Many parents of special needs children grieve and mourn the loss of their dreams and expectations for their children around the time they are first getting a diagnosis. I did not experience that with my son. I had lost three children before having my son and my pregnancy with him was precarious to the point that he only had a five percent chance of being born and surviving. I was so grateful and felt so blessed just to have him, I did not feel I had any lost expectations to grieve over. Through the years I felt sadness for him because of how difficult his life was, but for me personally, he was and is, the joy of my life and I have felt nothing but gratitude for his life.
My son is nearing adulthood now and will be twenty-one in a few months. This has been a tough year in many ways. He is realizing the differences that set him apart from his friends. He sees how they have graduated high school and have gone on to get jobs or are going to college… how they are dating and finding significant others…and he is dealing with many changes in his relationships as his friends are maturing and growing up…and he is realizing and trying to process the things his friends are experiencing that he isn’t and I think for the first time, he is really dealing with all he has faced in his life and will continue to face. Sometimes being “unaware” of our differences is a blessing.
For the first time really, I am now feeling some of the differences in our lives as well. Many of my friends are welcoming new additions to their families as their children are marrying and welcoming grandchildren into their lives. I am realizing and coming to terms with the things that we will never experience in our family and I must admit, I have felt a little sadness over what will never be.
Grief is just the normal and natural reaction to loss…and God created us to grieve. Sometimes, the grief is profound due to the death and loss of a loved one. Sometimes, it’s just a twinge of sadness over unfulfilled dreams or what will never be… but it is important to acknowledge your losses on every level. As we mourn, the Lord is faithful to comfort us. Mourning is one of the tools that God uses to draw us close to Him… so we can experience His compassion and His all-encompassing love for us. The Bible says there is a time to mourn and that those who mourn are blessed, because they will be comforted by God Himself. We also have the promise in Jeremiah 31:13 that He will turn our mourning to joy and He will comfort us and give us gladness for sorrow.
If you are mourning anything today friends, cling to His promises and let God comfort you through your grief. He will sustain you. He is near to the broken hearted…He sees your tears and hears your cries. He is there for you to offer His comfort. Let me offer this prayer for you as well…
Dear Heavenly Father,
Life is not easy…sometimes it is hard and painful as everyone here knows all too well…but you are always good and faithful. We thank you, that we have a Savior who is well acquainted with grief and sorrow. You understand all that we experience and you are full of compassion for us. Father, please comfort all who are grieving and have heavy hearts today. May they feel your presence in new ways. Lord, please take their hurts, their pain, their shattered dreams for themselves and for their loved ones and let them see, that for each one of us, you have a plan to give us a hope filled future…you have a plan for each of us that will redeem what the enemy meant for harm, and you will use it for our good and your glory. Father, you tell us that you collect our tears in a bottle…our tears are important to you…you are not blind to our pain…in fact, you grieve with us…and one day those nail pierced hands will wipe away our tears for the last time… you will embrace us and hold us close and show us the many ways you used our trials and the suffering of our children and our loved ones, to build something of eternal weight and glory. One day we will see the many crowns and riches bestowed on our children for all they endured here and the lives that they touched and we will know the full extent of the value and purpose of their life here on earth. Father, may we cling to the hope and truth that you waste nothing in our lives and that you love our children more than we do and that they are created in your image… you know them by name…you know us by name…and we are all fearfully and wonderfully made and you hold each of us in the palm of your hand. Father, please meet each need as we surrender all that we are, all of our hopes and dreams, our children and their futures to your loving care. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Blessings be upon you and your family!
In His love,