The question comes often. Usually from well-intentioned people who don’t understand the perspective God has given me about raising a special needs child. Sometimes though I throw a pity
party where I ask and answer the question of myself.
“Don’t you feel cheated about the life you imagined you and your son would have? Don’t you feel like you have been robbed of so many blessings by having a child who can’t talk, can’t walk, and can’t really do the things a typical 11 year old should be able to do” Don’t you feel robbed of all the activities a dad and a typical child get to do together?
It’s funny that I get so defensive when other people ask the question.
But sometimes when I allow myself to go to the dark side, I listen to that whisper in my own voice. And if I’m not careful I can let those thoughts into my head and they ruin me for a while.
I can get down and depressed quickly and let the negativity of my circumstances steal my joy and rob me of my blessing.
I had an interesting conversation with a missionary to Central Asia over the weekend. I asked him how I could pray for his area of the world. He said “Please don’t pray for the persecution of Christians to end in our area. Pray that we would be able to endure it.” He explained that the biggest revelations of God, the biggest manifestations of God’s presence seemed to occur when the circumstances from the outside seemed the bleakest and most desperate.
I have discovered that to be true in my own life. Many of the hardest seasons or trials we have had to endure have resulted in the biggest manifestation’s of God’s presence in our lives.
It got me thinking about all the time I have wasted asking God to remove circumstances in my life- to take away pain and suffering and eliminate things in my life- when I should have been praying for endurance to persevere so I could experience the blessings that the situation would bring me.
Looking back, every trial I have endured has been an incredible teaching moment where God has revealed so much to me about Himself. I have to learn, as scripture teaches, to take each thought captive and line it up with the truth of God. If it doesn’t line up, I need to reject the negative thought and not allow it into my head in the first place.
So I have a new answer now to the question of “do you feel cheated?”
My walk with a profoundly handicapped child has indeed cheated me of so many things.
I have been cheated out of having to worry about my son walking away from God. I have been cheated out of never comprehending God’s unconditional love. I have been robbed of worrying that my son will make wrong decisions in his life. I have been cheated out of concern that the enemy will deceive him or lure him to walk away from God some day. I have been denied a life of never grasping God’s mercy, God’s strength, God’s power, and God’s plan for our lives together.
Cheated? Oh yea…
But who’s cheating who?