There have been several "pitty-party" posts by yours truly. In review, these posts have shared my anger towards God because He has refused to match my self-prophesied life plans. How dare Him!
Ridiculous. I know...
But in talking to parents I find that I am not alone in my bitterness struggle. Take a moment to read an adapted excerpt from the book Toddlers on the Move by Tess Worrell and Dr. Scott Turansky. It was very helpful to me and I think it will be to you as well.
Parents often find that their child is much different than they had expected. Before the baby comes, there were so many hopes and expectations. Somewhere, something happened that made life a little more difficult.From a young age, my dream was to have the "Walton" family. I dreamed of sitting down to family devotions. Going camping. Serving neighbors and those in need. I envisioned our family of six sitting down to meals while everyone talked about their day and laughed over the memories. We loved spending time together and I loved being a stay-at-home mom. In my mind, discipline was consistency and boundaries. While our kids would test these, I would hold the boundaries firm which would help them obey and feel safe.
Maybe you envisioned shopping trips with your daughter only to have a tomboy focused on bugs. Or quiet times of reading and discussion but your child has abounding energy that goes beyond cute to annoying. Or maybe your child tends to be whiny and negative, or is overly shy.
In reality, we have two children with special needs. While they are on the opposite ends of the spectrum, the behaviors that they each struggle with have crushed my dreams. I can't talk to my son after school to find out about his day because he doesn't have the language processing skills to make sense of his day. We can't go camping because Little Man is a runner and has no impulse control. We can't have peaceful meals because of behavior issues. It doesn't matter how consistent and firm our boundaries are, the boys do not have control over their actions and senses.
The authors of Toddlers on the Move explain that parents who have shattered dreams can learn some important lessons.
Life needs to change. You'll have to make adjustments, do research, and develop new routines. It's all part of the job of parenting.
In those moments when you realize that your child needs skills and abilities from you that seem outside of your current repertoire, then you need to go back to the Lord and trust that He knows exactly what He's doing. Proverbs 16:9 says, "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." God brings every person into a family for a reason.
In Psalm 139:13, 16 David praise God by saying, "You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb...All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be." Your child's challenges are no accident. God knit your child together in the womb. You were designed for your child and your child was designed for you. If you truly believe in God's sovereignty, then it follows that God purposely gave you this child. Out of His perfect wisdom, His perfect goodness, and His perfect love, He designed this child for you.
Perhaps you have this child because he'll draw out strengths you didn't know you possessed. Perhaps you have this child because he'll cause you to grow in ways God will use to bless others. Perhaps you have this child because this child demands what you can't give and will drive you to your knees in absolute dependence on what God alone can provide through you. Perhaps God sent this child, who is so different from what you expected to induce you to see your need and turn to Him.That's a lot to swallow.
I encourage you to come back throughout the day to reread these paragraphs. Pray over these verses. Then join us tomorrow as I share three practical ideas that the authors of this book say are important for all parents to do.
What did God teach you in this post?