Special Needs Parenting: Why the Small Things Matter
Perhaps we all crave doing something extraordinary, something big.
Looking after my toddler with EA/TEF as she was too vulnerable to go to pre-school didn’t seem very extraordinary. We lived in Africa, with its aching needs on display all around, but instead of doing something big, something for Africa, here I was feeding my toddler. All day long.
Her swallowing was so problematic that she had to be fed every meal with a teaspoon so slowly that one meal merged into another.
“No empty calories make every calorie count!” the nurse had said. My challenge was to get enough good nutrition into my daughter so that she would be able to fight infections. I’ve never been very interested in food, but at that time I became obsessed with her diet as a path the better health. As I researched nutrition, I became convinced that cooked, pureed food wasn’t building her up enough. Even though it was more difficult to swallow, she needed raw fruit and vegetables to get out of the vicious cycle of sickness, antibiotics, lack of appetite and more sickness.
Chop, chop, grind, grind, make it finer, make it finer – small things. Small enough to get past that scar tissue on her esophagus without causing her to vomit.
Why me, God?
Why not heal her?
Eventually I learned to leave the big questions, the ones I didn’t have answers for, and just try to be faithful in what God seemed to be asking of me.
The small things.
Derek Prince said this:
I believe he was right.
In late May of 2015, my daughter with EA/TEF turns 12. I’m thankful to say that she eats normally, provided she chews well and swallows slowly. She’s tall for her age, has great sense of humor and an inner strength I believe borne out of her struggles. She’s in the school swim squad and her health is generally very good. But I still keep a close eye on her diet. Old habits die hard!
God is faithful, so I encourage to put the lesson I learned into practice: keep obeying Him in the small things and leave the big ones to Him.
How Do the Small Things Matter to You?
Has God been teaching you the importance of small things? Leave a comment in the box below.
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