journey. The danger is that we forget to be wholly dependent on the Lord, His spirit and His leading in our choices, plans and decisions.
Recently we came upon a fork in the road for our family. We had arrived at similar decisions before and this time, I just did some quick research on the spot and came up with the solution. I made up my mind and starting advising the troops.
Relying on God
Then I remembered the story of Jehoshaphat in the Old Testament. He was a rich and much honored king of Judah. There are two distinct stories of how he made decisions as a leader. In one of the stories, he made a decision for his people in his own strength and prerogative. Making an alliance with Ahab of Israel seemed a sound, logical decision, based on historical and political evidence. But that decision led to Jehosphaphat’s defeat and almost demise, and his ally was killed in the battle.
The next time Jehoshaphat had to make a decision, even though he was a battle-tested, wise and honored ruler, he sought the Lord. He fasted and prayed and waited upon an answer from God before making a move.
There are two things I love about this story from 2 Chronicles. The first is that because he sought the Lord, he made the right choices, learned a new strategy and experienced his most epic victory yet. The second is God’s answer when Jehoshaphat prayed, “We don’t know what to do; we’re looking to you” (2 Chronices 20:12). God said, “You will not have to fight this battle….stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you” 2 Chronicles 20:17).
I thought back to the early days, where every decision I made followed that same pattern: pray, fast and seek the Lord. And each time He delivered me. I realized that being so good at this special life I can be tempted to skip those steps and just follow my own leading.
I’m not saying the experience isn’t valuable. And I’m not saying that my hunches aren’t usually in the right direction. But I am saying that there is still a need for me to daily seek the Lord first, ask Him to guide my decisions, and wait on Him to lead the way.
We all get busy and go on autopilot; that’s reality. But as decisions come around and choices are presented, let us remember the early days before we knew it all. Let us remind ourselves that our strength is not the key to victory, but His strength is. Maybe there is something today that you can take a step back from, and seek the Lord’s direction in your choices, to regain that warm assurance of knowing He is leading the way.
Follow Melanie Gomez at https://redefinespecial.com.