Guest blogger and special needs mom, Kimberly Drew, explains how a book, Widow of Gettysburg, gave her special needs parenting hope and encouragement.

Who knows how special needs mom and guest blogger Kimberly Drew finds to read? But I’m glad she does, because one book she read gave her hope and encouragement she’s sharing at today.

New Life in the Wasteland

I recently read a novel written by my friend Jocelyn Green titled Widow of Gettysburg. It is a historical fiction novel and I loved it. There were several quotes throughout the book that grabbed my attention, but this one in particular has been running through my mind today:

Where we think there is a wasteland, God will bring new life.

A Special Needs Wasteland

As the parent of a child with multiple handicaps, there have been seasons of my life where I felt like I was living in, and surrounded by a wasteland. Doctor’s appointments, therapies, insurance battles, isolation, grief, and fear sucked every last bit of energy from my spirit. I was recalling with my mother-in-law just this morning that during the early years of Abbey’s diagnosis, I felt like I would never get out of the emotional wasteland I was living in.  I couldn’t see relief in the future, I couldn’t feel God’s presence (even though it was always there), and uncertainty seemed to be overwhelming my ability to grasp and deal with our situation.

Special Needs and New Life

Perhaps while you’re reading this, you can relate to one or all of those feelings. I want to encourage you to never forget that God is in the business of making all things beautiful in His time. If you had told me eleven years ago that there would come a time in my life that I would thank God for allowing Abbey to become disabled, I never would have believed you. I barely believe it now! But it’s true. Somewhere deep in my heart, God has tenderly spoken kindness and mercy over my pain. Where there once was a wasteland of isolation, now there are new and invaluable relationships. Where fear of the unknown robbed my joy, my trust and faith in His plan allows me to laugh freely and often as a part of my day. The horizon of my heart was once a barren and empty black hole of grief, and today it is so very full of the lessons I’ve learned about God’s character and compassion for me.

Special Needs Hope

Isn’t it amazing that while I was looking around and feeling and finding nothing, deep underneath the layers of my heart God was planting something new? There beneath the cracks in my faith, a tiny seed of hope was growing. This seed needed deep roots to withstand its environment.  Out of the wasteland, God brought new life. This life is more transparent, vulnerable, and authentic than it ever could have been if someone had planted it in the lush and fertile soil of ease.

What Books Speak to Your Special Needs Parenting Heart?

Have you read a book that planted a seed of hope in your role as the parent of a child with special needs? Or gave hope for your child? Tell a little about the book in the comment box. Maybe we can start a special needs parenting book club…with Kimberly as our leader, of course!

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