January has been unexpectedly hard- and cold, but well, that one is to be expected.
We’re still settling into the “new house” as Jesse calls it. This doesn’t seem like home yet, so we’re all a little displaced, since we don’t belong at our old house either. But I figure this will soon wear off and be a safe haven rather than feel like a guest in our own home.
Along with that there have been particularly stressful moments recently trying to mother/referee Jesse’s rollercoaster emotions. Sobbing one minute and laughing the next, mixed in with a good dose of hyperactivity and whining tantrums.
It’s taken me off guard because it isn’t his typical behavior.
Is he tired? Should I change his diet? Special vitamins? Is this a normal part of growing up?
I can guess all day and go mad trying to figure out the solution- or better yet, the problem. He isn’t able to articulate all of his big feelings, so outwardly I try to calm him down. But inwardly I internalize.
Until the other day when Jason and I were attending to “new house” stuff I had chest pains. Normally I would shake it off (perhaps foolishly) but since I’ve had a run in with AFib there was concern. Each breath hurt my chest.
I’m fine now, but this pain lasted a day and a half- soreness like maybe I pulled a muscle. Ironically Jason has had the exact same chest pain for 2 years. I did rest that day, just in case, but my fears of another heart problem were put at ease realizing he experiences the same thing.
In fact, it makes sense now.
I’ve heard it said before that parenting a special needs child is on the same stress level as a combat solider. Well, I don’t know about that, but it serves up a great deal of learning challenges, misunderstandings, isolation, acceptance, self-help skills, and sleep deprivation.
This isn’t a sob story because goodness knows we have been tremendously blessed. I know that.
God has given us our son with a purpose. Some of the reasons I see so clearly and other times I do question why there are disabilities at all. It doesn’t seem fair. Looking at other cases just breaks my heart.
But here are two things I know:
One, I don’t want to ever pity another family with special needs children, but love them by being their friend. Enter their mess. Show compassion. Listen. I can’t understand the exact situation, but I can pray for them and even with them. This is what these families need.
To be heard. Seen. Validated. Loved.
Two, God gave me an amazing son who blesses others in a way I can’t fully understand. Sure he’s not perfect by any means but he loves cheerfully. My prayer has always been that the Lord will allow others to see His kindness and goodness through Jesse.
I believe God has honored this.
My Father teaches me more and more and more patience when it comes to working with him. Jesse is the only extrovert in the family so he keeps me and Jason constantly climbing out of our comfort zones. God is inwardly refining my character, as well as showing me how to practice seeing others like Jesse does.
This job is for life and I know there will be more joys and challenges with it. The joy is found by recognizing those moments as gifts and giving thanks. The challenges prompt me to pray more specifically and consistently.
Is it stressful? For sure. Is Jesse worth it? Always.
Knowing that God sees all even when no one else does helps me persevere. Jesus shepherds those that have young (Isaiah 40:11) and He will never leave me or forsake me (Hebrews 13:5).
I can rest in this, then take a deep breath.
Grace upon grace,
***I wanted to let you know that I have created an Instagram account just for this blog! You can find it here: @redeemedingraceblog . You can follow along to receive weekly encouragement, as well as the posts you already get in your inbox from Redeemed In Grace.
If you haven’t signed up for new posts to be emailed directly to you I think you should 😉 That way you can open it at your leisure, on the couch with a cup of coffee. That’s what I imagine anyway.
Thank you for being a faithful reader. You have no idea how much that means to me that you read these words the Lord has placed on my heart. My hope is that you are encouraged here. Happy reading and see you on IG!