As I pack away our Christmas stockings and ornaments from our tree, my heart reflects on Mary, the mother of our Lord. Her journey of parenting an extraordinary child began with His birth that night in the manger. Did she fully grasp that being the mother of this child would sometimes rend her heart? Could she fathom how misunderstood he would be to multitudes? How awkward and seemingly inappropriate some of his comments could sound?
In the years to come, what did she feel as more of His giftedness was revealed? Overwhelmed? Anxious? Exhausted? Embarrassed? Mary knew this child was unlike any other. The Scriptures say she pondered and treasured these things inside her heart (Luke 2:19).
We who parent a child with special needs know what it is like to watch our child struggle to fit in. Somehow they are always on the fringe, never quite making it all the way to what is considered typical. Our heart bleeds for them. We yearn to rescue them. Often we are bewildered with trying to manage our extraordinary child.
The comfort we can draw is that God is in our midst and His plan for our child will be perfectly fulfilled. His plans may look vastly different than what we expected. But our child shines with a beauty that reflects Him in a way no other child can. This is the grace of special needs.
For the extraordinary child we parent, there is grace for this endeavor.
May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy… Colossians 1:11.