Tag Archives: Special Needs Parenting

Maybe It’s Not About Me . . . Or You

cross on a hill
Photography by Ian Britton

I’ve been exposed to many different Christian authors and theologians (some professional, some amateur and some amateur who thought they were professional), and an equal number of different thoughts on how God works in our lives.

Our pastor on Sunday preached taught on the book of Esther.  What struck me the most about the lesson was realizing that nowhere in the Bible (or in the sermon) did it seem that God’s purpose in Esther’s circumstances were about Esther.  God hadn’t identified some characteristic in Esther that needed refining and he didn’t therefore create a situation and stick Esther in it to bring that refining about.

See, it wasn’t about Esther.

It was about a plan . . . God’s plan . . . for his Chosen People, the Jews.  The King had given an order to annihilate the Jews in his kingdom, and Esther used her position with the King to boldly plead for the lives of her people.

Esther’s Uncle said this in instructing her on how to save the Jews:  “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”  – Esther 4:14.

He didn’t insist God was using these circumstances to do this and that in her life.

See, he knew this wasn’t about Esther.

Did God work together all the details so the right person (Esther) would be in the right place (the palace) at the right time?


Was her character refined as God gave her the strength and the courage to plead for her people?


But it wasn’t about Esther.

It was about God’s plan for His people.

Somewhere along the line, I’ve been taught that God puts us in situations to refine us; and that thought has given me strength through some difficult trials.  But I’m not sure it’s true.  I can’t think of any story in the Bible that specifically teaches that.  God does refine us when we put our faith and hope in Him, but He puts us in the circumstances we are in for His purposes towards His plans.  It’s bigger than me, it’s bigger than you, it’s bigger than Esther, Job, David, Daniel, Mary, Elizabeth, John, Abraham, Issac, Eli, Samuel, Abigail.

I’ve heard people talk about children with special needs, that that child was given to that family to teach them patience, mercy, compassion, you fill in the blank.

Would God do that, give a child to a family for the purposes of refining that family?

I submit that God has a plan bigger than that mother, that family; and the life of a child, special needs or not, is about so much more than just one person or even a family.

We may be refined, we may be strengthened, we may be humbled by the things God puts in our lives; but God’s plan never stops with us.

There was one child who God had no plan for other than to save his family from their selfishness, pride and moral bankruptcy.

“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.  All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:  The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel – which means, God with us.”  – Matthew 1:  21-23.

“In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.  Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family.  So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.  He says,

‘I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing  your praises.’

‘And again,

‘I will put my trust in him.’

‘And again he says,

‘Here am I, and the children God has given me.’

‘Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.  For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants.  For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.  Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.'” – Hebrews 2:10-18.

May the Lord’s hand be upon you in each circumstance you are in.




Noah hasn’t been interested in saying Daddy.  Papa, yes; Daddy, no.

Andrew prefers to be called Papa, so all our babies learn Papa first, but they quickly move on to Daddy when they hear the rest of the world calling their fathers Daddy.  So, like it or not, Andrew is Daddy.  Except to Noah.  Even when I use Noah’s Kaufmann flashcards for Daddy and I hold up the card and say “Daddy,” Noah says “Papa.” 

It always gives me a secret thrill, because it lets me know that he knows that Papa and Daddy are the same thing and he’s not confused by a little ole switcharoo of the nicknames,  and he’ll call his favorite male parental unit what he pleases, thank you very much.

But a change is in the air.  I’ve noticed in the past week Noah has been experimenting with some different sounds, including a little number that sounds suspiciously like Daddy.

Tonight’s escapades at the pool confirms it.  I was holding Noah by the hands and he was splashing in the water, kicking up a storm with his feet behind him, and he started turning his head around and yelling, “Da-deeeeee” looking for Andrew.   No mistake about it, he was calling for his Daddy to see how fabulous and brave he was in the water.  Once he finally got it out, he said it over and over and over again, laughing, so completely thrilled to finally be able to get that sound combination out.  I think all this time he has lacked the confidence and ability to say Daddy, so he automatically defaults to Papa.  He was so happy, I imagine, to join the ranks of all the other children he hears call out to their father the name, “Daddy.” 

Another small victory —  no, in Noah’s world there are no small victories – another BIG victory for our courageous boy. 

And another reminder to this worried mama that apraxia or no apraxia, we are moving forward, and Noah is finding his voice, one syllable at a time.


Ditching Dobson

Oh, Dr. Dobson, we’ve loved you so,

But Noah says it’s time for you to go.

Saturday morning I was packing a bag to take to the thrift store.  Andrew asked what I was doing, and I told him.

Next thing you know, Noah ran and got both our James Dobson (Focus on the Family child-raising expert) books on tape, wanting to add them to the bag.

Look closely at the titles on the tapes.

Do you think he’s trying to tell us something?