Finding Spring: A Special Needs Journey

Author: Jacqi Kambish

Life always seems to move in cycles of intertwined seasons.

“A misty winter brings a pleasant spring, a pleasant winter brings a misty spring”-Irish Proverb

Jacqi Kambish AV Special needs parentingThe ebb and flow of laughter, pain, anger, loss, hardship, joy, love…it weaves us into the tapestries that we are—complex and colorful.

As a parent of a child with special needs, there is a sorrow too deep to voice and at the same time a thriving hope and optimism that runs parallel to the difficulty of watching my child struggle. The beauty and pain of my soul’s winter season is a complex entanglement, where icy blues are folded into joyful pops of bright spring colors. Even as my heart breaks, hope and happiness burst through.

There are everyday reminders:  The number of the hospital saved in my phone, the seizure log my daughter packs for school, and the medications with their side effects.  She wants to climb the playground equipment, ride a bike, and swim but it’s complicated.  Each day is marked with exceptional difficulty and challenge.

My daughter is 8 years old and has Epilepsy, ADHD, and learning disabilities.  Her seizures are uncontrolled, and every day I watch as she struggles as medication after medication remains ineffective.  I watch as she tries to understand and control her emotions.  I watch as her mind gives up and begins to seize when presented with difficulty and stress.  I watch as she cries and laments the difficulty of school as she becomes frustrated with her inability to engage in all the activities she wants to pursue.

I’ve read, researched, and studied.  I’ve pleaded with God to give us a cure, to find something that works for her.  And yet…the struggle remains.

As I watch, my emotions range from anger to sorrow, to helplessness, to hope, to perseverance, to acceptance, to positivity, encouragement, and back around…

But…I watch something else as well.

My daughter, in all her struggle, has the most amazingly sweet and compassionate heart.  She sees people.  She wants people to be happy and is deeply saddened by their pain.  She prays for the “bad people in the world” because… “They need Jesus too.” When I’m angry that a kid at school hurt her feelings, through tears she asks me for guidance on how to love them better.  She ponders that kindness is the best response and laments at how difficult kindness can be.  She amazes me.

I don’t know why God hasn’t healed my daughter yet.  I don’t know why she has to struggle so much.  I don’t know why he gave her to me when I am so fallen and struggle so often to control my own emotions.

Special Needs Parenting Jacqi Kambish (1)At times when my heart cries out “WHY?” God softly reminds me that he loves her deeply, that he sees her and that he sees me.   He speaks quietly into my heart the understanding and hope that he has a specific plan for her and that her life has a purpose I cannot understand or fathom.  When I stop and listen, what God says to the deepest corners and hardest places in my heart is that her pain and difficulty is not for nothing.  Her struggle is not pointless, meaningless, or unseen.

Ultimately, his game plan and end goal is for a beautiful child of the King to immerge from the ashes triumphant and victorious in Christ Jesus.  What he beckons us both toward is closer relationship with him as he sweetly says, “Lean on Me, trust Me, wait on Me.”

I don’t know what the LORD is doing.  I don’t understand it.  I don’t like it, but I do believe that He is good.  I do believe that He knows what he is doing and that hope, redemption, and goodness will ultimately be revealed.  So, in the moments of deep sorrow, fear, and “winter”, I hold tight to hope in Christ and to my belief that God is our defender and the only real source of rest.  And, the peace I find as I soak in the rays of God’s truth is as warm and glorious as the first sunny day of spring.


Jacqi KambishJacqi Kambish is a Christian mom to three spirited children striving to balance the daily demands of parenting a child with special needs and meeting the needs of typically developing siblings while working full time and writing.  She earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Bible Theology and Youth Ministry from William Jessup University.  Jacqi lives with her family in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado and enjoys reflectively writing about parenting, faith, and the joys and trials of life while leaving her readers with hope and encouragement.  Her blog The Presumptuous Ladybug can be found at http://thepresumptuousladybug.com/ and you can connect with her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thepresumptuousladybug/ .

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Hope for Spring

It was one of those days in which the rain kept coming.

I stood behind my church’s connection desk, and watched as one of the greeter’s hair soared straight into the air, as the wind swirled and ruffled it to and fro. The drear and drizzle continued throughout most of the afternoon. It was the first day of Daylight Savings Time, and the weather seemed to remind me of how sleepy I really was and that caffeine was not a strong enough remedy for my tired body.

I took a nap in an attempt to satiate my body’s need for rest, and upon waking up, I spotted the most glorious sunbeams pouring in through the bay window. They flickered in and out of the clouds, and when I finally made it alfresco to let the dogs out, the sun stuck. Golden rays of sun created a spotlight on the newly bloomed flowers. The flowers, in saturated hues of yellow, purple, and pink, reminded me of glimmers of hope. Hope in which I so desperately need reminding of today.

Each winter I feel as though God likes to teach me the hard things. Perhaps it’s because I’m forced indoors with my thoughts, and I cannot escape into the Pacific Northwest’s outdoor playground. Or maybe it’s my own internal reflections rearing their head. Either way, it seems as though the past few winters have been riddled with a little bit of gloom. I know I am not alone in feeling this way, as many friends and family have poured out their hearts to me stating the same awareness of life’s difficulties. I hope in God, and I know with Him, I can weather through any storm. Sometimes, however, it feels as though after the storm you are a little worse for wear. A little beatenskin chapped and rubbed raw from the lashing of the waves, but not defeated.

And then there are moments like today: I saw a physical reminder of hope coming. Flowers. So simple, yet striking. God knew I needed this physical reminder of His goodness.

Hosea 6:3 says, “Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”

As surely as the spring rains fall, if we call upon God, He will come. He will answer us. He will provide us with hope in daily reminders of flowers blooming, and in the answers of prayers prayed for many years. God will come and take our bruised spirits and renew us with His strength. He will come and fill our hearts with a longing for something more. He will come and bind up our broken and weary hearts and draw them close to Him. He will come and bring healing, and peace, and calm the turmoil in our lives. He will come to us as the showers, frequently and at the exact moment needed.
Spring is coming. I saw that hope today in the form of a dewy daffodil. Hope is coming. His name is Jesus.

~~~

Readers, What are you looking forward to seeing  happen as spring arrives?

Sarah believes God has called her to this space to bring joy and encouragement through words to friends and family, near and far. You can find more from Sarah at her blog, and you can find her stories for Anchored Voices under the tag Sarah.