One of the most common things people say to me as a parent of two special needs children is 'How do you do It?'
My only answer to that is that my faith helps me through.
My faith in God is what sustains me through the middle of the night when I wonder if I can face another day.
My faith strengthens me when I face yet another battle with lack of support, transport issues, schools challenges or health problems with my children.
Knowing my God cares about me, about my children and about our situation carries me through.
Knowing I am not alone and He is catching my tears comforts me when the days seems bleak and hope is hard to find.
I could not do this without my faith in God.
My son is almost eight years old. He has very complex needs but one of the hardest things I find as a mum to cope with is the fact he has no verbal communication.
He cannot say 'no', 'yes' or even 'mum'.
There is a verse in the Bible that says "Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord." (Ps 139:4)
I cannot say if my son will ever speak but what I do know is that God knows what he wants to say and communicate even without words. This is one of the ways my faith helps me stay encouraged as a special needs parent.
One often has night terrors due to anxiety and the other has seizures. It is in the small hours of the night when your mind wanders easily and fears can take over.
It is those times especially when I am susceptible to extreme anxiety about impending tests for my children, thoughts of anaesthetics needed once again for more brain scans, worries about the future and thoughts about what will happen when I can no longer care for these precious gifts God has given me.
If I never had my faith I know these troubles would weigh on me so much but I now lean on a simple verse that says "Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7)
This is yet another way my faith keeps me strong in times of difficulty.
I had to fight to get my son the right school placement, I have had to fight to get both children professional support, I have had to fight for respite, adaptions to the house and school transport.
I could easily become so consumed by it all as it seems never ending and my children's needs are so high.
One night, as I was wading through more paperwork and trying to draft yet another email, I took a moment to pray and pick up my Bible. I came across a verse that has become my anthem recently in all my battles: "The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still." (Exodus 14:14)
It was exactly what I needed to hear! I sent the email and head back a week later to hear yet another battle had been won and my son would continue to get his own taxi to and from school with his own escort to support him
Their understanding may be different to others, but God can still use them. Many times my daughter has ear defenders on and my son sits rocking and flapping.
Just getting there for us is often an achievement but we always gain from it even if it is just watching my son smile as soon as the music begins!
Faith is not something everyone has and I respect that but for me it is something that has helped me so much as I journey with my two unique little children.
I am blessed and I am grateful. One of the most incredible things I have though is peace. Jesus said, "Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27)
Whatever the future holds for my special needs children, I believe God will be there with us going through it all.
"How do you do it?" people ask me. My answer is quite simple: by faith.
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