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Friday, November 16, 2007

The Special Needs Christian

We all have faults and shortcomings, places we need constant help or improvement. We must realize that God loves us in spite of what we perceive to be unloving qualities. The world can look at us differently but God never will. We are His special needs children.

I too have a child with special needs. He is 11 years old and is barely over 2.5 foot tall. He still wears a size 3t. He also has very fine sparse hair which means he looks bald. He is legally blind in one eye.

I live with bruises on my knees and arms because he has learned to use me as a ladder. If he wants water from a fountain, or to play a game at the arcade, or just to see the menu at a fast food place, I hold out my arm and he grabs a hold and pulls himself up to stand on my knee. To others it may look strange but to me it is now just normal. If fact, until someone pointed it out recently I hadn't given it a second thought. I simply don't mind because I love him that much. He is my son.

When I shop for him I have to shop at Gap, Gymboree, or Old Navy because of his size. It is difficult to purchase a size 3t anywhere else without having puppy dogs or bears all over it. I'm sure you can imagine how embarrassing wearing teddy bears would be for a 11 year old!

He still sits in a car seat. He can't reach light switches. He needs a stool to go to the restroom. This is my boy. I love him so much. It doesn't matter to me what the world thinks or how they react... what matters is what I think and how I react. That is what will feed his soul or starve it. I make the difference in his life. I don't know why He trusts me so much but God chose me to be his mother. In tears I say... for that I am so grateful.

My heart swells with pride and love for him and his brothers. And even though they have no physical limitations they too have "special needs" In fact, all children do whether it be a need for extra emotional attention, a need to be tickled, learning disabilities, being gifted, having social problems, being deaf, child prodigies, having Down Syndrome, having an abundance of talent, red hair, braces or whatever else it may be. Every child has special needs.

We, as God's children all have special needs too. He protects us, loves us, helps us up, trains us, teaches us and sets us apart. He uses those special needs for His glory. No one is that different or that alone in this world

We are not a burden to our Father. Why do we sometimes condemn ourselves as though we are? He is reaching out to you today.... let Him hold you!

"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can't, and life can't. The angels can't, and the demons can't. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can't keep God's love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. " Romans 8:38-39

I'd love for you to visit me at my personal blog: In Pursuit of Proverbs 31

In Pursuit of Proverbs 31

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Blogger Lizzie said...

What an absolutely awesome post :)

I'm a special needs mother too - my 9yo son is autistic and attends a special ed class within a mainstream school. He's growing at a ridiculously fast rate and will be TALL. Another two years and he'll eclipse me easy. But it's hard because autism is such a 'hidden' disability - he looks totally normal until he begins to flap his arms or make his unique 'I'm annoyed!' vocalisation. Then people look at us as though we're totally weird. But he's my son. And he's one of my greatest accomplishments, hands down. I can't be upset or angry at life when I'm reminded each day just how wonderful he is, and how much he's taught us.

I once asked a pastor about disabilities/suffering and how it connects in the Bible. I'm a new Christian so this was a big issue for me. His response was that God certainly had the power to remove suffering, to not give me a disabled child, but he obviously had a reason. He 'hides' in the disability in order to make other qualities and experiences shine. As J's parents, our hearts have expanded to the point where we're tolerant, empathetic, and just plain grateful because of our experiences with J. Most, if not all of the unique lessons we've learned and the benefits we've experienced would have been skipped right over if we'd not received the 'gift' (and it IS a gift) of a special needs child :)

Wonderful post.


November 15, 2007 at 10:38 PM  
Blogger Tracy Berta-daughter to the King, wife, mother, speaker, writer said...

This was so beautiful. Thank you!
Blessings to you and your family!

November 15, 2007 at 10:50 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

Such a beautiful heart felt post sweetie.

November 16, 2007 at 12:39 AM  
Anonymous Darnelle said...

Why is it that at times we have trouble believing just how much God loves his kids? I can just see God smiling now as He helps me with my own limitations which, on most days, are many! I love the picture you've painted today! Thank you. God certainly knew what He was doing when He blessed those 3 boys with you for a Mama!

November 16, 2007 at 8:05 AM  
Blogger Amy Grant Bayliss said...

Yes Lizzie, our children truly are gifts!

November 16, 2007 at 9:45 AM  
Blogger Deanna said...

Thank you for sharing your story with us! How true that we ALL have special needs..regardless of how "obvious" they may be to others. You are truly a blessing to your family as I can see as I read waht you've written and I am so glad I found your blog! I definitely learn from you...

November 16, 2007 at 9:53 AM  
Blogger Darlene said...

Awesome post as always, Amy. I'm so reminded of that first time I read your article for the contest, and I just cried and cried. I knew that it would win and it did. This article is another winner. You are a wonderful mom, and blessed beyond measure with that family of yours.

November 16, 2007 at 12:18 PM  
Blogger lori said...

I agree with Darlene, I don't recall another post that moved me as much...
This was just a fabulous blessing you shared!
We are all 'special needs' children to God...YES, I have tears in my eyes...
It was SO simply beautiful!!
Those boys are sure blessed to have a momma like you....and you are so blessed to have 'boys' growing into men, like them!!
You blessed me tonight!
peace and hugs

November 16, 2007 at 6:42 PM  
Blogger Kristiem10 said...

What a lovely post. It is a good reminder of God's love for us.

November 17, 2007 at 6:00 AM  
Blogger Cyndi said...

"It doesn't matter to me what the world thinks or how they react... what matters is what I think and how I react. That is what will feed his soul or starve it."

Wow, this is HUGE. What a great post, thank you!

November 17, 2007 at 9:19 AM  
Anonymous Lynn said...

Oh Amy, I have tears in my eyes. This has touched me in a way to bring healing. Thank you so very much. I love you and your family. Lynn

November 17, 2007 at 9:37 AM  
Blogger The Preacher's Wife said...

It's a wise person who said God gives special children to special people. In His economy, He is giving you what you need to take care of His precious one. The thing about being needy is that we can accept our estate or in our bitterness, refuse help. I hate to think of the times I have been resistant of God's provision because I've wanted to do things my own way or pout because things didn't go as I planned.

This was a beautiful post..thanks for sharing your heart with us. :)


November 18, 2007 at 2:36 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

Great post, and challenging perspective! Thanks for sharing... you fueled my faith!

November 20, 2007 at 8:48 AM  
Blogger Angie said...

Amy---incredible. God has blessed so many ways...this post blessed me---opened my eyes---we have a grandson with autism and mild cerebral palsy---I see things more clear---what a great reminder that God is so concerned about all the details of our lives!
You blessed me with this! I am printing this for my daughter--she has 3 little boys --the one with autism is the oldest and her younger ones both have heart defects. But I know that it was none by accident. I can't thank you enough for writing about this!

November 20, 2007 at 10:58 AM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Thanks for sharing. Beautiful post.

November 21, 2007 at 5:26 PM  
Blogger Marsha said...

Incredible post and incredibly true!

December 20, 2007 at 2:37 AM  
Blogger Heidi @ GGIP said...

Fantastic post. Thank you for sharing about your son.

January 21, 2008 at 1:58 PM  

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