Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: IT'S CHILD'S PLAY (06/06/19)
- TITLE: Forever Children
By Laurie Staples
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Today, as I sit back in that samecry room with my own man-child, I think what I wouldn't give to see joy on my son’s face, to see him leap up and loudly belt out Jesus' name.
What if I’d been told back then, that in a little more than thirty years, I would give birth to my own special needs child? A child whose impairments would make those of the man-child from my childhood seem mild in comparison?
I would have said I wouldn’t be able to stand it. I would have begged to be spared. I would have thought having no children at all would be preferable (even though being a wife and mother was all I ever wanted to be).
Of course, everyone wants a perfect child and is never fully prepared for the news that their child is less than perfect. But for me, really, truly believing that God IS sovereign has been my lifeline. My husband and I both believe Brett is a miracle. Parenting Brett has changed our hearts and minds in ways we could never have imagined.
I’m a flight attendant and on a recent flight we had about a dozen special needs passengers on board. One fifty-ish man was particularly thrilled to be on an airplane. He excitedly grasped my hand and asked me how I was. Pre-Brett I would have been uncomfortable, not wanting him to touch me and doing my level best not to make eye contact. But that day I was filled with genuine affection for him. His uninhibited joy and friendliness was contagious. I didn't even mind that he asked me twenty times if we were almost to Detroit. When one of the women asked me for a seat belt extension for her friend, she made it seem like a good thing. She was proud of her friend for managing to grow big enough to need an extension. Good job!
Having Brett has had the same effect on my husband, Bob. He’s a car salesman and one day one of his customers mentioned that his wife was waiting in the the car with their adult, mentally impaired daughter.
“Don’t make them wait in the car, bring them in!”
His customer reluctantly agreed, and beckoned them in. The daughter was non-verbal, just sat in a nearby chair letting out a few happy whoops now and then.
Bob said when he looked over at her he was overwhelmed with love for her and impulsively told her parents that he loved them. They sat in stunned silence...who expects their car salesman to tell them he loves them?
After they signed all the paperwork and left, the man returned to the showroom, hugged Bob and told him he loved him too.
I love that story. I love that through loving and caring for Brett, God has changed us...our perspective and our hearts. I love seeing that what these special people may lack in ability, God has compensated for with an abundance of joy.
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