Parenting would be a lot easier if it came with a map, “You start here, you end up here, and this is how you get there.” Simple. Logical. Organized. A road map. But if I’ve learned anything about parenting so far is that it’s complicated, sometimes illogical, and definitely messy. Oh there are so many layers and qualifications to the messy!
As if parenting was not hard enough, in our family we got the added joys and challenges of raising two little girls with special needs. Disability should really, really come with a road map. Because there are specialists, and therapies, and IEPs (Individualized Education Plans), and so many resources to sort through.
When I buy a new appliance, it comes with a manual. Why can’t we, people, complex individuals with different flaws, gifts, and talents, not come with an encyclopedia?
Here is a confession: I mess up a lot (See? I said parenting was messy, and this is one of the messy parts). I yell at my kids, I waste time on Facebook, I forget to make eye contact when my kids talk to me because I have a smart phone. I don’t pray enough with them. I forget they are watching and learning how I live my life.
And I dread the next surgery for one of my daughter’s, sometimes I wonder if she will gain enough mobility to justify putting her body through the stress of being sliced and cut. I wish I had a way to know that these aggressive interventions will make a difference in the long run.
It’s hard. It’s just plain hard when you feel you are running blindly trying to figure it out as you go.
But the good news is, we are not running blind.
“God said, ‘My presence will go with you. I’ll see the journey to the end.’” Exodus 33:14 (The Message)
And that is a promise. God’s presence with us until he sees our journey to the end. I love that!
I might not have a roadmap that helps me potty train my child (another messy). Or how to get my kids to eat vegetables. Or how to help my daughter confront a friend that is not being kind. But I have a guide, a guide that loves me, that offers hope, that stays by my side even when I mess up.
It is the guide that gives me the words to say when my kids have a broken heart. The guide that listens to my desperate prayers as I try to meet the different needs of my children with special needs. A voice that whispers to me that He has a plan. That even if I mess up, he turns the broken into something beautiful.
I don’t really need a map, I just need to let God guide me because His presence will go with me, and He will see my journey (and the journey of my children) to the end.
This post fist appeared at ellenstumbo.com
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