I have spent the past five months raising funds for my son’s service dog. He was matched in November with a dog named Kingsley. We met Kingsley in December and counted down the weeks until he completed his training and could come to live with us.
Two weeks ago, Kingsley came home. Jonathan was supremely happy. His siblings were equally thrilled. But then the unexpected happened. My youngest, who is two, began to exhibit signs of profound allergies to Kingsley. After a few days of watching him worsen, I had to make the choice to return Kingsley.
It broke Jonathan’s heart. It broke mine to put him through this. I was angry at God, whom we all know could have overridden whatever genetic makeup is responsible for the allergies my son has in the first place. Or He could have gifted me with the knowledge of my son’s allergies before allowing me to bring a dog into our home. But He didn’t.
Thankfully, our story may have a happy ending after all. The organization who trained Kingsley has located a standard poodle to begin training for Jonathan. Poodles are hypoallergenic. But we are once again months away from having a service dog for Jonathan.
There is this part of me that feels my child with special needs should be exempt from the disappointments we all face in life. Doesn’t he deal with enough already? Isn’t it unfair that his brain has been altered due to prenatal exposure to alcohol? How is the goodness of God to triumph over bumps in the road that feel as large as Mt. Everest?
I do not have answers to the questions in my heart. But, as I am honest with God, my questions turn to prayer. Deeper dialogue between us flows. And He reminds me that it is my heart He is pursuing and that my son’s special needs are one instrument He uses to chip away the rough edges. Faith does not make up easy answers, but it makes moving forward possible.
Father, give us all grace to trust you with our disappointment.