The Grace of Parenting a Child with Special Needs

Grace is an essential element of parenting kids with special needs. Guest blogger Steph Husted explains why she's leaning harder on God's grace lately.

Grace is an essential element of guest blogger Stephanie Husted‘s parenting journey. Lately, some complications related to her son Braeden’s special need have her leaning harder than ever on God’s grace.

Leaning on God’s Grace

Life hasn’t been so easy for us lately. Sometimes I think the heavy load of life just seems to weigh you down. Braeden has been having a rough time lately, and we haven’t been able to find the right doctor to help us get to the root of the problem. I guess you could say he gets “stuck” sometimes. There are certain things that he knows he should not be doing, but he just cannot seem to help himself. On a recent trip to the grocery store he proceeded to lick the handle of the shopping cart several times.

When I asked him to stop, he looked in my eyes and said, “I want to mommy…but I can’t, I don’t know how to stop.” Then he pressed his tiny tongue onto the germ infested handle once more.

The trip ended with more than a few eyes rolling in my direction as I carried my frustrated eight year old son out of the supermarket. It isn’t just the “licking” episodes that concern me. He also has numerous temper tantrums and meltdowns that are getting more difficult to keep under control.  We have been through a multitude of behavioral experts throughout the years, and I always find myself once again…back at square one. What next?

As I spent some quiet time in reflection one morning, (okay…let’s just call it wailing and complaining) the words of the Apostle Paul came to my mind.

[box] I do not understand what I do.
For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
Romans 7:15[/box]

Suddenly it hit me–we are the same, my son and I. How often have I complained that life is completely unfair? Yelled at my son during one of his tantrums? Or shared a bit of gossip about a mutual friend? I strive to be a better person, but I fail each and every day, as I am only human. Thank God for a tangible display of his grace, seen in the confession of an eight year old little boy who strives to try harder tomorrow.

I Wouldn’t Miss a Thing

Someone said to me one day…
“I don’t know how you do it
I don’t think I’d be capable
Not sure I could get through it.”
And some days I’m exhausted
(I’m being honest here)
At times my motivation
is overwhelmed by fear.

Having a child with special needs
is a rare gift in so many ways
but I am only human.
Sometimes I have bad days.
And then you take my hand in yours
in a moment of pure clarity
you say, “Hey guess what mama?
You’re beautiful to me.

And in a flash, the moment is gone
You’re singing your own little song
then I realize life’s all about “moments.”
And I realize that you’ve made me strong.
And you defy convention.
You live life out loud
You have overcome so much
and you make me so proud.

I can’t picture a different life
without these hopes and fears
without all the uncertainty
the questions, joys, and tears.
It’s not the life I planned for
Sometimes I feel its sting
But one thing remains constant

I wouldn’t miss a thing.
What a sad thing it would be
if there had been no “you.”
If I had missed your smiling eyes
and all the things you do.
And doubt is our companion
what will the future bring?
But if I had the choice…I know
I wouldn’t miss a thing.

Though you have been given
A “special needs” label
I still see a child who…
Is loving, kind, and able.
Life has had its battles
but please remember this
Tomorrow is a precious gift
I’d never want to miss.

You surprise me every day
by what you do to reach me
and I am constantly amazed
by all things you teach me.
As every long cold winter
will melt into a spring
I cherish every moment
I wouldn’t miss a thing.

Grace in Your Special Needs Parenting Journey?

Can you understand what Stephanie’s talking about? What evidence of God’s grace have you seen in your special needs parenting journey? Leave a comment.

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Meet Jolene

Jolene Philo is a published author, speaker, wife, and mother of a son with special needs.



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