The comment “God only gives special needs children to special people” is one most parents’ of a special needs child have heard at least once. The first time it fell upon my ears, I didn’t know how to respond. It came at a time early in my journey, which probably explains my confusion. I didn’t feel special at all. I felt alone, misunderstood, angry, and exhausted. The conversations I was having with God at that point went more like this. “DEAR GOD!!! What on earth did You see in me that led You to believe I could actually handle this?!” Sometimes, I admit I said it sarcastically. Sometimes, to be funny. Mostly, out of plain and simple truth. I felt so incapable.
My mother, Joyce Hart Smith, said to me, “I believe that Tyler was a soul in heaven whom God told he would change peoples’ lives. God asked Tyler to pick his parents on earth. Tyler chose the two of you.” God rest her soul. My Mom was full of wisdom and a great communicator. But as much as I wanted to embrace these words offered in love, I just wasn’t convinced. A sarcastic tone rattled in my head…”These sparkly sentiments of positive glitter don’t solve my problem.” I continued my search for peace and understanding.
I was reading the Bible during my (rare) quiet time and found a passage that made me think.
…through whom we have gained access by faith into grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character, and character, HOPE. Romans 5:2-4
I figured that hope was the end-game, because I was nowhere near that :). Looking back I can say I understand the life-cycle of suffering…I now have hope. Do not give up in your struggles as they are producing something greater. Wait patiently.
I also asked the inevitable question to God, “WHY ME!?” as I could not understand what I had done to deserve such an incomprehensible responsibility to bare. An appropriate prayer I found in my meditations…
Hear my cry O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. Psalm 61:1-4
Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:31
Whether you see yourself in powerful armor, believe that you are deemed chosen, simply feel special, or show your fears through your tears, embrace the gift which God has shown you and mount up.
God does not give special needs children to special people. Instead, God gives these children to families whom He will show Himself special to. All glory is the Lord’s for His faithfulness, love, kindness, and mercy! Sheila Gosney
I am not sure the actual “how or why” people are gifted with special children…God knows. I do know that these special children like the Word of God always have a profound impact on those who experience them.
We’ll get by.