When Your Special Needs Mess Is Your Message
When your special needs mess is your message, telling others about it can be, um, intimidating. Even so, guest blogger Heather Braucher found a good reason to share her family’s messy story anyway. Maybe she’ll convince you to do the same.
There are people in my life whom I watch in awe. In awe of their strength, resilience, and endurance to keep going in the midst of long suffering.
I have wondered how they keep it all together and remain positive despite the turmoil or pain around them. I would secretly think, I would be an absolute mess on the ground in the fetal position if I were in their shoes. How are they still standing?
Not too long ago, I believed that certain things in life were a luxury afforded to or deserved by those with enough margin, enough order, or enough strength. Things like a consistent exercise routine, working outside the home, or even pursuing one’s passions or interests.
I assumed that when life’s demands were too overwhelming and too chaotic, it was selfish and impractical to consider anything beyond managing the chaos and surviving.
I get that life brings us through seasons of busyness, seasons of healing, seasons of thriving, and seasons of making ends meet. In all honesty, our season of surviving felt never ending.
One day I thought to myself, What if this season is never ending? What if I am waiting for a season that will never come?
I felt compelled to start doing the things I needed to do to take care of my own personal physical and mental health. If I waited any longer, I would be waiting forever.
Suddenly, I found myself becoming a person who, in the face of trial, was still standing.
I was no longer on the floor in the fetal position when heartache and grief struck. Now I was on the receiving end of the comments I used to give to others. How are you still standing? How do you do it?
I share this not to gloat, but to remind others and myself to stop waiting until we are all put together to move forward or even help others.
This week chaos struck again. The all-too-familiar whispers began.
- Who are you to think you could work outside the home?
- Who are you to share words of hope with others when your life continues to be at the mercy of your children’s extra needs?
- Who are you to encourage others when the behavioral issues of your children require constant monitoring and intervention?
- Who are you to think you have a message to share when all anyone can see is the mess?
I reflected on my heroes of the faith whom I observed with awe. I remembered the thing that amazed me and inspired me the most.
Their struggle was not over, yet they were still willing to fight for hope.
They kept moving forward in faith, trusting that God is sovereign over their lives and that the Author and Perfecter of their faith wasn’t done writing their story.
When your special needs mess is your message, remember that you are not disqualified from receiving hope or giving it to others. You might be inspiring someone just as you are and exactly where you are without even knowing it.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,
who have been called according to his purpose.
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By Heather Braucher
Heather Braucher is a member of the “Braucher Bunch” aka her energetic family of 5. The bunch includes her husband and their three children, all of whom are dominant and extroverted and are going to change the world (if she can keep them alive!) She has always held a passion for writing, but motherhood has given her a reason to share her experiences, heartaches, and victories with others. In her writing you will hear stories of hope as well as grief, as her family has navigated life in ministry in the US and overseas, all while discovering that 2 of her children have special needs. Her desire is to provide others with connection, understanding, encouragement and laughter, all washed with the love of Christ.
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