Impact Story: The Shipley Family
We are so excited to begin bringing you a monthly Impact Story, where you will learn about the families and individuals that Rising Above is able to touch because of your faithful support and generous giving. This month we can't wait to introduce you to the Shipley family...
Josh and Emily Shipley have two boys, Taylor (9) and Trey (7). Taylor plays drums, piano, and enjoys anything to do with music. Trey loves to climb, spin toys, and listen to the band Coldplay.
At the age of 4, Trey was diagnosed with non-verbal autism. We sat down with Josh and Emily to talk with them about their family, their journey as special-needs parents, and how Rising Above Ministries has impacted their lives.
What was your initial response to Trey's diagnosis?
Josh: There's a big part of what special-needs families go through that is grieving the loss of what you thought your life was going to be. I was trying to be positive about it, but there was no progress...and that's where we were for the longest time.
Emily: I stayed up and I read a lot, ordered all the books, I read blogs, websites, and tried to get all the information to make it better.
How did Rising Above first come into your life?
Emily: I met Becky. She took me to lunch and I met my friend Shannon. We all do it together now. If somebody needs something, there's a tiny army of moms that come together.
How has being connected to Rising Above impacted your family?
Emily: We're not isolated. Our kids go on play dates, they go to birthday parties, Trey goes to VBS. And the kids are doing things - they're doing things! - just like any other kid. I went to By The Brook for the first time in 2016 and realized we are everywhere. We are finally in company with peers and we can be ourselves.
Josh: We were instantly connected with families that know exactly what we're going through. We could all write books about what we're going through and it would be the same book. When I tell friends about Rising Above, it's the difference between having this family that is headed for absolute destruction - marriage falling apart, an angry dad all the time, just loss after loss after loss. After finding community with Rising Above we started to understand the blessings that can come from this. We came to understand what Christ's love is like, and that's the difference. It's daylight and dark. Without Jeff and Becky and Rising Above, we would not be on the solid ground we are on now.
Stories just like this one are the very reasons why Rising Above Ministries exists - to bring the love of God and hope in Christ to special needs families through support, encouragement, inspiration, and community. We are so grateful for your prayers and your financial support as we strive to carry out this mission both locally and around the world.
Want to join us in lifting up the special-needs community? Click here to get involved right now!