I've been a reluctant caregiver, but this Christmas I'm celebrating the One who showed up to give reluctant caregivers grace to show up.

I’ve been a reluctant caregiver most of my life, but didn’t realize it was a problem until after the birth of our first child. He was medically fragile for the first four years of his life, but his special needs weren’t the cause of my reluctance. In truth, I rose to the challenge whenever a health crisis arose.┬áBut after his recovery from each surgery or hospital stay, when life returned to the norm of putting our baby’s daily needs above my desire for creative and intellectual pursuits, I became a reluctant caregiver.

I discovered I wasn’t a baby person.
Or a toddler person.
Not even a preschool person.

I loved our son and then our daughter fiercely from the day each one was born. But, I didn’t lay down the mantle of a reluctant caregiver until our children reached age 5 or so. Only then did caregiving cease to consist of marking time until they went down for naps or to bed for the night. Only then did our hours together become a fascinating time of introducing them to God’s fascinating creation.

I was ashamed of my reluctance.
I kept the secret buried deep.
I convinced myself that I’d outgrown it.
I almost forgot about it.

To read the rest of this post, visit the Key Ministry blog for special needs parents.

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