Just Enough Hope for Special Needs Parenting

Where to find hope and new growth when parenting a child with special needs seems like a never-ending winter? Don't just think spring. Think Easter.

This past winter was a doozy.

Long.
Snowy.
Cold.
Dark.

But eventually, the daylight hours started increasing. The cardinals and wrens began singing in the morning. The robins came back. The temperatures started rising in late February, and so did my spirits. Until I caught a cold.

Sore throat.
Plugged ears.
Red nose.
Bad cough.

This winter reminded me of my first winter as a new mom. We lived much further north and west of where we do now. So even the mild winters were long and cold, the daylight hours significantly fewer than where we live now. Not only that, but my elementary students passed colds and viruses on to me all winter long. I passed them on to our baby with upper respiratory issues relate to his congenital birth anomaly. By mid-March, ten months into motherhood, I was at my wit’s end.

Stir crazy.
Exhausted.
Hopeless.
Done in.

I can’t remember how I made it to spring that year, though much of the credit goes to my husband’s patience and compassion, the encouragement of friends, and the trust and my students lavished upon their cranky, tired teacher. Many years later, when dear friends lost twin boys at the sixth month in utero in late February. God brought the memory of my late winter despair to mind. Every time it niggled at me, I sent a card or encouraging note to the family.

Thinking of you.
Praying for you.
Missing your babies.
Hanging on for you when you can’t.

In late March, the mother was back in church. She thanked me for the cards, and I asked her how she was doing. “It’s hard,” she said as tears filled her eyes. “It’s so hard.”

To read the rest of this post, go to the Not Alone website.

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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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