The familiar jingle on a back-to-school ad sings “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” The ad shows a parent, happily skipping along, pushing a cart full of back-to-school supplies. For lots of parents, we are excited to be sending the kiddos off to school to start another year.
A special needs parent, on the other hand, may have many more bittersweet moments this time of year. And let’s be honest, the bitter likely outweighs the sweet. For me, the “sweet” part was looking forward to a regular routine and schedule again, and the “bitter” portion was often the fear of the unknown. Doubts and fears would creep in about our child’s new classroom or perhaps a new teacher. I would worry about his peers and wonder if they would be kind to him or if anyone would sit with him at lunch or ask him to play at recess. My list of fears, worries, and concerns was a mile long. What’s a parent to do?
Stop! Hit the “pause” button. Take a deep breath. This is the point where I would remember The One who created my precious child … in His image! Our loving God cares more about my child than I do! My list of fears, worries and concerns were not too insignificant for God. He cares about each detail. I simply need to STOP and talk with Him. Prayer. The God of the universe does care about the details of my child’s life. He cares about his lunch hour and friends and bathroom skills.
Jesus is our friend. He is always listening and He’s never too busy. I learned the importance of praying for my child early on in the journey. Our son entered the public schools at age 5, blazing a trail into a “regular” classroom, and I knew there was more I must do than worry. I needed to take action! The action I took in the Fall of 1991 changed my son’s life and it changed mine. I joined a Moms in Prayer group (formerly Moms in Touch). I began to pray with other moms for an hour a week for our children, their teachers, and their school. I learned to use the Word of God as my prayer for him. You can too. Stop right now and pray this verse with your child’s name in it:
May _______ know that You are his/her God, who takes hold of his/her right hand and says to him/her, “Do not fear; I will help you.” From Isaiah 41:13
If you would like to find more women to pray with you, go to www.momsinprayer.org and there you will be able to see if there is already a Moms in Prayer group for your school. If there is not a group, please connect with me. I would love to talk with you about getting a group started. I can say without reservation that this simple act of prayer and engaging in prayer with other women was the best mom decision I have made. Ever.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. I Peter 5:7
Praying with you,
Author & Speaker
Immeasurably More, More Hope, More Joy, Embracing Life with Down Syndrome
Special Needs Liaison, Moms in Prayer International
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