A few days ago someone asked me a question. It’s one I had never been asked before. I have been thinking about it ever since–searching my own heart and reflecting on my own journey in parenting children who have “special needs.”
I must admit that at first I was kind of taken aback by the question. I wondered how in the world anyone could even think of such a thing! The fiercely protective mama bear in me immediately wanted to rise up and set that person straight!
But then. I remembered.
No sooner had the judgmental, assuming spirit risen in my heart–ready to pounce and set the record straight–when the voice of Truth gently reminded me that it really was not that very long ago when I probably felt the same way. From the time when I was old enough to ponder, to consider, and to wonder about the differences in people, I thought about those who have disabilities. When I was in school, we used to drive past a special school for disabled children every afternoon on our way home. Each time we drove by, I could not help but glance in their direction.
How did parents raise those children?
What kind of a life was it having a child who could never do the things that “normal” children did?
Were those children happy?
Did they enjoy life as I did?
Even way back then, I wondered.
I really am no different to the person who asked me that question. I have probably thought that exact same thing a hundred times in my own life.
Do parents wish that their child were “normal”?
I cannot pinpoint a time in my life when everything changed for me. I don’t know when exactly it was that the Lord grabbed a hold of my heart and changed me from the inside out. Was it at one particular moment? Or did the Father very gradually open the eyes of my heart to see “disability” the way He sees it? I truly cannot tell you.
I only know that God has done such a deep and profound work in me over the years. I am no longer the same person I used to be.
I can honestly tell you with all my heart that I look at every child I have who is not “typical,” and our two angels waiting in a faraway land to join our family, and nothing in me ever wants or wishes that they be different, typical, normal, or anything other than who God has created them to be! I look at my sweet children with “disabilities” and I see them through the eyes of a loving God who created them just the way they are.
Goodness, I would hate for my children to be anything other than who they are. Harper would not be Harper if she were not the way she is. And neither would Hailee. And neither would Haven, Hasya or Kael.
They are exactly who they are meant to be…fearfully and wonderfully created in the image of a God who does all things well. Each precious child intricately created in the womb to display His glory and His splendor.
God has taught me something over the years. It took me a while to truly get it–I’m a terribly slow learner sometimes. But lo and behold, here I am, finally getting it. And finally understanding it so deeply in my heart….
My God never makes mistakes!
I look at my sweet, beautiful, and amazing children and I don’t see mistakes! No, I see the glorious fingerprints of the Father all over their adorable little faces. I see God’s creativity and His amazing ability to sculpture us all uniquely, yet perfectly. I look at my little darlings and I see potential–no matter how that looks. How sad it is that we live in a society, in a day and age, where our children are separated by “normal” versus “special needs.”
It’s just awful!
How can the creator of the universe possibly create anything which is less-than-perfect? How?
I refuse to ever allow any of my children to be stereotyped or forced to be anything other than who God created them to be! And with that comes a refusal to even allow my heart or my mind to look at ANY of my children and wish that they be anyone other than who the Almighty Father made them to be. I look at each one of them and I see perfection!
I no longer see things the way I used to. I don’t wonder. And I certainly do not question the handiwork of God.
For me, it all comes down to God’s sovereignty. Either He’s a sovereign, Holy God, or He’s not. I choose to believe that He is. And so if He is indeed sovereign (absolute, highest, majestic, imperial) and His Word is true (which it is!)…then who am I to doubt or question? A Holy Father cannot make mistakes. The Potter cannot mold anything other than what is a glorious display of His splendor.
My God never makes mistakes! That’s exactly why you will never, ever hear me or my family using an expression which is so commonly used in the “special needs” community. While I understand some of the reasoning behind the expression and why many people use it, we personally don’t believe that God “just happens” to do anything! To say that Hailee is my daughter who “just happens to have Down syndrome” is, quite honestly, crazy to us. Hailee doesn’t “just happen” to have anything! She HAS Down syndrome! It is a blessing, a joy, and an absolute delight. Kellan certainly does not “just happen” to have blue eyes and Cade doesn’t “just happen” to have blonde hair. God never “just happened” to put the sun in the sky. Nor did He “just happen” to tell the ocean this far and no further.
And neither did God “just happen” to give our daughters an extra chromosome. It was ALL according to His plan for their lives.
The Father’s plans are always, always good!
What does “normal” and “typical” mean anyway? Truth be told, I probably have way more “special needs” than my children have. What a dull and boring world it would be if we were all “normal.”
“Special needs”? Oh, that’s just God’s creative plan to make the world a little sweeter, and a lot more lovely! Just the thought of not having these angels in my home here on the earth makes me want to weep. I simply cannot imagine.
Nor do I even want to spend one second of my time questioning or wishing for them to be anything other than who they are, other than who God intended for them to be. I am so, so thankful for the deep work God has done in my own heart over the years. I am so grateful that I can now look at these whom He has blessed us with (and every other person who struggles a little more than others in this life) and I see them through the eyes of my Father who truly does all things well.
No mistakes. Ever!
They are perfectly imperfect. And I would not change a single thing.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13