I'm thrilled to be teaming up with Exceptional Family T.V. as they reach out to provide support and resources for families with disabled children. Shows begin airing online in May 2010 and I'm excited because this is just the thing Jimmy and I wish we had tucked under our belts 21 years ago as we launched on the toughest journey of our lives.
I can't help but wonder what it would have been like to have had even an inkling of what lie ahead. Maybe if I had been told what to expect I'd have been better prepared to handle watching my dreams shatter before my very eyes. Maybe a little knowledge of the inevitable would have not only softened the blow, but also prompted me to accept rather than fight the will of God. Only God knows for sure what a little support would have done, all I know is that even now tears stream down my cheeks as the tape of history rewinds to the early days of learning our child was both Autistic and deaf. No words can describe.
Dani's birth was like driving into a wall of dense fog. Once in it we were completely lost, yet there was nothing we could do but persevere through. I can't tell you how many times we've felt disoriented, discouraged, and exhausted on this journey, yet no matter the condition we could not give up or turn away. We are her parents and must continue to move forward trusting God is in control and has a plan that is good, even though its often cloaked in a fog.
I visited Exceptional Family T.V.'s discussion board today and read the current question, "What do you find to be most challenging as you raise a child with special needs?" Parents mentioned different things like the judgements and attitudes of others, and people either not seeing their child's disability or seeing nothing but their child's special need. Reading through the list I could relate to every single entry and my heart went out to each loving parent's challenge. Each comment touched me deeply because when it comes to parenting a disable child, I know one thing is true, "if it ain't one thing it's another." I suppose that's why when pondering my biggest hurdle it wasn't difficult to pinpoint it's that of giving my life as a living sacrifice. It's been a long and difficult road and it isn't near over. Why, just this morning I no sooner sat down for some quiet time all to look up and see Dani awake and alert staring at me ready to begin the day. I confess I was irritated but even in the frustration I was reminded that my call is clear and my job not yet complete. I must persevere and not give up, yet another thing I wish I'd known in the early years.
What is your calling? Maybe it's nothing you ever planned. If so, I can relate and encourage you to remember you are not alone. Many of us are in the same boat, it's just sometimes difficult to see one another amidst the fog. It's good to know that even a little support or the smallest word of encouragement can turn a life around. If you are a discouraged parent of a special needs child, visit Exceptional Family T.V. today and find the support you need. I'll be there too and look forward to seeing you there!