Sneak Peak

Friends, today's post is a little unusual. For several years I have been saying I would like to write a book for special needs families and those struggling down the journey of raising a child with special needs. But I keep making excuses like a lack of time, or that no one would care about my musings. Lately I seem to be even more burdened that I should do this though. So I'm kind of throwing out a fleece today. Last night I sat down and wrote an introduction to a book. It's raw and unedited. I think I was just testing myself. So I'm asking for your prayers to discern if I should pursue it or not. I'm not a professional writer, but I guess no one was when they wrote their first book.Anyway, here's where I started. Feedback appreciated- be gentle! I sat on the worn dirt patch beside the weeping willow tree and tried to focus my eyes through the tears.

I felt everything and yet I felt nothing, all at the same time. My thoughts were on fire and my heart was stone cold.

I felt like I had been betrayed, lied to, deceived, and betrayed. And worst of all I felt like the person who did it to me didn’t even care.

The worst part was that I really began to wonder if he had ever existed in the first place.

He was God. But I wasn’t sure he was my God anymore.

For months and months Becky and I had prayed and petitioned God for a healthy baby. Every night we lifted our petition to God. We had stormed heaven’s throne room. We recited scripture over and over. We claimed God’s promises, and we stood on his Word. We praised God and we pledged our lives forever to Him.

All we wanted was a healthy little baby boy to call our own.

Now a few months later, for the eighteenth night in a row, I had walked down the street from our little house.

I had stuck the stork sign from Baptist Hospital into the front yard of that house. I had decorated a room in that house just for him. The room that held the baby bed, the toys, and the roomful of prayers that I had offered up for him long before he was ever born.

That house was now the reminder of dreams that had died and promises that were broken.

God had chosen not to give me a healthy, typical little boy. Instead God had chosen me to be the dad of child with special needs. God had given me a boy with autism and cerebral palsy. God had given me a little boy with such profound special needs he wouldn’t be able to talk or even walk on his own.

Every night a little bit more of me died as we came to terms with our new reality. I was living on the outside and dying on the inside.

So night after night I walked down the street to the little weeping willow tree by the brook, and I sat on the dirt patch. Night after night I just cried.

I would scream at God, shake my fist at God, and pour out my hostility and my anger at Him. I would cry, “why did you do this to us?” I would yell “why do you hate us, what did we do to deserve this?”

I would remind Him of all the prayers. I would remind Him that we had been faithful to him so why had He failed us?

I didn't just hurt. I ached.

I needed an outlet and I decided that God would be my outlet. So I poured out my rage, my bewilderment, my frustration and my confusion on Him.

Night after night I did that. Night after night I carried on this one-way conversation.

Night after night, God never said anything. Not a word.

I wasn’t sure who was more dead, Him or me.

Then one night I tried to cut God a deal. “Yea, that’s the answer. I’m going to cut him a deal,” I thought.  More like a bribe probably but worth a try I figured.

That night I told God that if He would only heal my son, than I would do everything I could to spread the word about how great God was. I would testify to his greatness, his miraculous provision, and to his healing.

I told God that if He would only heal my son, I would dedicate my life to serving him and testifying about our story for the rest of my life.

As I sat there that night weeping and sobbing, God broke his silence and spoke directly to my spirit and said, “I have given you a blessing, what you do with it is up to you.”

Now it’s almost 15 years later. God has still chosen not to heal my son. He still requires our 24/7 care as he is developmentally disabled. In many ways he is still like a baby. He will live us in our house with us all of his life.

Our life has been so hard. The journey and path God has sent us down has been challenging, trying, and sometimes brutally difficult.

But if I could go back now and have God answer my prayers differently, I would not.

God, in his sovereignty, has chosen not to heal my son. Instead God has used my son to heal me.

And now I believe God is using my son’s life to help bring healing to others.

I was given the greatest blessing I could ever imagine through the gift of my son with special needs.  It took me several years to figure out what God meant that night when he whispered in my spirit about the blessing he had given me.

Through my son I have experienced the presence of God in ways I could never imagine. God is using my son to reveal himself to me, to teach me, to show me things I could never known or realized.

Just as God spoke, I have been given an amazing blessing with Jon Alex. This book is what I’m doing with it.