Surviving Hell Week

That’s really what it felt like.  Between the stress of extra responsibilities and the sleep deprivation, last week was a pretty spectacular pressure cooker.  Nate had to cram a 60 hour education course in 5 days and complete a large portion of a big project for our side business.  I had to get through my one big job of the year myself, and William grew about four teeth.

I don’t remember much of last week.  I think we were sort of on autopilot/survival mode.  I dozed off at the computer a lot, trying to get my projects done, but we made it!  God was very good.  In hindsight, He really took good care of us.  We didn’t get sick, which is something that happens to me with the huge amounts of stress and small amounts of sleep.  Michael slowly learned over the course of the week how to handle having Nate at home but not able to play with him.  Nate was blessed by his office with a special paid vacation that we will try to enjoy next year as a thank you for going above and beyond at work.  We officially started our new consulting services for Michael’s Asperger’s on a full scholarship.  And our folks helped us out with babysitting and driving to therapy so I could finish my work.  It was a bruiser of a week, and I don’t want to do it again any time soon, but Nate and I realized at the end of the week that our relationship seems to be getting stronger because of all the stuff we have to deal with in life, particularly lately, and we’ve learned some time management lessons too.

So thank you to everyone who was praying for us and helped us out.  We’re back!

When the Burden Is a Blessing

My pastor mentioned the story of Gideon in church this weekend and it got me thinking.  The Israelites were being severely oppressed by an army of over 100,000 men.  God chose Gideon, a fairly cowardly man, to raise an army for the express purpose of defeating the enemy.  After raising 22,000 troops to the cause, God said there were too many.  He knew if they won a battle with so many men, they would take the credit.  The Lord pared down the army to only 300, and used them to conquer the invaders in such a miraculous way that all the credit went to Him.

But what’s interesting, and sad, is that Judges 8:28 tells us that as soon as their enemy was defeated, Israel stopped looking to God because their problems were solved.

This is what makes living with special needs kids such a blessing.  Sure, God could heal them, and wow, that would be an incredible miracle!  But suddenly, our problem would be solved, and we wouldn’t need God in the same way anymore.  Having this kind of challenge day in and day out, year after year forces us to throw ourselves at God for His mercy, strength, and grace in a way that, frankly, we just wouldn’t if we didn’t have a special needs child.  I believe God puts these people in our lives to shape us, strengthen our relationships with Him, and show us miracle after miracle in such a way that no one who looks at our lives could deny God’s presence.

That’s the kind of person and parent I want to be.  I know God has given me my particular children just as much for my benefit as for theirs.  He’s pretty efficient that way and nothing is ever wasted.  I know that my relationship with God is so much stronger now that it was before all the extra challenges came around, and for that I am incredibly grateful.  It is my prayer that God uses us and our special circumstances to bring a lot of honor and glory to Himself.

Is their a burden in your life that you’ve been wanting to get rid of?  Could it possibly be a blessing in disguise?