i have always admired people who love sacrificially. i never really thought that being a mother would involve such a level of sacrifice. parenting a child with significant special needs seems to require more love than what comes naturally sometimes. it is exhausting and draining, both physically and mentally. i am often overwhelmed by feelings of inadequacy and failure. but i have a deep desire to find true joy in this sacrificial love. Jedd Medenfind (Christian Alliance for Orphans) writes, “By God’s grace, beauty so often rises from sacrificial love.”
i am thankful to have people in my life who constantly give me new perspectives and truth. being obedient to God always requires sacrifice, so i want to love more sacrificially. even if it is uncomfortable or hard work or at times embarrassing. even if it makes me look like a crazy fool. even when i can’t always see the big picture and i get caught up in the challenges we are facing.
i think it’s natural for us to want to fit in. i would like to be the mom who has it under control at the grocery store. i would like to avoid large crowds and over-stimulating environments because those things always seem to bring on the tantrums and meltdowns. i would like for my child to be the quiet one who plays nicely and leaves the other kids alone. but, for whatever reason, that is not my present reality. and, somehow i believe that there is mercy in not always getting what we want.
being Mikisa’s mom has unraveled the person i used to be. she is helping me to see beauty and love through different lenses. she’s helping me embrace the wonder of neurodiversity, and i am learning to accept that you don’t have to act ‘normal’ to be worthy of love. my relationship with my daughter is so much more important to me than “fitting in” with the cool moms. i am learning to let go of my desire to blend in. i am learning that it is okay to be different and that the world needs more diversity.
and sacrifice? well, it’s painful and humbling. more and more, i am realizing my weaknesses and my need for God. but i want to be on this road of obedience and humility. it is difficult to accept Mikisa just the way she is while at the same time holding on to hope for healing and restoration of her mind and body. it is a challenge for me to let go of any and all thoughts about what our future may hold and just trust that God will show us the way as we stumble upon roadblocks. but it is worth the fight! the beauty in this journey is pulsing and strong. it outweighs the struggle by far! so we walk on in gratitude.
photographs compliments of www.mandiejoy.com