Amy Felix has been experiencing an uptick in the mom guilt that plagues many special needs mothers. She explains how God is using recent unexpected and disappointing events to help her overcome it.
A year ago, my family joined a team in planting a new church. God had been clear that we should leave the comfort and security of our home church in pursuit of His mission which, we were sure at the time, was for me to start a special needs ministry. Yet, a few days ago, we notified the church plant team that we were leaving the church we’d helped build…before my ministry ever left the ground. It was a painful decision for our family and I felt as though people would see me as either a failure or a quitter. Yet, we strove to be obedient to God as He made it very clear that this was no longer His plan for us. It was time to move on.
This experience brought to light the mom guilt I didn’t even know I was carrying, the belief that being a special needs parent means I need to carry all the weight, all the time. Not just my own struggles, but the struggles of others who share a similar journey. If I don’t, I’m not living out my calling.
God has used this transition to speak into one of the dark places in my heart; the place where I hide my “mom guilt”. Mom guilt tells me that I’m not enough. Though I give my all to champion my children, this ugly lie I’ve been holding onto said that living out loud the love, acceptance and support I felt for the special needs community in my daily life didn’t count. I was convinced that being transparent about our family’s struggles and joys on this journey had no power to impact the world. I believed that I needed to be over-extended, weighed down and treading water, or I wasn’t making a difference.
The truth is, I am enough. We moms are enough. Sometimes, we are called to go above and beyond to advocate, educate or support. Other times, we are simply called to navigate this journey the best that we can. In the way that parent our children, in our interactions with those society deems “different”, in how we respond to trials along the way…God can use all of these and more to influence our communities in a positive way.
So, if you’re like me, and you’re hanging on by a thread right now…don’t believe the lie that you’re not enough. Don’t count yourself out. Your purpose can be found in the little, daily things just as much as it can be in the grand gestures. God can use it all.
My name is Amy Felix. I’ve been married for 10 years to a guy who’s totally out of my league. I’m a homeschooling mom to 4 kids, ranging in age from 9 to 2 years. That’s really enough work on it’s own but, because I love it, I’m a photographer as well. And, in my spare time, I write. My faith is the driving force behind my special needs blog: Appointed To Hope. I’m a firm believer in being real, transparent, and using the gifts of this journey as a way to relate to others in their joy as well as their sorrow. To read more about my adventures in special needs parenting, visit my website at www.appointedtohope.com.
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